Victorian Socialists

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Victorian Socialists
LeaderCollective leadership
PresidentStephen Jolly
FoundedFebruary 2018 (2018-02)
Merger ofSocialist Alliance
Socialist Alternative
Independents
HeadquartersVictorian Trades Hall, Carlton
MembershipIncrease 1,700[1]
IdeologySocialism
Anti-capitalism
Political positionLeft-wing to far-left
Colours          Black and red
SloganFor people,
not the powerful
Legislative Assembly
0 / 88
Legislative Council
0 / 40
Local government
2 / 645
Website
www.victoriansocialists.org.au

The Victorian Socialists (commonly shortened to as Vic Socialists or VicSocs), is an Australian socialist political party based in the state of Victoria. Founded in February 2018, it is an electoral alliance of various socialist parties, organisations, community groups and trade unionists. Seeking to "unite Victoria's left-wing" through a combination of activism and electoral work, Victorian Socialists have a specific focus on housing, public transport and workers' rights issues.[2]

Their initial 2018 Victorian state election campaign gained support from several trade unions such as the ETU, VAHPA, UFU, CFMMEU (MUA division), AMIEU and NUW.[3][4][5] The campaign also gained support from several local immigrant diaspora organisations, including the "Kurds, Tamil, Afghan, Eritrean" and Lebanese community organisations.[6][7]

Although the largest grouping within the Victorian Socialists was initially Socialist Alternative, with Socialist Alliance being the second-largest, a significant majority of the membership are not affiliated with either of these two parties.[1]

History[edit]

The party's formation was announced publicly on the 5th of February 2018 and called for people to join the party in order to register with the Victorian Electoral Commission.[8] The party was to be created to contest the Northern Metropolitan Region seat of the Legislative Council at the 2018 Victorian state election. Within three days, on February 7, the party announced that it had reached the minimum required to register as a party in Victoria.[9]

On February 26, the party proposed that the 'outdated' Victorian state flag be replaced with the Eureka Flag.[10] On April 20, the party announced via its Facebook page that it had begun the process of registering with the Victorian Electoral Commission.[11] The party was officially registered by the Victorian Electoral Commission on 6 June 2018.[12]

In July 2018, the party launched its 'We are Not Sardines' campaign to promote its public transport policy. Featuring leafleting at several stations in the northern suburbs of Melbourne as well as sardine-themed stunts, it has outlined renationalised, reinvested, free and reliable public transport as its priorities. This was followed by the party's election manifesto launch on 24 August, which drew a full crowd in Brunswick Town Hall.

In August 2018, the party announced that it would field candidates in every Victorian Legislative Council region, as well as several Victorian Legislative Assembly electorates. One of the announced candidates included the former Geelong Trades Hall Secretary Tim Gooden running for the Western Victoria Region.[13]

Policies[edit]

Victorian Socialists launched its 2018 election manifesto on 24 August at the Brunswick Town Hall, outlining a broadly left-wing and socialist vision. It is based on broad principles of public ownership, workers' rights and equality.[14][15] The party's policies include:

Housing[edit]

  • Support for ongoing Victorian Government reforms, including limiting rent rises per year, limiting bond to 4 weeks' rent and abolition of no reason vacancy notices
  • Five-year freeze on rent increases
  • Subsequent rent increases to be indexed to the Consumer Price Index
  • 50,000 new public housing units over next five years
  • Mandating basic features for new dwellings such as minimum outdoor space and minimum floor space per bedroom

Public transport[edit]

  • Re-nationalisation of public transport providers
  • Free public transport
  • Train services every 5 minutes during peak times and every 10 minutes during off-peak times
  • Tram services every 2 minutes during peak times and every 6 minutes during off-peak times
  • Electrification of Craigieburn line to Wallan and extension of Mernda line to Whittlesea
  • Increasing staffing on stations

Jobs[edit]

  • Large-scale public investment
  • Cessation of subsidies to private companies
  • Creation of publicly-owned energy corporation
  • Creation of recycling plant in Whittlesea

Education[edit]

  • Stopping public funding of private schools
  • Free childcare and pre-school
  • Greater funding of public schools to provide "world class education system"
  • Employment of additional 1600 teachers to ease workload and reduce class sizes
  • Abolition of NAPLAN and standardised testing that "create artificial competition between schools"
  • Implementation of curriculum that fosters critical enquiry and engagement
  • Restore full funding for free and public TAFE

Nationalisation[edit]

  • Public ownership of energy, public transport, aged care, childcare, hospitals, vocational training and disability services

Workers' rights[edit]

  • Implementation of wage theft and industrial manslaughter laws
  • Increase in sector-wide bargaining powers of trade unions
  • Protection of right to strike
  • Cessation of government contracts with "anti-worker" companies
  • Limit of shift length to no longer than 10 hours

Justice[edit]

  • Addressing crime through addressing root causes such as housing, education and employment
  • Halting construction of new prisons
  • Reversing changes to bail, parole and mandatory sentencing laws
  • Halting militarisation of Victoria Police
  • Establishment of an interdependent body to investigate police misconduct

Other policies[edit]

Electoral results[edit]

Victoria[edit]

Legislative Council[edit]

Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats
+/–
2018 32,603 0.91
0 / 36
Increase

Legislative Assembly[edit]

Electorate Party Candidate Votes %
Bellarine Socialist Alliance Jackie Kriz 520 1.2%
Broadmeadows Socialist Alternative Jerome Small 2,270 7.1%
Bundoora Socialist Alliance Jacob Andrewartha 804 2.3%
Buninyong Non-aligned Jane McKendrick 397 1.0%
Geelong Socialist Alliance Sarah Hathway 464 1.1%
Lara Socialist Alliance Dean Cardigan 1,407 3.6%
Lowan Socialist Alliance Trevor Grenfell 434 1.1%
Melton Socialist Alliance Ron Guy 275 0.6%
Mill Park Socialist Alternative Nicholas Reich 1,537 3.9%
Pascoe Vale Non-aligned Gerry Beaton 1,277 3.0%
Polwarth Socialist Alliance Brendan Murphy 788 2.0%
Preston Socialist Alternative Stephanie Price 1,452 3.9%
Ripon Socialist Alliance Bronwyn Jennings 219 0.6%
South Barwon Non-aligned David Ball 355 0.7%
South-West Coast Non-aligned Terrance Rigg 238 0.6%
Thomastown Socialist Alternative Kath Larkin 966 2.8%
Wendouree Socialist Alliance Jeremy Smith 382 1.0%
Yuroke Socialist Alternative Emma Dook 1,319 3.4%

Endorsements[edit]

A number of notable public figures have endorsed the party for the 2018 state election, including:

Notable members[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b ""Victorain Socialists analyze their 2018 State election campaign" BOX4". Facebook. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  2. ^ "Shattering the status quo: Could Victoria be about to elect its first socialist MP?". Green Left Weekly. 17 August 2018.
  3. ^ Hutchinson, Samantha (15 October 2018). "Unions back Victorian Socialists' campaign". The Australian.
  4. ^ "Victorian Socialists". Facebook. 7 February 2018.
  5. ^ Carey, Adam (3 May 2018). "Socialists hope union donation will secure jolly good election result". The Age.
  6. ^ Troaditis, Dimitris (14 November 2018). "Victorian Socialists: Θα είναι το νέο πρόσωπο στη νέα Γερουσία; | Neos Kosmos". Neos Kosmos. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  7. ^ "Stephen Jolly on Twitter". Twitter.
  8. ^ "Heraldsun.com.au - Subscribe to the Herald Sun for exclusive stories". Herald Sun.
  9. ^ "Victorian Socialists". Facebook. 7 February 2018.
  10. ^ "Heraldsun.com.au - Subscribe to the Herald Sun for exclusive stories". Herald Sun.
  11. ^ "Victorian Socialists". Facebook. 20 April 2018.
  12. ^ "Registration of the Victorian Socialists". Victorian Electoral Commission. 6 June 2018.
  13. ^ "Victorian Socialists - Western Victoria Region". Facebook. 25 August 2018.
  14. ^ "Manifesto - Victorian Socialists". Victorian Socialists.
  15. ^ Pearce, Gary (19 October 2018). "The Victorian Socialists' fight for an alternative". Overland. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
  16. ^ "Tom Ballard - Vote for the Victorian Socialists, Please". tomballard.com.au.
  17. ^ "Victorian Socialists". www.facebook.com.
  18. ^ "Victorian Socialists". www.facebook.com.
  19. ^ "Victorian Socialists". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2018-10-11.
  20. ^ "Victorian Socialists". www.facebook.com. Retrieved 2018-10-11.