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Why Socialism? Him's soap box.
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Him



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
Posts: 4189
Location: On edge

PostPosted: Sun Nov 11, 2012 2:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Continued from Random News Stories of Note thread:
Monkey Mcdermott wrote:
Socialist constituencies aren't the same as republican constituencies. It isn't a statement on the nation at all man...its a statement on this one district in one of the most liberal states in the nation. This is what you're not getting. Even if she wins, she's going to have to figure out how to reconcile her ideals with the need to be able to work with a state government that is frankly, pretty damn full of republicans too.

Edit: it's very easy for socialist candidates in america to take their stands on principle when they don't actually hold the office and don't have to work with people who have a diametrically opposed political view to get things done.

Well, we have elected members to a number of councilseats around the world, to the irish parliament and to the European Parliament, which incidentally wouldn't be the most hospitable environment for socialists.
We have 5 council seats here in sweden divided between two councils, 3 in Luleå and 2 in Haninge, a suburb of Stockholm. The work we do there is not "working with" the politicians. Rather we use our positions to work with councilworkers, teachers etc, exposing the politicians when they plan cutbacks and using our postions to the best of our abilities help the community.

Another good example would be the 8 years that Stephen Jolly has spent in Yarra council in Melbourne, the recent election making him the most popular councillor by votes in the city and socialists narrowly missing out on two additional seats. Or the many years Joe Higgins has spent in the irish parliament. So I guess the point is, even when we're elected, we do most of our work outside of the parliamentary chambers. We're not there to play ball with the politicians we're there to represent the people that voted for us.

Here's something that might be relevant as well:
Post Election Wrap Up: Where Does the Left Go From Here? A panel discussion with Frank Chopp, WA State House Representative 43rd District Democrat, Tim Harris, Exec. Dir. of Real Change News and Kshama Sawant, Socialist Alternative Candidate for WA State House of Representatives, held November 8, 2012 at the Common Good Cafe at University Temple United Methodist Church in Seattle, WA.
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Him



Joined: 10 Jul 2006
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the campaigns own statement on the results and what the next steps ahead are: Socialist Wins 28% of the Vote in Seattle Historic Opportunities to Challenge Corporate Politics
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Monkey Mcdermott



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm calling on the same predictive powers that I displayed when I said occupy would disintegrate into small local issue groups and provide no significant meaningful change in the country as a whole and say....if you can only get 28% of the vote in one of the most liberal areas of the country, there is no historic mandate to accomplish anything at all.
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Him



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 6:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monkey Mcdermott wrote:
I'm calling on the same predictive powers that I displayed when I said occupy would disintegrate into small local issue groups and provide no significant meaningful change in the country as a whole and say....if you can only get 28% of the vote in one of the most liberal areas of the country, there is no historic mandate to accomplish anything at all.
Occupy may have disintegrated in a way as a national force, but Occupy Sandy accomplished some pretty amazing things, as well as the many local Occupy/Anti-foreclosure campaigns.
While some citycouncil seats might well be within reach in Seattle and hopefully the national tour will help inspire other united left campaigns as well. I mean hey, you gotta start somewhere.
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Monkey Mcdermott



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 7:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Him wrote:
Monkey Mcdermott wrote:
I'm calling on the same predictive powers that I displayed when I said occupy would disintegrate into small local issue groups and provide no significant meaningful change in the country as a whole and say....if you can only get 28% of the vote in one of the most liberal areas of the country, there is no historic mandate to accomplish anything at all.
Occupy may have disintegrated in a way as a national force, but Occupy Sandy accomplished some pretty amazing things, as well as the many local Occupy/Anti-foreclosure campaigns.
While some citycouncil seats might well be within reach in Seattle and hopefully the national tour will help inspire other united left campaigns as well. I mean hey, you gotta start somewhere.



Overstating a case and then walking it back when it falls short of the overstatement does more to harm a movement than simply stating a more realistic outcome from the getgo.
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Sam



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PostPosted: Mon Nov 12, 2012 10:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Occupy movement is pretty much done with and i will be immensely surprised if ANY socialist candidate gets ANY national election in either the 2014 or 2016 election.

A socialist candidate only getting about a quarter of the vote against an uncontested democrat in one of the most liberal sections means that the socialists are fringiest of the fringe in the US. It only represents how WAY THE HECK OUT THERE they are that they have nearly no electoral power at all and nearly nobody really wants them as representatives in us politics.

If the socialists are calling that a claim to "Historic Opportunities to Challenge Corporate Politics" like it appears they are, they are guilty of hysterically blatant hyperbole.

Quote:
Election night also saw mass celebrations in the streets of Seattle after the passage of Referendum 74 for marriage equality and the defeat of Mitt Romney. Sawant addressed a crowd of over 2,000 people, saying “If you think that the Democratic Party politicians did this for you, let me tell you it was us that won this!


what.

Quote:
It is in that context that the Sawant campaign starkly stands out. “Sawant nearly topped the combined national votes of all the socialist candidates in a single district! … Make no mistake: Sawant and Socialist Alternative made history in Seattle”


why are they celebrating that, that's downright depressing for socialists

like i had no idea it was ... THAT bad for socialist parties in 'merica
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Finnegan



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 1:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam wrote:
A socialist candidate only getting about a quarter of the vote against an uncontested democrat in one of the most liberal sections means that the socialists are fringiest of the fringe in the US. It only represents how WAY THE HECK OUT THERE they are that they have nearly no electoral power at all and nearly nobody really wants them as representatives in us politics.


I don't deny that this is largely true, but how much of an effect do you think that having an established two party system and voters' fears that voting for a third party candidate might help "the bad guy" win the election plays a role in such low third party voter turnout. Personally I like Obama, but in the past I have passed over my "ideal candidate" to help ensure the "good candidate" defeats the "bad candidate".
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Monkey Mcdermott



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 2:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Washington practices a top two primary system...so....probably not much at all. There was no republican threat in her race.
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Sam



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 3:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Finnegan wrote:
Sam wrote:
A socialist candidate only getting about a quarter of the vote against an uncontested democrat in one of the most liberal sections means that the socialists are fringiest of the fringe in the US. It only represents how WAY THE HECK OUT THERE they are that they have nearly no electoral power at all and nearly nobody really wants them as representatives in us politics.


I don't deny that this is largely true, but how much of an effect do you think that having an established two party system and voters' fears that voting for a third party candidate might help "the bad guy" win the election plays a role in such low third party voter turnout. Personally I like Obama, but in the past I have passed over my "ideal candidate" to help ensure the "good candidate" defeats the "bad candidate".


Again this was literally a race uncontested by conservatives. Voters — and again this is in one of the most liberal places in the country — had their free uncontested shot between a democrat and a socialist. No conservative spoilers, so the far leftist is not a spoiler anymore. And said socialist loses by a margin too heavy to be within realm of probability under any monte caro rollup.

I'm sure they will harp heavily on campaign finance, et al, but we are talking their most severe mobilization possible in one county, one of the most amenable possible to them, earning about a quarter of the vote, and it exceeds the amount of support earned by socialist candidates in the entire rest of the country.
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mouse



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Him wrote:
So I guess the point is, even when we're elected, we do most of our work outside of the parliamentary chambers. We're not there to play ball with the politicians we're there to represent the people that voted for us.


this may be your problem. _inside_ the parliamentary chambers is where things actually get done - laws get passed or repealed, taxes are levied, budgets are settled, money is allotted to this or that. it is these things that actually affect the voters - how much tax they pay, what they get in return, whether the laws protect them or hinder them in what they are trying to do. and in order to get those things done, politicians do end up having to 'play ball' (i.e., compromise) with each other. if they refuse to do so, if one party or group of people insists on having things their own way, you end up with things like the U.S. Congress bringing us to the brink of financial default, or the California legislature failing to come up with a rational budget because a small group of people just say 'no'. it's a good way to bring a government down, maybe, but i'm not sure that's really what the people want, by and large.
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ShadowCell



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PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2012 7:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

on the other hand, if you aren't there to "play ball with the politicians," then what are you representing your voters for?
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Heretical Rants



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 6:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pray away the neigh!
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Sam



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ShadowCell wrote:
on the other hand, if you aren't there to "play ball with the politicians," then what are you representing your voters for?


offering idealistic platitudes, a la Jill Stein
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Him



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 6:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sam wrote:
ShadowCell wrote:
on the other hand, if you aren't there to "play ball with the politicians," then what are you representing your voters for?


offering idealistic platitudes, a la Jill Stein

The record of our elected representatives speak otherwise. I'll keep it to the english language articles.
We didn't get elected to those seats by speaking platitudes but by being actively involved in the community, and continuing to do so after being elected.
or from the Yarra Socialists page:
In November 2004 SP member Stephen Jolly, was elected to Yarra City Council (Langridge Ward) – the first socialist elected in Australia for over 50 years. In 2008 Stephen was re-elected to Yarra City Council with the highest vote of all Yarra candidates. Stephen and SP have used this position to mobilise community campaigns on a broad range of issues including public transport, the environment and open spaces, childcare, live music, workers rights and respect for public housing tenants.

We will continue to build and mobilise around campaigns to strengthen the struggle against capitalism. SP will stand candidates in future elections in all states, build rank & file groups within trade unions and fight for the rights of working class people. The development of campaigns and the struggle against exploitation of youth and women will be forefront in the future work of the Socialist Party.


And in the last election Jolly got re-elected, again, taking the highest number of votes of any councillor in the city.

Here's the brief on Joe Higgin's record as well:
Joe’s Record

Joe Higgins is a Socialist Party TD for Dublin West and a long time activist in the labour and trade union movement. He is a fighter for workers, living on a workers’ wage.

He was first elected in 1991 to Dublin County Council. There he was a leading fighter against corrupt land rezoning in Dublin and for planning in the interests of communities rather than for speculators and major developers.

Joe Higgins was the Chair of the Federation of Dublin Anti Water Charges Campaign which won massive support and forced the Fine Gael/Labour Government to abolish water charges in December 1996. Minister for Social Welfare, Mary Hanafin, said last year that had abolition not happened, each household in Dublin would be currently paying €700 per year in water charges.

Joe Higgins was elected to the Dail in 1997 and for the next ten years was a leading opponent of the right wing policies of the Fianna Fail/Progressive Democrat Government. He frequently challenged the then Taoiseach, Bertie Ahern, on a wide range of issues including land speculation and profiteering in the housing market, Government support for the invasion and occupation of Iraq and in defence of workers’ rights.

In 2003 Joe Higgins was sent to Mountjoy Jail for a month over his opposition to Bin Tax, a new stealth tax on Dublin householders.

In 2005, with the Socialist Party, he exposed the horrific abuse of migrant workers by Gama Construction and struck a major blow against the ‘race to the bottom’ when that company was forced to pay unpaid wages of around €30million to its workers. (See Documentary “The GAMA Strike” here)

Joe Higgins was a key Leader of the opposition to the Lisbon Treaty last year because it would facilitate further privatisation of crucial services like Health, push the militarisation of the EU, increase arms spending and institutionalise the right of bad employers to attack agreed wages and conditions for entire industries.
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Monkey Mcdermott



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PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 9:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WTF does any of that have to do with american politics?

Edit: not to imply american politics are all that matter, but they're widely different from european politics and were what were under discussion earlier.
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