The political lessons of the Australian and US elections

SEP/WSWS public meeting in Sydney on December 7

The World Socialist Web Site and Socialist Equality Party invite WSWS readers to attend a public meeting in Sydney to discuss the vital political questions arising out of the 2004 elections in the United States and Australia.

The results have led to shock, revulsion and even disbelief on the part of millions of people around the world. How was it that Howard and Bush were both re-elected, in the face of widespread global opposition to the criminal war in Iraq, and the lies and deceptions perpetrated by both governments? Why did the so-called opposition parties—Labor in Australia, and the Democrats in the US—refuse to make any appeal to anti-war sentiment and to the deep-seated hostility towards the social and economic agenda pursued by Washington and Canberra?

Official opinion—that is, of the political establishment, including Labor and the Democrats, and the media—blames the working class and its support for the right-wing nostrums of the conservative parties. But such a position stops the analysis precisely where it needs to begin. Why did layers of ordinary working people vote Liberal or Republican—in direct opposition to their own class interests? Why has support for Labor and the Democratic Party disintegrated? And what does this signify for the two-party system and the entire framework of bourgeois politics?

The SEP stood in the US and Australian elections to advance the socialist and internationalist alternative to war and social reaction. We insisted that only by definitively breaking from the Labor and Democratic parties and advancing its own independent perspective, could the working class begin to fight the explosion of imperialist militarism and escalating social inequality around the globe.

Above all, the SEP stressed that the working class must begin to draw the lessons of history and turn to the building of a new mass political party, based on the principles and program of socialist internationalism.

We urge all WSWS readers, and all those who supported our election campaigns to begin this critical process by attending our public meeting.

Tuesday, December 7, 7:30 p.m.
University of Technology, Sydney
The UTS Tower Building
Building 1, Level 4, Room 406
Tickets: $3/$2 concession