Socialist Equality Party to stand candidates in Australia

The Socialist Equality Party, the Australian section of the Fourth International, will stand six candidates in the October 3 federal election in order to provide a genuine, socialist, alternative to all the parties of big business. It will run two candidates for the Senate in each of the two most populous states, New South Wales and Victoria, covering almost 11 million people, or more than half the country's population. It will also stand lower house candidates in two key working class areas--the industrial city of Wollongong and the coal-mining district of the Hunter Valley.

The SEP will be the only party standing in the interests of the working people, fighting for the development of an independent political movement against the profit system and for the complete reorganisation of society along egalitarian, democratic and socialist lines. Its candidates will advance the fundamental principle that the immense social wealth produced by modern technology and the labour power of millions of workers should be used to meet the urgent social needs of all, instead of adding to the coffers of a wealthy minority.

The SEP, launched in 1996, has won the right to have its candidates listed on the ballot papers under its own name.

In order to do so, it registered more than 500 members with the Electoral Commission. In previous federal elections, the Socialist Labour League (forerunner of the SEP) was unable to have the party's name on the ballots.

Helped by having its candidates clearly identified, the SEP will run for the Senate for the first time. Campaigning for the Senate will provide the party with the opportunity to discuss its program across two entire states, rather than being confined to particular electorates.

SEP national secretary Nick Beams will lead the party's campaign, and its Senate ticket for NSW. Carolyn Divjak, a longtime party member, will be the party's other NSW Senate candidate. Sue Phillips, a leading member of the party, will lead the Victorian team. Will Marshall, a teacher and secretary of the Committee to Defend Public Education, will join her on the Victorian Senate ticket.

In the seat of Throsby, covering southern Wollongong, the SEP's candidate will be Peter Stavropoulos, a BHP steelworker and chairman of last year's Workers Inquiry into the Wollongong Leukaemia and Cancer Crisis. For the seat of Hunter, embracing the Hunter Valley, from Cessnock and Maitland to Scone, the party will nominate Terry Cook, a party leader and former rail worker. In addition to the Labor and Liberal candidates, Cook will stand against a One Nation representative, Darren Culley.

The party's campaign will feature public meetings in both urban and regional areas throughout NSW and Victoria. Election offices will be opened and election committees will be established in local areas to allow workers, students and youth to participate in the campaign. The committees will be a forum for discussion on the political issues and also coordinate the widest distribution of the party's election statement.

The SEP statement will be posted on the World Socialist Web Site later this week. In addition, a special SEP Campaign '98 web site will provide links to the ongoing analysis of the election campaign on the WSWS , as well as details of the SEP's meetings, speaking engagements and other activities. It will also serve as an avenue for correspondence and discussion on the party's program and policies.

See Also:
Socialist Equality Party Election Statement:
For a socialist alternative
[5 September 1998]

See the Election Campaign '98 web site of the Socialist Equality Party