Scott Morrison has dragged out this term of his inept, reactionary mess of a government until the last possible moment. But next month we finally have the chance to boot him and his band of billionaire-loving, climate-change-denying Neanderthals out of office.
It should be a moment of great excitement. An opportunity for a fundamental shift in politics, a turning of the page that ends all the policies that have led to climate catastrophe, out of control inequality and a vile politics of racism and victim-blaming that has so poisoned Australian politics for the last two decades.
But the official opposition—Anthony Albanese’s ALP—is hardly an alternative at all. Labor’s essential promise is to govern with more administrative competence and a bit of progressive rhetoric, but other than that be pretty much the same as the Liberals. In a time that calls out for fundamental change to our whole society, Labor is promising that it can be trusted not to rock the boat.
The boat needs to be rocked, and Victorian Socialists are here to rock it. We are running in this election on a transformative platform that is about taking the money and the power from the rich and the corporations, and using that money and power to build a society that works for all of us, not just the billionaires.
You can read our policies and platform at victoriansocialists.org.au. We think they are a great framework for the kind of change our society needs. But if we are going to get a socialist vision out to hundreds of thousands of people, we need your help.
We need readers of Red Flag to put a campaign sign in their front yard or on their fence. To have the impact we want, we need thousands of homes across the northern and western suburbs of Melbourne to put these signs up.
You don’t have to live in one of our target areas in Melbourne. Aran Mylvaganam’s Senate campaign is state-wide, and we would love to have signs in every regional town in Victoria promoting the idea of putting a victim of Australia’s refugee detention system into the parliament to fight for today’s refugees, and to fight for all of us.
We need donations. We are in the final stages of working out how much social media advertising we can afford, how many campaign signs we can print and how many posters we can have plastered across Melbourne. Every dollar counts. If you have been thinking about donating, today is the day to do it.
We need letterboxing volunteers. Last week, half a million campaign leaflets were delivered to our office at Trades Hall. We need hundreds of people to stick them in letterboxes across the northern and western suburbs of Melbourne in the coming weeks.
If you don’t live in Melbourne, you can still help. We want leaflets for Aran’s Senate campaign distributed wherever they can be. If you live in Bendigo or Shepparton, or anywhere else in regional Victoria, and want to letterbox for a socialist Senate candidate, we will send you the materials you need.
The same goes for election day and pre-poll voting. Victorian Socialists are targeting eleven electorates that are home to more than 1 million voters across the north and west of Melbourne—from the CBD to Wallan in the north and Hoppers Crossing in the west. We need volunteers to staff more than 350 booths on election day, plus all the early voting booths that more than half of all Victorians are predicted to vote at in the two weeks before election day.
But wherever you live, you can help on election day. We can send How To Vote material for Aran’s Senate campaign anywhere in Victoria.
We are realistic. We know we have an uphill battle getting one of our lower house candidates elected in this campaign. Even in the case of Aran Mylvaganam, possibly the most righteous candidate ever to stand for election as a Victorian senator, it would be remarkable if he was elected.
But even if we can’t get anyone over the line, this election is still crucially important, to both Victorian Socialists and to the broader society. This is an election that counts for everything, but where none of the major parties stand for anything.
In any sane society, it would be a turning point. But all the major parties have to offer is more of the same. We may not win this time, but we will plant a flag. A flag for what should happen, for what politics should be about.
Please, support our campaign, in whatever way you can.
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The global economy has been in turmoil since the start of the pandemic—collapse, rebound, inflationary spiral. Now, “It’s the ‘Godot’ recession”, Ray Farris, chief economist at Credit Suisse, told the Wall Street Journal in early March. Everyone waits but it doesn’t seem to come. Every few months, economic forecasts flip from contraction to slowdown to cautious optimism about sustained growth.
The Australian Greens achieved unprecedented success at the last federal election, gaining their highest ever number of parliamentary seats after putting forward a left-wing platform calling for including dental and mental health in Medicare, the wiping of student debt, 1 million affordable homes, free child care and income-support increases.
There is a dangerous escalation of transphobia happening right now. The political right in the United States and the United Kingdom are rolling back civil rights for trans people specifically and LGBT people more broadly. This is being driven by an amalgamation of mainstream conservative parties, the far right, Christian fundamentalists and right-wing shock jocks and tabloids.
Hundreds of students protested across the country on Friday 17 March to demand an end to fossil fuels and taxes on the rich and big corporations to fund a shift to renewables and decarbonisation of the economy. The protests, organised by the National Union of Students, criticised the Labor government for approving major new coal and gas projects when the world needs to rapidly reduce emissions.