Communist Party of Australia

We acknowledge the Sovereignty of the First Nations’ Peoples.

Issue #1932      September 14, 2020


Coalition-ALP tag team against the working class

In recent weeks, the bourgeois duopoly that runs our government have been a little careless in revealing their true class allegiances.

The ALP, who present themselves as the party of labour, of Australia’s working-class, have been voting in step with the Coalition, who have sold themselves as efficient economic managers looking out for the country with “sensible” policy decisions.

It is of course all but a ruse. Ideological differences exist only in terms of degree to which they serve the interests of the ruling class but they nevertheless support the ruling class all the same.

Greens senator Rachel Siewert’s motion to maintain the supplement rate on JobSeeker to $550 a week was voted down by both major parties. This was not surprising as internal discussions within the ALP have left them torn on this question. While those in the “Left” faction of the ALP, such as Lisa Chesters acknowledge that prior to the increase “the rate was previously too low,” little seems to have been offered as a solution. The position of the ALP largely rests on acknowledging how low the rate is, that a “comprehensive” review needs to take place but that to commit to a figure during the pandemic is premature.

This is nothing but a stalling tactic, an unwillingness to want to reveal a concrete position lest they open themselves to attack by the Coalition. The government of course all the more happy to stoke that fear to keep the opposition from attacking its policy decisions.

Furthermore, when it came to the opening up of new gas fields, both the ALP and the Coalition voted in support. A move like this should be expected by the Coalition as the party has largely been dominated by climate scepticism fuelled by donations from mining giants like Gina Rinehart (more on that in a moment). However, the ALP, who like to present themselves as progressives on this issue, have failed to live up to their own self-proclaimed reputation. Again, this issue seems to be one fought on factional grounds, where Joel Fitzgibbon is one of the loudest voices in the party room. Late last year, Fitzgibbon argued for the ALP “to adopt the Government’s climate change targets” (ABC). In August, Fitzgibbon further expressed his desire for the party to be pulled to the right on climate action stating that “Labor needs to develop a middle-ground message [...] in order to win government.”

And if it wasn’t clear enough that the Opposition was doing the government’s bidding, wonder no more. Earlier this month, the ALP was helping the government to water down state donation laws. As it currently stands, the High Court of Australia has upheld the Queensland ban on developer donations. As a result, the Government introduced the Electoral Legislation (Miscellaneous Measures) Bill seeking to undermine state autonomy, and in the process our democracy. The bill would provide “immunity from state law where donations are made for federal purposes” (Guardian UK). Greens senator Larissa Waters has qualified the bill as “legalised corruption”, further stating: “It has legalised flow of big donations to buy outcomes that suit private profits and that deliver a well-paid job once that politician leaves parliament.” Outside of a few superficial modifications to the transparency of donations, the ALP seem all for it. Again, however, not is all well within the ALP, even on the issue of receiving donations as Queensland Labor have dissented.

What becomes apparent here is two things. The first is that despite all the rhetoric, the ALP is not a party with the interests of the working-class at its heart and its actions in recent months all but prove this to be true. The second is that ALP is torn apart by factional infighting which weakens its ability to fight for the working class, if it wished to do so.

The Communists are seeking to run in election in the future and promise to be neither of these things. Firstly, they have always fought in the interests of the working-class and our policies have been consistent in that regard in every election we have run in. Secondly, as a Marxist-Leninist party operates on the principle of democratic centralism. What is democratic centralism? To quote Lenin: “The principle of democratic centralism […] implies universal and full freedom to criticise, so long as this does not disturb the unity of a definite action.” This means your communist representative will not put their individual voice above the collective decisions made so we can fight stronger together for you.

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