The Victorian election on Saturday 24 November is going to be important. besides determining who is going to form government, elections can be a barometer for what the community sees as important. It is also important, because this time round, it will have an impact on next year’s federal election.
On principle, The Pen works hard to maintain a non-party political position. Even so, within this context, we maintain that the Liberal and National parties, do not operate in the interests of Australia, if this is defined as most of the people who work and liver here. They are a legitimate target. At the same time, it does not mean partisan support for a particular party that is opposed to them.
We hold that it is extremely important for all those against the Liberal National Party (LNP) coalition to work together at a higher level.
In the existing conditions, the only realistic possibility is a victory for the Andrews Labor government. The Greens, the Socialist and a range of independent candidates are also standing. All are part of the broad front that we need to have and deserve recognition.
There are those who sincerely believe that voting for other than Labor is wrong, or that it risks putting Labor in a minority position and be forced to look for a coalition or looser arrangement to keep in government. This does not have to be a problem, as it brings an opportunity to build broader based unity. If this can be achieved, it would strike a serious blow against the Morrison government’s chances of surviving next year’s federal election, and help build a stronger on the ground, on which to build an alternative.
Building a strong movement that offers a clear alternative is a pressing need, under the backdrop of the overall political scene in Australia, the principal characteristic of which, is the contest between elements driving towards fascism and those standing for democracy and progress. The word fascism is not used lightly. The evidence is around everywhere. This is not just about some splinter groups out in the streets carrying the symbols of fascism, wanting to get rid of Muslims, Jews and leftists. The monopoly media around Rupert Murdock is playing a similar tune. Sections of big business are calling for get tough government.
Although there are internal forces against the trend, it remains that the LNP is its main organised political expressions in Australia, backed by the the few satellites circling around it, like One Nation, the Conservative Liberals, and motley crew of other small entities.
For those who are on the other side of the political fence, unity is the means to build an alternative political movement for democracy and a better future.
Focusing on the Victorian situation. TNP has concentrated its election campaign on get tough on crime. It dovetails neatly into what is happening at the national scale, deliberately promoting community division and racism, and putinng forward big brother politics as the solution to everything.
Take the response to the recent tragic Bourke Street attack. It was unashamedly used, through manipulation and lies, to simultaneously raise the banners hate against Islam and for hard-handed policing.
Fascism can be defined as representing the merger of state and the big corporations. The rise of the number of scandals involving government and the corporate world suggests that this rising merger is extensive. Through this, government and its public sector administration are being transformed into a corporation. This is where the link to neoliberal economic policies exists.
Corporatism transforms a society into an equivalent of the boardroom and workplace, where management has the prerogative to make all the big decisions, impose discipline on the workforce and seeks to hire and fire at will.
The equivalent for society is, to turn the government and public sector into efficient instruments for the bottom line, ensure the right of the authorities to make all the big decisions, impose discipline on citizens, and includes or exclude who they see as fir or unfit to be members of society.
Some important issues have come to the forefront, like the right to organise unto unions and have a fair go at work, taking on the threat of global warming, action to put an end to making the rich richer at the expense of everyone else and curtailing corporate greed, ensuring housing affordability and decent health and education systems, tackling urban congestion and making cities more people friendly. They demand resolution. The greatest barrier o this is the drive towards fascism. Without resolving this, the other issues cannot be resolved.
Make the Victorian election be a statement that says we are fighting back and this is only the beginning.