elections

GREEN LEFT REPORT #9: Feminism's resurgence, Venezuelan eyewitness + more

This episode focuses on feminism's resurgence and Venezuela's unfolding revolution. It includes activist news on Stop CSG protests, Global Noise protests, plus Carlo Sands on the European Union's Nobel Peace prize win, and a performance by 1000 eyes at Occupy.

Greece: Neo-Nazi threat is growing

In Greece's January 25 elections, 388,000 people voted for the fascist, neo-Nazi party Golden Dawn.

The election was largely fought as a contest of hope and solidarity against fear and austerity. Radical left party SYRIZA defeated right-wing establishment party New Democracy.

SYRIZA placed first in the popular vote with 36% of votes, but the openly fascist party Golden Dawn took third place in the poll with 6.3%.

This is significant for three reasons:

El Salvador: Left leads polls ahead of vote

Political parties in El Salvador formally wrapped up their campaigns on February 25 ahead of local and legislative elections schedule for March 1, with polls showing the left-wing Farabundu Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN) ahead of right-wing rivals.

Electors in Latin America's smallest country will head to the polls to elect mayors as well as representatives to the country's Legislative Assembly.

SYRIZA's support grows, laws targetting social crisis drafted

Support for the Greek government headed by radical left party SYRIZA is growing, new polls show. The polls also found high support for SYRIZA's negotiations with its creditors, which secured a deal to extend its loans package by four months.

The deal came with significant concessions to the institutions that have imposed austerity on Greece, which led to strong criticisms from SYRIZA's Left Platform.

United States: Radical mayor candidate comes second in Chicago

Radical candidate for mayor of Chicago Jesus Garcia finished in second place in the first round of the city’s election on February 24.

Incumbent Rahm Emanuel, chief of staff for President Barak Obama from 2008-2010, failed to reach the 50%-plus-one threshold, so there will be a runoff election.

The New York Times said: “It was a serious blow after a campaign in which Mr. Emanuel had a huge fundraising edge over lesser-known opponents, not to mention an in-person endorsement last week from President Obama in his adopted hometown.”

Venezuela: US, elite launch new attacks on democracy

Venezuela has faced new attempts to subvert its democracy and roll-back the pro-poor process of social change known as the Bolivarian revolution, which aims to build a “socialism of the 21st century”.

The attacks have taken the form of new US-imposed sanctions, an economic war by private business owners to cause shortages and what Venezuelan officials say is a thwarted coup plot to overthrow the government.

On February 25, Venezuelan National Assembly president Diosdado Cabello presented evidence relating the the coup plot thwarted earlier in the month.

Britain: Greens surge on back of anti-austerity anger

A Green Surge has hit Britain. Thanks to an ongoing growth spurt, the Green Party of England and Wales has now hit 54,000 members, on top of nearly 10,000 members in the Scottish Green Party.

Opinion polls put the party on the rise, frequently beating the Liberal Democrats, who are governing in coalition with the Conservatives. The Greens now have more members than the far-right anti-immigrant UK Independence Party (UKIP), whose growing support has generated much media attention.

South Coast union leader takes on ALP

Secretary of the South Coast Labour Council Arthur Rorris has stepped down from his union position to stand as an independent for the seat of Wollongong in the NSW State election on March 28. The seat is held by ALP right-wing factional leader Noreen Hay.

Rorris lives in the electorate and has been a member of a local ALP branch for many years. Yet when he and other long-time local ALP members attended the Wollongong preselection ballot in December, they were not only denied a vote but physically escorted from the premises where the ballot was taking place.

Unions launch 'NSW Not For Sale' campaign

Unions NSW has launched a "NSW Not For Sale" campaign in the lead-up to the March 28 state elections. The campaign targets the state government's plans to privatise the power industry, as well as attacking private involvement in hospitals and TAFE.

The campaign involves TV advertisements, as well as a radio and digital blitz. It aims to mobilise union members and other volunteers for doorknocking and mass telephoning.

Australians demand 'Let Greece breathe' — add your name to statement and pledge

The pledge below was published on the website of the Australia-Greece Solidarity Campaign, which says: “Let Greece Breathe is a campaign for hope and justice. We aim to show that Greece and the Greek people are not alone in their hour of need.

“A victory for Greece will be a victory for people everywhere -- that is why the battle is so fierce. You can help by endorsing the statement and pledge below.”

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