Monday, November 27, 2006

Greens, leftists and socialists

Lost far at the back of the pack in the Victorian election was Socialist Alliance. Launched with hopes of an electoral breakthrough to the left of the ALP. Now the Greens have monopolised these terrain, but this is not inevitable. But at the recent Dutch election the Socialist Party whose origins lie in Maoism won 26 seats on a platform that condemned the Dutch Labour Party for moving too far to the right. GreenLeft, the Dutch Greens (the 'left' comes from fact that the Communist Party of the Netherlands was a founding constituent of the party) won only 7 seats. The Socialist Party is one of the many 'left socialist' parties in Europe that have emerged since the collapse of communism. GreenLeft and the Socialists compete for the left vote, but the Socialists seem to be winning this battle. Radio Netherlands comments:
However, the SP has also modified a number of key points from its earlier election manifestos. The party was always opposed to NATO and the Dutch monarchy and called for both to be abolished - a stance which has now changed. The SP remains basically opposed to both, but is no longer calling for their immediate abolition. The party's support base has grown considerably and now includes people from all layers of society. One major change in policy which has played a role in this respect was the abandonment of the idea that rich people should pay income tax at a rate of 72 percent. Ewout Irrgang, mathematical genius and an MP for the SP, has described such old standpoints as 'symbolic politics' which did nothing to advance the party's cause. The GreenLeft party finds itself having to work harder to attract votes in this election campaign. The party ...has lost much support as a result of the current course being following by party leader Femke Halsema. Under her leadership the party has shifted somewhat towards a more liberal free-thinking approach. Ms Halsema has called for more individual freedom, personal development and emancipation. Currently the only female leader of a political party in the lower house of parliament, she describes her party as the only left-wing liberal party. Remarkably, Femke Halsema was recently proclaimed 'liberal of the year' by the youth organisation of the conservative VVD party (which is itself described as 'liberal' in Dutch).

Here we see an example of why the Australian Greens have been unable to crack key components of Labor's core as shown by their failure to win lower house seats in the Victorian election, still they have suceeded in the easy task of getting more working class votes than Socialist Alliance.

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At 8:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

.."they have suceeded in the easy task of getting more working class votes than Socialist Alliance."

depends what you mean by "working class votes" i guess?


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