Proposed amendments to draft Socialist Alliance program

Proposed amendments to draft Socialist Alliance program

Editor's note: The draft programmatic document can be found here.

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1. Under the heading:  “Development of imperialism”

Below the existing paragraph:  “After the Second World War…more productive technologies”:

Add the following new paragraphs:

In some countries such as Vietnam, China and Cuba there were revolutions that challenged imperialist domination.  These revolutions made some gains, but faced great difficulties in building a new society in a world dominated by the rich countries, while being subject to a range of attacks, including economic blockades and military aggression.

More recently transnational corporations based in the rich countries have transferred some of their production to poor countries, especially China.  This has resulted in the extremely ruthless exploitation of the workers of these countries.

2. Under the heading:  “The development of capitalism in Australia”

Replace the sentence:

“A White/European capitalist class independent of Britain and relatively democratic forms of rule developed in Australia through the nineteenth century, without the revolutions for independence and/or bourgeois democracy that were necessary in other countries.”

By the following:

“A White/European capitalist class developed in Australia.  For a long time it viewed Australia as an outpost of the British empire, and hence participated in Britain’s wars {Boer war, First World War, etc).  But over time it became more independent of Britain, becoming a junior partner of the United States of America.

Meanwhile relatively democratic forms of rule had developed in Australia through the nineteenth century, without the revolutions for independence and/or bourgeois democracy that were necessary in other countries.”

3. Under the heading: “Trade unions”

After the sentence:

“Socialists in the trade unions, especially any holding leadership or organiser positions, should work under the political direction of the organisation”.

Add the following:

“While being accountable to the union membership through the democratic structures of the union, they should try to win union members to socialist politics”.

Under the heading: “For social and economic rights for all”

In the first dot point (the one beginning: “A massive program of public housing construction…”):

Replace the phrase: “outlawing of landlordism”

By the following:  “phasing out the private rental market, by abolishing tax concessions for landlords such as negative gearing, and by expanding the supply of high quality public housing as a more attractive alternative for renters”.

Under the heading:  “For rights at work”

Replace:

“oppose secret ballots on industrial action”

By:

“oppose laws requiring secret ballots on industrial action”

[Reason:  sometimes unions may need to conduct secret ballots where it is not practical to call a members meeting]

Under the heading:  “Reconciliation and compensation”

Delete the word “constitutional” from the following sentence:

Constitutional recognition of the sovereignty of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the original and ongoing inhabitants of the land, and the negotiation of a treaty or binding agreement enshrining indigenous rights in law”.

[Reason:  Many Aboriginal activists reject the phrase “constitutional recognition”, seeing it as meaning that a reference to indigenous people will be incorporated into the existing Australian constitution, which they see as a fundamentally oppressive document].

Under the heading:  “An emergency climate action plan

Replace: 

“Bring the car industry under public control.  Re-tool this industry to manufacture wind turbines, public transport vehicles and infrastructure, solar hot water and solar voltaic cells.  Subsidise the conversion of private cars to electric power”.

By:

“Bring the car industry under public ownership.  Re-tool this industry to manufacture public transport vehicles and electric cars, as well as other useful products, possibly including wind turbines, solar hot water systems and solar voltaic cells.  Once the electricity grid has been converted to renewable sources, subsidise the conversion of private cars to electric power”.

Under the heading: “Waste”

Replace:

“Prohibit the export to Third World countries of electronic and whitegood wastes under the guise of ‘recycling’”

By:

“Prohibit the export to Third World countries of electronic and whitegood wastes for recycling unless there is strict monitoring of the environmental impact and the health and safety of workers, and unless the workers are free to organise in unions to ensure good pay and working conditions”.