Socialist Alliance tell Victorian Socialists to not run in the seat of Wills
By - TechnicalSkin5
Ok, I respect Sue Bolton a lot and hope she does well.
It however isn’t a smart politics to reinforce the notion that two socialists running in the same electorate would split the vote - especially when preferential voting is a thing and when neither are a chance of gaining the seat.
It’s the same lame argument that the ALP use against the Greens for the “crime” of campaigning in ALP held seats.
IMO the fact that SA went down this route to target VS like this - especially when VS hasn’t targeted SA in the same way -shows that VS is a threat to SA’s relevance within the Victorian, and specifically Melbourne, Left and it’s true. Their numbers are slowly spiralling downwards and have been for the last decade and that’s even been reflected in their dwindling numbers in the ground.
IMO SA in Melbourne and probably VIC as a whole would be wise to rejoin VS. I don’t mean the “two separate organisations” approach tried last time - I mean winding up as a separate organisation in the state and reforming as a tendency within VS. At this stage SA are merely a vehicle to promote and sell Green Left (and to promote the work of Sue Bolton in Moreland) which can be accomplished - arguably more efficiently - as a tendency within VS.
At some stage the hard heads in SA will need to face this reality and do what’s best for pushing and growing the Left instead of holding out in hope for the return of the glory days of the Democratic Socialist Perspective, because that’ll never happen - those days are long past.
Yeah, it seems like if you want to ensure your candidates can run for seats without competing with VS candidates, then you should probably just join VS. Their statement about why they left is just not believable, and I think the reason is a lot closer to what you said. They don't want to be politically irrelevant and are worried they'll dissolve into VS like the DSP dissolved into SAll.
> IMO SA in Melbourne and probably VIC as a whole would be wise to rejoin VS. I don’t mean the “two separate organisations” approach tried last time - I mean winding up as a separate organisation in the state and reforming as a tendency within VS. At this stage SA are merely a vehicle to promote and sell Green Left (and to promote the work of Sue Bolton in Moreland) which can be accomplished - arguably more efficiently - as a tendency within VS.
They obviously aren't going to do this though, not least of all because SAlt would never do the same thing. I'm not sympathetic to electoral projects in general so I don't have a horse in this race, but if SAll dissolves itself into VS then it would functionally just end up getting outmuscled by SAlt in a space SAlt dominates, not only because they set it up but because they have the most numbers and function as a tight bloc. Being an independent organisation and not just a tendency allows them to have at least some sway.
This makes sense but it would also be very dangerous because they would then be very dependent on the goodwill of SAlt, which they will not tolerate.
All of the far left groups are happy to work in some broader group, but usually only if they have some dominant position within it.
When SA was an electoral alliance with many affiliates and it was dominated by the DSP, they did use their numbers to get what they wanted even on issues that were intolerable to the other affiliates ((and what was 'intolerable' perhaps also had a too low bar due to the sectarianism of the other groups). Now the situation is reversed and they do not like it, partially for understandable reasons.
E.g. there will always be some risk that one day SAlt will want all the winnable seats and important internal positions for themselves. And then the SA aligned people will have to either relegate themselves to working under SAlt direction for SAlt candidates and campaign priorities or leave, and if they have dissolved they will leave with no apparatus.
I don't see any argument about splitting the vote. I think the main thrust of the argument is that Socialist Alliance would still like to work with Victorian Socialists and the best way to do that would be not to compete electorrally.
Socialist Alliance has not 'targeted' Victorian Socialists. We are not at war. Socialist Alliance is not telling Victorian Socialists to do anything. It is in no position to do so and besides, does not conduct politics in that manner. Victorian Socialists is about to pre-select it's candidates and may well decide to run in Wills. Good for them. Socialist Alliance is asking for a favour and making the political case for such which is that it would be advantageous for both campaigns to not compete in the same electorates.
Socialist Alliance is not a vehicle to promote and sell Green Left. Nor is it just around to promote and support Sue Bolton. It is a genuine attempt to build a collaborative, ecosocialist political party for socialists. Victorian Socialists have made it clear they are an electoral project only. How would Socialist Alliance, which is not just an electoral project, work as a tendency in such a situation? Socialist Alliance would be open to be a minority tendency in a broad multi-tendency party, but Victorian Socialists is not that and has made it clear it won't be that. Has there been some change about this recently?
Socialist Alliance is not holding out hope for the glory days of a former tendency. It is others on the left that keep banging on about ancient history. The political calculations of yesterday are done and dusted.
I've edited this comment a few times to expand on some points and hopefully make other points more comprehensible.
If I'm not mistaken, they're both trotskyist right?
Socialist Alternative are more outwardly Trotskyist whereas SAlli is more orthodox Marxist with Trotskyist influences. SAlli’s predecessor, the Democratic Socialist Perspective, was more outwardly Trotskyist but never as dogmatic as SAlt. Victorian Socialists is pretty garden variety socialist - focussing mostly on contemporary issues rather than the theoretical/historical aspects - on the surface at least.
SAlt are post-Trotskyists in the Cliffite tradition, and that current broke with orthodox Trotskyism on the basis that the USSR was not a deformed workers state but rather state capitalist.
The DSP were orthodox Trotskyists of a Mandelian/Cannonite flavor till the mid 1980's, but broke with that tradition in the 1980's because they thought the Cuban system was not deformed but rather under the leadership of sincere revolutionaries, as shown by their activity in Africa.
SAlt is cringe
Honestly I’m so sick of SAlt members turning up to rallies under the guise of solidarity when in reality it’s just a recruitment drive. I remember being at an asylum seeker rally sometime pre-pandemic and a couple of white SAlt kids were talking over a refugee speaker trying to get attendees to sign up, and that wasn’t the only instance
Both Trotskyist electoral fronts, yes.
This seems sensible, and should be reciprocated by SA not running against VS in their target seats.
Hm. You'd think Alliance preferencing Alternative #2 and vice versa would be sufficient to avert an intra-Trot electoral bunfight, and this protocol wouldn't be difficult to have voters go along with. In fact it would come naturally. Shit, chill out. Jesus.
I think I voted Alternative in Wills last time rather than copping a fine -- those striking black signs were what bought my vote -- but as a non-Trotskyist, and not asking this in order to pick a fight, I have to ask: how exactly is the theory of permanent revolution pertinent in the imperial core in 2021?
But that’s why we have a preference system????
Just coming in to add that I absolutely don't blame SA for leaving VS giving the proportion of SAlt members involved
Trots doing trot shit, how original
Is there anything more trot than a "collaborative approach" being defined as pre-selecting your own candidate internally and then telling every other socialist to either help you or fuck off.