The Spark 3 April 2002
The Workers’ Party of New Zealand is pleased to announce that we have come to an agreement with the Marxist group ‘Revolution’ for an alliance to take part in the next elections. We aim to run some candidates in at least Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch under the banner of the Anti-Capitalist Alliance.
The Workers’ Party stand on elections and parliament is known to regular Spark readers and party supporters. We view parliament as a talk-shop, and a screen to conceal the rule of the ultra-rich monopoly capitalists. At election time the people are deceived into believing they are exercising their democratic rights when in fact, all they are being allowed is to choose by ballot which representatives of the capitalist class will form a government. This election there will be an alternative.
Last year the WPNZ put a proposal to a number of groups and individuals to form an electoral alliance. We have been mindful of Lenin´s injunction in his book Left Wing Communism an Infantile Disorder for workers´ parties to participate in elections as long as parliament is not considered obsolete by the working masses. We stood a candidate in the last election in an attempt to carry forward Lenin´s line to the extent that we were able with our limited forces. We campaigned not to win votes but to use the elections as a platform to put the truth about the capitalist system before the workers at a time when they had increased interest in politics. We found that our party supporters were very encouraged by our participation, but complained about us being unable to get on the Party List. With an electoral alliance it may be possible to sign up enough members to the Anti-Capitalist Alliance to get on the Party List and gain nationwide exposure.
The joint Revolution-WPNZ platform consists of the following points:
1. Opposition to all NZ and Western intervention in the Third World and all Western military alliances
2. Jobs for all with a living wage and shorter working week.
3. For the unrestricted right of workers to organise and take industrial action.
4. For the fullest democratic rights for workers and poor with no restrictions on their freedom of speech and political activity. For full equality for women and for Maori and other ethnic minorities, and gay men and women.
5. For working class unity and solidarity – open borders, full rights for migrant workers.
6. For a working peoples´ republic.
This basic platform of Revolution and the Workers Party of New Zealand leaves all component parts of the alliance free to raise their own programmes within their own campaigning work as part of the Anti-Capitalist Alliance.
As we stated at the last elections, in the event of a WPNZ candidate being elected he or she would enter parliament to expose the system´s falseness; to treat that body as the camp of the enemy, to fight above all for the class interests of the wage workers, by which we mean not only their economic but also their political interests. What are these? Simply, the achievement of a socialist society based on the nationalisation of the major means of production under the rule, not of a small minority of capitalists as at present, but of the great majority of the working class; i.e., under working-class democracy.
Of course, we harbour no illusions that we will get a seat in parliament. The support for revolutionary politics in New Zealand is at an awfully low level at present and we are well aware that the vote for such an alliance will be tiny, but we feel it necessary to state our views on how revolutionaries should treat parliament and parliamentary seats.
There is plenty to speak out about in the run up to the elections. The Labour-Alliance Government has shown once again that a change of government does not mean a change of system, the interests of big business are still looked after. That is because capitalism, for all its talk of democracy, is in reality the dictatorship of big business. The present government has not only introduced more restrictions on workers’ rights to organise and strike it has dragged this country into another US-led war of mass killing and plunder. By sending troops to assist the war on Afghanistan the Labour and Alliance members showed they were in practice as pro-imperialist as their colleagues on the National Party benches.
This election there will be a genuine workers’ voice, speaking out against the anti-worker policies of this government and the very system it represents. Join the Anti-Capitalist Alliance and make your voice heard!