Make your vote count this federal election by putting number 1 next to Socialist Alliance (SA) on the ballot paper.
It is true that we need to kick out the Scott Morrison government. However, giving uncritical backing to the lesser evil Labor opposition is not enough.
Labor in government has a record of implementing neoliberal attacks on ordinary working people and, this time, the party is not advancing a fresh approach to many critical issues.
We are living in uncertain times.
The escalating climate catastrophe, the cost-of-living crisis and the drive to war are all signs that capitalism has run its course.
The case for radical change is more pressing than ever.
We need a left alternative that unashamedly stands on the side of the oppressed against the rich and powerful.
As building such a movement is in its early stages, the best way to register your support for it is to vote SA and signal you support system change over climate change and for putting people and the planet before profit.
Importantly, voting for SA expresses your opposition to the major parties’ pro-capitalist policies.
SA is running candidates for the Senate in Western Australia, Queensland, New South Wales and Victoria. It is also running the Moreland Councillor Sue Bolton for the seat of Wills in Victoria; Pat O’Shane for the seat of Leichhardt in Far North Queensland, Sam Wainwright for Fremantle and Andrew Chuter for Sydney.
Where SA is not running, we’d urge you to vote for other socialist candidates or the Greens, and give your preferences to Labor ahead of the Coalition.
Don’t waste your vote
One argument often heard at election time is that voting for a smaller party like SA is a wasted vote. This is wrong. The preferential voting system makes it possible to register support for a progressive alternative without risking a return to a conservative government.
If SA is not elected, your vote passes on — at full value — to your next preference, and so it goes.
If you vote for a major party first and then preference a progressive party, it means that your progressive preference will never be counted. That is one of many undemocratic features of the electoral system, which works to preserve capitalist rule.
The electoral system we have in this country is fundamentally undemocratic. SA stands for a democratic alternative where working people run society directly in our own interests.
That can only be achieved by involving most of society in challenging the power of the billionaires that run the capitalist system.
A key message of our campaign is that such a democratic transformation is easier than the billionaires want you to believe.
This is what informs our policy platform for this election.
Our policies include: 100% renewables within 5–10 years, nationalisation of the mines, banks and energy companies under community and workers control; guaranteed liveable incomes for all; and a massive expansion of public housing.
Most parties aren’t even talking about these things. Billionaire capitalist Clive Palmer can afford to splash out populist slogans on billboards across the country, but he has a record of not supporting working people.
SA candidates have all promised to live on an average worker’s weekly wage, if elected, and to donate the rest to building popular power and community campaigns.
Our candidates are committed working class activists, who campaign all-year round for social justice, not just in the run-up to elections.
How to vote for Socialist Alliance
As mentioned, it is important that SA gets your number 1 vote to send a signal you support a change of approach.
We recommend preferences to parties with similar policies, such as other socialists and Greens. Put Labor ahead of the Coalition and the far-right parties, such as Pauline Hanson’s One Nation, last.
How to vote examples can be found at the SA website.
Whichever major party is elected, we know that the struggles for justice for First Nations peoples, for a pay rise and union rights, for climate action and for women’s rights has to continue.
SA is using this election campaign to talk about these important campaigns, and about how real change is made: by people like you and me organising on the job, on campuses and in our communities. Join us in this fight for a better world.
[Jacob Andrewartha is the national co-convenor of Socialist Alliance].