Friday, June 13, 2014

The austerity election is over: Time to build real alternatives! A statement from the Chair of the SPO

As Chair of the Socialist Party of Ontario I would like to begin by thanking our two candidates, Natalie Lochwin and Andrea Gar Quiano for their hard work delivering a message of real social change and an alternative to the three flavours of austerity of the "mainstream" parties.

I am proud to have been associated with these campaigns and because of them, as well as Natalie's work as Spokesperson, tens of thousands of Ontarians have seen that a different future is possible.

The party will now go back to building on this and working with our communities and neighbours and other anti-capitalist movements in the ongoing fight against austerity, poverty and poverty wages.

We have been getting many positive inquires as well as membership requests and we will be having a summer social and our AGM shortly. Watch for announcements!

While the Liberals won a majority, the clear verdict of this election was not a vote for anything, but a vote against the right wing extremism of Tim Hudak. Even a cursory scan of the results shows that this result came from people voting strategically. They were not so much rewarding the Liberals, and they clearly were uninspired by the ONDP's insipid populist campaign that has resulted in the ONDP having less influence than before an election they triggered for no valid ideological reason, as they were driven by a very real and understandable fear of Greek, British or Spanish style austerity.

People were not given a serious alternative, they were trapped in the emptiness of our present discourse.

As our Spokesperson said "the clear and unequivocal lesson of this election is that Ontario needs a Socialist option in every riding or a Left Front coalition represented by Socialist,  independent labour, Communist and other anti-capitalist candidates."

Soon we will be back out campaigning again for free transit & living wages in municipal campaigns.

In the United States very exciting things have happened in Socialist politics municipally. Here in Ontario we can do it too. The stale, leader driven cult machines do not have the same control that they do on the provincial and federal level. These are elections where you can fight for truly important changes and where anything can happen.

If you are interested in running municipally and need some advice getting started, it is not too late and feel free to email us.

As I wrote elsewhere: "There has never been a better time for a grassroots, insurrectionist politics in defiance of political leaders and parties. There has never been a better time for citizens to cut the parties and politicians out. They are already irrelevant. Make politics relevant again."

Together with our allies in likeminded groups, organizations and movements across Ontario, we are going to keep fighting to make politics relevant again.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

What to do on Thursday? A statement from the Spokesperson of the SPO

The election is close at hand and, while the Socialist Party of Ontario will not form the next government of Ontario, we have been getting many positive inquires as well as membership requests. Both of our campaigns have been spreading a message of socialism and hope in their communities.

We have also received numerous emails requesting advice as to how to vote in ridings without a Socialist candidate.

This has been a terribly disenfranchising election for many with, as the Ontario Coalition Against Poverty noted of the NDP, Liberals and Tories:

The only differences between the three parties is how much austerity each plans to impose and how quickly they intend to do it. All Parties agree that working class people and poor communities should pay for the crisis while the rich get a free ride. At most, the parties disagree about whether or not to throw a few crumbs at us as we sink deeper into poverty.
The SPO is focused on party building and are an election away from running a far larger slate of candidates. In the wake of what we hope will be a minority government we plan to work to build more Socialist riding associations and to try to plan ahead with any independent labour candidates and any other anti-capitalist parties towards a goal of coordinating anti-capitalist candidates in the next election.

If you are fortunate enough to live in a riding with a genuine anti-capitalist candidate, we think they deserve strong consideration.

In this election, the SPO unequivocally rejects the Conservative and Liberal parties and while we understand why many might wish to vote against the Tories "strategically", we cannot endorse voting for the austerity Liberals running in any riding in this province.

The Ontario NDP has run a disgraceful campaign that directly repudiates its socialist and social democratic roots and does not deserve broad support. In some ridings, such as Davenport, if you have an NDP candidate with a genuine and proven anti-capitalist record, the ONDP may still remain an option for some voters. But there are very few of these ridings.

The Green Party, equally, has some good candidates in some ridings as well, such as in Trinity Spadina, but again lacks an agenda that seriously challenges capitalism and austerity.

In many cases, the option of declining one's ballot seems an entirely legitimate option when the parties are so lackluster. If you choose to decline your ballot, it sends a message that you reject the farce that these "choices" represent.

The clear and unequivocal lesson of this election is that Ontario needs a Socialist option in every riding or a Left Front coalition represented by Socialist,  independent labour, Communist and other anti-capitalist candidates.

We look forward to working towards this in the immediate aftermath of Thursday's results.

Natalie Lochwin
Spokesperson, Socialist Party of Ontario