Socialist candidates call for cooperative solutions to capitalism's crises

March 8, 2012

“Capitalism wrecks everything,” Liam Flenady, Socialist Alliance candidate for South Brisbane in the March 24 Queensland election, told a meet-the-cadidates forum sponsored by Green Left Weekly on March 6.

"The neoliberal agenda of the past three decades means privatising profits, and socialising losses. Queensland and Australia are in the midst of a political crisis right now.

"People have generally lost confidence in the major parties and their support for the status quo. But they don't yet have a firm belief in a viable alternative project.

“Our crisis in this country is part of an international crisis. We see an increasing fusion of government and big business, and the neoliberal ascendancy.

“Our solution in Socialist Alliance, is the opposite of neoliberalism: a free and classless society, socialism.

“In Latin America, by contrast to the West at present, the people of Venezuela and other countries believe they own the nation's resources. We need to convince people in Australia that the natural resources belong to the people, not to the mining corporations. The country's wealth should be used for the benefit of the majority.

“It's impossible for our country to go on the way it is: we in SA have a vision for another future. Imagine Queensland in the next 20 years, with Coal Seam Gas left in the ground, and the farmland and water saved; free and frequent public transport; all our energy sources renewable, not based on coal or gas; full rights and equality for Aboriginal people; equal rights for women and gays; and our industries publicly owned and run in the interests of the people.

“This is a transitional program toward a socialist and environmentally sustainable future. We can and must campaign for it, now and in the future.”

Mike Crook, Socialist Alliance candidate for the seat of Sandgate, said: “Socialists believe in the power of communities. This year is the UN Year of Co-operatives. We need to take the private profit motive out of our productive system.

“The worldwide Occupy movement has highlighted the extremes of wealth inequality which dominate the big-business system. We in Socialist Alliance support the Occupy movement, and clearly state our policies: social justice and community democracy.

“We need to nationalise the resource industries to fund social programs, and rectify the environmental damage wrought by capitalism. We must turn away from the idea that private is more efficient than public.

“In the Queensland elections, SA is calling for the creation of a new state-owned bank, and a state insurance company, run by workers and the community. These are the kinds of policies which point in the direction of a socially just society, the way of the future.”

[For more information on the Queensland Socialist Alliance election campaign, visit its website.]

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