Monday, March 8, 2010

Socialist candidate: ‘People power can save the planet’

“There are two messages we want to get across as part of our campaign in the federal elections”, Socialist Alliance candidate Alex Bainbridge told Green Left Weekly.

“The first is that workers deserve better than Labor”, he said. “Labor has refused to ‘rip up’ Work Choices as they promised, and in a whole host of areas — like refugee policy and performance pay for teachers — Labor is actually continuing Howard's agenda.

“However, the failure of capitalist governments at Copenhagen to even take steps forward on global warming — the most serious crisis confronting humanity — is one of the most compelling reasons to support a socialist campaign.

“Kevin Rudd was complicit in US President Barack Obama's scuttling of the Copenhagen summit and for that reason alone, ordinary people in Australia have every reason to withdraw their support from Labor.”

Bainbridge's comments are part of launching Western Australian Socialist Alliance's campaign for the federal election due later this year. The alliance will be contesting the seats of Perth and Fremantle, as well as running in the Senate.

Bainbridge has been preselected as candidate for Perth. An active socialist since 1990, he was also media spokesperson for the Stop Bush protest at the APEC summit in Sydney in 2007.

Bainbridge said the second message of the Socialist Alliance’s campaign is “people power can change the world”.

“There is cause for hope that a better world can be built”, said Bainbridge. “And that hope is that a massive people's movement can take power from the big corporations and the capitalist governments they support.”

The federal seat of Perth is currently held by Labor foreign minister Stephen Smith. As a cabinet member, Smith is complicit in Labor's grossly inadequate climate change policy and other broken election promises.

Smith is also tarnished by his role as an advocate for Australia's participation in the gruesome war on Afghanistan, his support for apartheid Israel and his refusal to campaign against the military coup in Honduras.

The Socialist Alliance Senate team will consist of Murdoch University student Ben Peterson and Red Cross lab technician Julie Gray. Peterson is a Perth Resistance organiser and was part of the organising team for last year's climate camp at Collie. He has also traveled in Nepal and writes regularly for GLW about the revolutionary struggle there.

Gray is a union delegate at her workplace and was a Socialist Alliance candidate in the state election in 2008.

Socialist Alliance in WA is launching an appeal for 100 donations of $100 or more to fund the campaign. Anybody who wants to donate funding (smaller donations also welcome) or help with the election campaign should call (08) 9218 9608 or email Fremantle Socialist Alliance will select a candidate in coming weeks.