The following letter was sent to the ACT Greens from the Socialist Alliance on November 13.
Congratulations from the Canberra Socialist Alliance on your achievement in winning four seats in the ACT Legislative Assembly in the October 18 poll.
We also want to register our appreciation of your ongoing support for various environmental, progressive and social justice campaigns in the ACT, the campaign over the last several years for same-sex marriage and civil union rights being one important example.
Canberra Socialist Alliance applauds your decision to support the ALP as the government of the ACT. An ALP government, with all its faults, makes progressive demands more likely to be won than a Liberal government, even as it reinforces the need to struggle for those demands by actively building community campaigns.
As you know well, there is increasing popular consciousness of both the reality of climate change and the urgent need for a response. Indeed, polls show that the majority of the population is more aware of this urgency — and more willing to take decisive steps — than the politicians of the major parties.
On climate change, and many other issues, it is obvious that the world is in crisis. No decisions are easy, and the path forward will be a disputed one. In upcoming struggles, the progressive voice of the Greens within the Assembly will need as much support as possible from progressive movements for change in society at large.
The Socialist Alliance will support every progressive position taken by the Greens in the Assembly at the same time as it commits to building the movements which can fortify such positions. As we saw with the campaign for same-sex marriage, ALP parliamentarians cannot be relied upon to carry out progressive reforms in the absence of mobilised public opinion.
On climate change, we believe it is critical for the transition to renewables ("100% renewables in 10 years") to begin immediately. Obviously the ACT cannot solve this problem by itself, but given the strength of the Greens, the ACT is now in a special position to lead by example, motivating and inspiring the rest of the country.
Here especially, the development of a plan for transition to sustainability will require a strong and persistent mass movement. We encourage you to take plans such as the Energy Efficiency Access and Savings Initiative to the community for discussion and endorsement, in this way generating the pressure that will be needed for the ALP government to implement them.
The strong gains you have made in the election reflect a growing desire in the ACT community for real alternatives to status quo politics.
Canberra Socialist Alliance looks forward to collaborating with you in the struggle to make those alternatives a reality.
[Karl Miller is the coordinator of the Canberra Socialist Alliance.]