That this meeting reaffirms Socialist Alliance's willingness to persist with an attempt to negotiate a common political program as a basis for a new united organisation combining Socialist Alternative and Socialist Alliance.
We do not have to reach absolute agreement on a detailed revolutionary program with Socialist Alternative. We can unite around a general agreement on political objectives, what to do now to take the struggle forward (not necessarily agreement on all historical assessments or assessments of political processes in other countries) and a democratic structure based on unity in action with freedom of discussion and freedom of opinion.
An effective united program of action — i.e. what to do now to take the struggle forward — should encompass the strengths of the current political interventions of both Socialist Alliance and Socialist Alternative. A new united organisation should not abandon any significant areas of political engagement of either group. If it does, a united organisation might be bigger than either of the two existing groups, but this would not strengthen the socialist movement as a whole.
In parallel with leadership negotiations with Socialist Alternative around an effective united program of action, Socialist Alliance is also prepared to have discussions with Socialist Alternative about more practical matters associated with unity and organise other confidence building measures, including joint membership meetings.
However, such supplementary activities cannot substitute for a serious leadership negotiation on agreed political objectives, what to do now to take the struggle forward and a democratic structure based on unity in action with freedom of discussion and freedom of opinion.
If in the process of negotiating a united program of action, the two groups cannot come to sufficient agreement to proceed with organisational unity, Socialist Alliance proposes that the two groups go on to discuss what other forms of ongoing cooperation can be agreed on.
As agreed, Socialist Alliance has drafted a document as a possible basis for discussion leading to the development of this program. However, Socialist Alliance is prepared to proceed with this discussion by any method suggested by Socialist Alternative. For example, Socialist Alternative has raised suggestions that the document be separated into different documents on general political program, how a united group would operate, including political priorities, internal functioning etc.
In Socialist Alternative's statement of July 15, it explained that given the different emphases of the two organisations "on the importance of electoral work for the small revolutionary left in the current political period in Australia, the amount of energy and resources a united organisation puts into to electoral work compared to other areas of, from our point of view, more important political intervention is an issue about which we will need to reach a formalised agreement."
Socialist Alliance will therefore draft a possible agreement for this area of work based on the organisation's agreed stance that "A new united organisation should not abandon any significant areas of political engagement of either group.” We will also consider preparing drafts related to other areas of work where similar considerations apply.
The negotiating team will have responsibility for determining when to present these drafts.