All the registered parties got the following email a few weeks ago:
I am an 18 year old female. I would really like to be interested in politics, but I don’t know anything about it! I graduated high school 1 year ago, and for a few years political representitives have making sure I am enrolled to vote for the coming election. However no party has ever come forward to us to explain how everything works. I don’t know anyone my age who has a reasonable knowledge about politics. Probably, in the 2011 general election, most of my classmates will be making uninformed desicions about their choice of vote.
I understand that I can read your views on most of your websites but none of this makes any sense to me- there needs to some kind of 101 handbook ‘for dummies’ about what you are offering.
On Facebook, there is a tab on your profile called “Political Views”. All of my friends have things like “boring”, “what?!” or “none” written as theirs. You should be concerned!
Here’s what Jason Froch, a Workers Party member replied to her:
In 2008 we had before us:
v An economic system which requires continued and rising levels of unemployment
v State legislation that ensures the continuing fall of real wages derived from work, already down 25% since 1982.
v A predatory war in Afghanistan where New Zealand soldiers assist in the slaughter of civilians, all to assure US military and economic interests
v The continuation of an exploitative relationship with environment which will see a number of pacific islands underwater in the near future and cause massive social costs
v Violence against women who are often unable to leave their abusers because of an inability to support themselves and their children
v The spread of third-world diseases in our communities because of inadequate housing and an inability to afford a doctor visit
v Not to mention disproportionate magnification of all the above if you happen to be born Maori, Pacific Islander, or are an immigrant
And yet this reality did not connect with those politicians whose happy smiles asked to be our representatives once again in 2008 (the only difference between them being marginal differences in the rate of tax cuts—43% of which have gone to the top 12% of taxpayers).
Every three years or so we scratch our heads trying to decide whether to vote for “false smile A” or “empty suit B”, realising they actually don’t represent our class interests. Our generation’s indifference towards politics is really quite an understandable reaction to the fact that none of the options presented are worth supporting. First time a tragedy. Second time a farce. Ninth time indifference.
Now that you’re 18, if you’re from the working-class you’ll most likely find yourself joining that reserve-pool of the unemployed. Or maybe if your from the middle-class and your whānau doesn’t depend on you to help to feed, cloth and shelter the younger ones, you’ll heavily in-debt yourself to attend university and pick-up some skills before joining that same reserve-pool of the unemployed. Either way, once you’re there you’ll wait on a benefit designed to break you of your dignity, to condition you—should you be lucky enough—to take any job that is offered no matter how horrible the conditions.
As socialists, the Workers’ Party sees the inhumanity, exploitation and human suffering necessary under a capitalist mode of production as abhorrent. As revolutionary socialists, the Workers’ Party sees parliamentary politics and the state as being a method of legitimising and enforcing the capitalist economic system. Workers’ Party does not engage in parliamentary elections to become administers of that human suffering, like other parties, or even to better the terms of exploitation. We engage in elections as a means to spread our message. Our end is to create a new economic and political system that represents the interests of all the working classes, a true democracy operating over an economic system not based on exploitation.
Of course this sort of political action cannot be achieved through votes alone, but rather will require the strength of workers to initiate strike action and the solidarity for them to defend their common interests as they build a revolutionary consciousness. See you on the streets…