Victorian Socialists

The Victorian Socialists (commonly shortened to as Vic Socialists or VicSocs) is a political party based in the Australian state of Victoria. Founded in February 2018, it is an electoral alliance of various socialist parties, organisations, community groups and trade unionists. Victorian Socialists have a specific focus on housing, public transport and workers' rights issues.[6]

Victorian Socialists
LeaderCollective leadership
PresidentSue Bolton
SecretaryCorey Oakley
FoundedFebruary 2018 (2018-02)
HeadquartersVictorian Trades Hall, Carlton
Membership (2018) 1,700[1]
IdeologyDemocratic socialism[2]
Anti-capitalism
Political positionLeft-wing[3][4][5]
Colours          Black and white
SloganPeople before profit
Member organisationsSocialist Alliance
Socialist Alternative
Legislative Assembly
0 / 88
Legislative Council
0 / 40
Local government
2 / 645
Website
www.victoriansocialists.org.au

Although the party contains members of Socialist Alternative and Socialist Alliance, a significant majority of the Victorian Socialists’ membership are not affiliated with either of these two organisations.[1]

History

The Victorian Socialists' formation was announced publicly on the 5th of February 2018 and called for people to join the party in order to register with the Victorian Electoral Commission.[7] The party was officially registered by the Victorian Electoral Commission on 6 June 2018.[8]

In August 2018, the party announced that it would field candidates in every Victorian Legislative Council region, as well as several Victorian Legislative Assembly electorates. The announced candidates included the former Geelong Trades Hall Secretary Tim Gooden running for the Western Victoria Region, as well as the socialist councillors Stephen Jolly and Sue Bolton for the Northern Metropolitan Region.[9]

The Victorian Socialists initial 2018 Victorian state election campaign gained support from several trade unions such as the ETU, VAHPA, UFU, CFMMEU (MUA division), AMIEU and NUW.[10][11][12] The campaign also gained support from several local immigrant diaspora organisations, including the "Kurds, Tamil, Afghan, Eritrean" and Lebanese community organisations.[13][14] A number of public figures also endorsed the campaign including; Tariq Ali, Noam Chomsky, Gary Foley, Tom Ballard, Corrine Grant, and Helen Razer.[9] The party failed to get any members elected, achieving 4.2% of the vote in the Northern Metropolitan Region, while achieving 7.2% of the Lower House vote in the seat of Broadmeadows in a field of four candidates.[15][16]

The Victorian Socialists ran candidates in the electorates of Calwell, Wills, and Cooper during the 2019 federal election.[17] The party was officially registered at a federal level with the Australian Electoral Commission on the 7th of April 2019.[18] The party gained 4.6% of the vote in Calwell, 4.5% in Wills, and 4.2% in Cooper.

In September 2019, following allegations of family violence, Jolly was suspended from the Victorian Socialists pending an investigation, leading him to resign from the party.[19][20]

Policies

Federal

The party's policies include:[21]

State

Victorian Socialists launched its 2018 election manifesto on 24 August at the Brunswick Town Hall, outlining a broadly left-wing and socialist vision. It is based on broad principles of public ownership, workers' rights and equality.[22][23] The party's policies include:

  • Support for ongoing Victorian Government reforms, including limiting rent rises per year, limiting bond to 4 weeks' rent and abolition of no reason vacancy notices
  • Five-year freeze on rent increases and subsequent rent increases to be indexed to the Consumer Price Index
  • 50,000 new public housing units over next five years
  • Public ownership of energy, public transport, aged care, childcare, hospitals, vocational training and disability services
  • Large-scale public investment and cessation of subsidies to private companies
  • Stopping public funding of private schools and greater funding of public schools
  • Restore full funding for free and public TAFE
  • Increase in sector-wide bargaining powers of trade unions and protection of right to strike
  • Addressing crime through addressing root causes such as housing, education and employment
  • Large-scale public investment in renewable energy

Electoral results

Federal

House of Representatives
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
seats won
+/–
2019 12,454 0.09 (#24/39)
0 / 150
0

Victoria

Victorian Legislative Assembly
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
seats won
+/–
2018 15,442 0.44 (#9)
0 / 88
0
Victorian Legislative Council
Election year # of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
seats won
+/–
2018 32,603 0.91 (#12)
0 / 40
0

Notable members

See also

References

  1. ""Victorain Socialists analyze their 2018 State election campaign" BOX4". Facebook. Retrieved 12 December 2018.
  2. "Victorian Socialists Constitution" (PDF). Australian Electoral Commission. Retrieved 15 April 2019. We work to foster solidarity through authentic collective struggle and to demonstrate the need for, and legitimacy of, democratic socialism.
  3. "Victorian Election 2018 - Political Parties". www.matthrkac.com. Retrieved 24 April 2019.
  4. ""Reason v socialism in Victorian election: Fiona Patten gears up for a fight"". The Guardian. Retrieved 11 November 2018.
  5. "Electrical Trades Union backs fledgling Victorian Socialists with $50k donation". Herald Sun. Retrieved 7 May 2018.
  6. "Shattering the status quo: Could Victoria be about to elect its first socialist MP?". Green Left Weekly. 17 August 2018.
  7. "Heraldsun.com.au - Subscribe to the Herald Sun for exclusive stories". Herald Sun.
  8. "Registration of the Victorian Socialists". Victorian Electoral Commission. 6 June 2018.
  9. Dance, Felix (1 November 2018). "Could Victorian Socialists be about to make history?". Green Left Weekly. Retrieved 18 July 2019.
  10. Hutchinson, Samantha (15 October 2018). "Unions back Victorian Socialists' campaign". The Australian.
  11. "Victorian Socialists". Facebook. 7 February 2018.
  12. Carey, Adam (3 May 2018). "Socialists hope union donation will secure jolly good election result". The Age.
  13. Troaditis, Dimitris (14 November 2018). "Victorian Socialists: Θα είναι το νέο πρόσωπο στη νέα Γερουσία; | Neos Kosmos". Neos Kosmos. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  14. "Stephen Jolly on Twitter". Twitter.
  15. "State Election 2018: Northern Metropolitan Region results summary - Victorian Electoral Commission". www.vec.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  16. "State Election 2018: Broadmeadows District results summary - Victorian Electoral Commission". www.vec.vic.gov.au. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  17. Walsh, Liz. "Victorian Socialists to stand in federal election | Red Flag". Red Flag. Retrieved 3 March 2019.
  18. "Registration of a political party Victorian Socialists" (PDF). Australian Electoral Commission.
  19. Towell, Noel; Millar, Benjamin (23 September 2019). "Stephen Jolly splits from Victorian Socialists amid serious allegations". The Age. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  20. "Victorian Socialists". Facebook. Retrieved 24 September 2019.
  21. "Federal Election Policies". Victorian Socialists. Retrieved 15 April 2019.
  22. "Manifesto - Victorian Socialists". Victorian Socialists.
  23. Pearce, Gary (19 October 2018). "The Victorian Socialists' fight for an alternative". Overland. Retrieved 28 October 2018.
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