Keep "Towards a Socialist Australia" a working document

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Below is a foreshadowed motion to keep Towards a Socialist Australia as a “draft”.

The National Council in October voted to adopt the TASA at our national conference in 2013 and I'd like to suggest that we don't for the reasons I've outlined below.

Motion: That the 9th national conference of the Socialist Alliance adopt any amendments to Towards A Socialist Australia which get delegates’ support, but we continue to title the amended document as a “draft”.


Given the more recent moves towards greater collaboration on the left, and the useful discussion that this has generated outside and within Socialist Alliance, it makes sense to have Towards A Socialist Australia a little more open-ended but developing draft.

By keeping the word “draft”, we are stating that a broader discussion about socialism in summary form is just that.That doesn't mean that we are not serious, or committed to what is published. It shows how a “program” can be developed organically – which is a break from those socialists for whom the “program” is timeless.

We have only just started to discuss closer collaboration with the Communist Party of Australia and Socialist Alternative. The latter, as well as the pending merger of the Revolutionary Socialist Party and Socialist Alternative, has sparked a vigorous public discussion that is just starting to enter our pre-conference discussion through Alliance Voices contributions.

Contributions to Alliance Voices around amendments toTowards a Socialist Australia have been the focused of increasing broader left discussion. This discussion–which has just begun and is likely to continue into next year–has so far touched on at least two very important questions:

  1. What is the political character of the Socialist Alliance?
  2. What politics should a more united left have, including what approach should it have to important issues such as the climate change crisis and environment movement, the feminist movement, the trade union movement, participating in elections, and what tactics it should adopt towards other parties like the ALP and the Greens?

These are all important questions on which we need to try to get the greatest possible agreement from our membership, and within the broader left.

We also want to use Towards a Socialist Australia to encourage a bigger discussion in the Alliance about party building.

This is a chapter that has yet to be written.Now that the potential for a broad and rich discussion around Towards a Socialist Australia has been unlocked by developments we could not envisage at our last conference, keeping the word “draft” in its name can help encourage this process to continue.