elections

Quebec’s October 1 general election campaign in Quebec unfolded as two distinct contests, writes Richard Fidler.

One contest was the competition between the Liberals and Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) for control of the government.

The other contest in the predominantly French speaking province of Canada, with a long history of struggling for national sovereignty, was between the Parti québécois (PQ) and Québec solidaire (QS) for hegemony within the pro-sovereignty movement.

In 2009, 20 years after the negotiated end to a brutal civil war, the left-wing Farabundo Marti National Liberation Front (FMLN), former guerrillas turned political party, finally won the presidency of El Salvador. But, writes David Grosser, with the second FMLN administration nearing its end, a third term after next year’s presidential vote is very much in doubt.

Jailed former president Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva has increased his support by five percentage points and would win Brazil’s October presidential election if he was allowed to run, a poll by CNT/MDA showed on August 20.

This news came just days the United Nations’ Human Rights Committee said the Brazilian state must “take all necessary measures” to allow Lula, the candidate of the left-leaning Workers Party (PT), to exercise his full political rights as a candidate in the presidential elections.

Observing the aftermath of the July 30 elections in Zimbabwe is like watching the remake of a movie. You know the ending, but watch to see how the new actors play their role and if there are any new twists.

The basic Zimbabwe storyline is that the Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic front (ZANU-PF) has never lost an election since it took power after the liberation war ended in 1980.

Last September, while campaigning for the position of Lord Mayor of Newcastle and a ward councillor, I bumped into an NSW Labor Party officer at a coffee shop.

“Comrade”, he said, “You’ve got some great policies”. “Feel free to borrow any of them,” I relied cheekily. “Our housing policy, for example, is based on Socialist Alliance councillor Sue Bolton's work in Moreland, Victoria.”

The next day the local papers reported that ALP candidates were talking up “affordable housing”.

There are many ways to fix New South Wales — currently plagued by cuts, privatisations and tollway madness — participants at a socialist activist conference concluded on August 12. The day-long discussion ended with the election of a team of Socialist Alliance candidates to contest for the NSW Legislative Council in the March 2019 elections.

Ali Wazeer, a central committee member of The Struggle group, has won a seat in the national parliament with 23,530 votes on July 25. His closest rival for the seat, from a religious alliance, got only 7515.

A key leader of the Pashtun Tahafaz Movement (PTM), Wazeer was one the organisers of the mass meetings organised in major cities that demanded fair compensation to the victims of the “war on terror”. This campaign also demanded the release of all “missing” persons, or else that they be tried in court.

In his election victory speech on July 26, Imran Khan gave a sober talk that ran contrary to the violent language he used throughout the election campaign, notes Farooq Tariq from Lahore.

Khan’s Pakistan Tereek-e-Insaf (PTI) “won” 116 seats in the National Assembly out of the 342 seats, of which 278 seats are contested directly on the First Past the Post (FPTP) system.

Overcoming a flood of corporate money and New York’s powerful establishment machine, 28-year-old democratic socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez toppled Democratic Representative Joe Crowley in New York’s 14th congressional district on June 26 with tireless grassroots organising and an ambitious progressive agenda of Medicare for All, housing as a human right, and abolishing the hated Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. The result is being hailed as the biggest political upset of 2018.

Italy’s new government is the most conservative and reactionary since World War II, writes Daniele Fulvi.

After three months of laborious negotiations, Italy finally has a new government. However, there is very little to celebrate.

The populist Five Star Movement (M5S) and the far-right Lega Nord (Northern League) came to an agreement on the government’s agenda. They won the argument against Italian President Sergio Mattarella to give the prime ministership to Giuseppe Conte, a professor and jurist who sympathises with M5S.

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