SEP public meetings: The Australian election crisis and the way forward for the working class

9 July 2016

The July 2 election in Australia revealed a deep political crisis as millions of people expressed their hostility to the two-party system dominated by the Liberal-National Coalition and Labor. Growing numbers of workers and young people are looking for a political alternative to the parties responsible for ever worsening social inequality, poverty and insecurity.

Enormous political struggles will emerge in the period ahead, for which the working class must prepare. The Australian capitalist class, like their counterparts around the world, cannot rely on the stable and predictable parliamentary forms through which they ruled in the past. The systemic breakdown of world economy, mounting geopolitical conflicts, the rising danger of war, and, above all, the political radicalisation underway within the working class and amongst youth, preclude that possibility.

Already, international credit agencies, corporate heads and the establishment media are demanding that the Coalition and Labor work together to ride roughshod over the opposition expressed in the election and make even deeper inroads into living standards. The comment by billionaire Gerry Harvey, that “the only cure we’ve got is to have a dictator,” reflects the sentiment in sections of the ruling elite that the crisis of the parliamentary apparatus means authoritarian forms of rule will be required to impose the austerity agenda.

At the same time, the commitment of Australian imperialism to its strategic alliance with the United States will see the Australian military, and US bases in Australia, play a central role in the escalating preparations for a US-led confrontation with China, particularly in the South China Sea. The Chilcot inquiry has confirmed again that the invasion of Iraq was a criminal conspiracy by the governments of the US, Britain and Australia. The preparations for war with China are an even greater conspiracy, involving the Coalition and Labor, the Greens, and the media.

Austerity and the drive to war will be accompanied by the virulent promotion of divisive nationalism, xenophobia and racism, which has already enabled One Nation, and more right-wing elements, to enter the political arena.

The political parties and institutions that defend capitalism and the nation-state system offer only a future of economic crisis, mass unemployment and poverty, the whipping up of national and ethnic hatreds and the catastrophe of a Third World War.

The perspective of world socialism fought for by the SEP, the Australian section of the International Committee of the Fourth International, is the only viable way that the working class can advance its independent interests.

The SEP public meetings will elaborate this socialist and internationalist program. We urge workers and youth to attend our meetings in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne to take part in this vital discussion.

For those who cannot physically attend, the Sydney meeting will be live-streamed on the Socialist Equality Party Australia Facebook page, so that people across Australia, in Papua New Guinea and East Timor, throughout the South Pacific and Asia, and around the world, can take part.

Meeting details:

Brisbane
Saturday 23 July, 2.00 p.m.
Woolloongabba Senior Citizens Hall
22 Qualtrough St, Woolloongabba
Tickets: $5/$3 concession

Sydney
Sunday July 24, 2.00 p.m.
Coronation Club, upstairs Duchess Room
86 Burwood Rd, Burwood
Tickets: $5/$3 concession

Melbourne
Sunday July 24, 2.00 p.m.
The Coburg Court House
1A Main Street, Coburg (corner Bell St)
Tickets: $5/$3 concession

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