elections

'Class consciousness is knowing which side of the fence you’re on. Class analysis is figuring out who is there with you.' — Slogan from a 1970s poster, author unknown.

The newly formed "Industrial Left" faction of the Australian Labor Party (ALP) in Victoria combined with the right at the party's state conference on May 28 to block discussion about imposing a 90 day time limit on offshore detention.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's decision to call an early general election on June 24 — a year and a half before it was due — is a sign of weakness and desperation, according to opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (HDP) MP Lezgin Botan.

The ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) and the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) are losing popular support because of their anti-democratic and pro-war domestic and regional policies and because the economy is a mess. The official unemployment rate is nearly 11% and one in five young people are without work.

Although the media spends a lot of time portraying Cuba as a “dictatorship”, it has barely covered the fact that Cubans have once again begun a process of electing officials, starting from the local and going all the way up to the national parliament.

Left-wing parties in Chile are pushing a plebiscite for a Constituent Assembly to address the main social issues affecting young people, workers and communities.

Activist Cristian Cuevas from the New Democracy Party, which forms part of the Broad Front (FA) alliance, said they are seeking a strong showing in the November 19 presidential and parliamentary elections to push forward on their proposal.

Green Left Weekly/s Vivian Messimeris spoke with SYRIZA activist and pensioner Sissy Vovou in Athens about the effects of austerity and the hope a SYRIZA government brings. You can read all of the Green Left reporting from Greece here and follow the Green Left live blog on the elections here.

What impact have the austerity measures had on you?

Thousands gathered to watch SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras give his victory speech in front of Athens University on the night of Jaunary 25, after SYRIZA won the Greek elections with more than 36% of the vote.

Some were jubilant, but others were visibly moved. SYRIZA member Marina Moutafidou described how she had been waiting for this moment for more than 40 years.

Blowing The Roof Off The Twenty-First Century: Media, Politics, and the Struggle for Post-Capitalist Democracy
Robert W McChesney
Monthly Review Press
272 pages
Published November 2014
www.blowingtheroofoff.com

The work of renowned media critic Robert McChesney “has been of extraordinary importance”, says the “world's top public intellectual”, Noam Chomsky. Green Left Weekly's Mat Ward spoke to McChesney about his new book, Blowing The Roof Off The Twenty-First Century.

* * *

In NSW, the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) heard evidence from Operation Spicer of significant breaches of donations laws by Liberal candidates and private donors before the 2011 state election.

The hearings have exposed 12 state and federal Liberal politicians, who have either resigned or stood aside, including former NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell. ICAC is due to release its full report next year and this will include recommendations on whether criminal charges should be laid.

NSW ALP Senator John Faulkner, luminary of the Labor left, has been complaining of the structural flaws in the party for decades. Despite being a long-time beneficiary of the party’s factionalism, almost 10 years ago he was writing of the “shared venality” of party apparatchiks that led it back beyond factionalism. “It is feudalism, and it is killing the ALP.”

Last week he was at it again in his address to the “Light on the Hill Society” at Revesby Workers Club in western Sydney.

Socialist Alliance WA co-convenor Sam Wainwright was re-elected to the Fremantle council on October 19. In the other wards, progressive councillors defeated conservative opponents, and Mayor Brad Pettitt was also returned.

Wainwright won 58% of the vote in his ward compared to 33% at the 2009 poll. Wainwright's absolute vote also increased from 438 votes to 602 this year.

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