Below are the speeches given by Christchurch Central candidate Byron Clark and Christchurch East candidate Paul Hopkinson at the official launch of the Christchurch Workers Party 2008 election campaign last month.
Byron speaks on the problem with the ‘mainstream’ parties, and Paul on the alternative offered by the Workers Party.
The Workers Party has today made an application to the Electoral Commission to register as a political party able to contest the list vote in the upcoming national elections.
In the 2002 and 2005 elections (standing as the Anti-Capitalist Alliance) it has contested a number of electorate seats in the main centers, and will be doing so again this year.
In the coming election the Workers Party will be campaigning on issues that are of importance to working people, such as abolishing GST (not just on food), jobs for all with a shorter working week and no loss of pay, no restrictions on the right to strike, and scrapping undemocratic laws such as the Electoral Finance Act and the so-called “Terrorism Suppression” Act.
The Workers Party also stands for workers power and a working people’s republic. All Workers Party candidates pledge if elected to parliament to live on the average worker’s wage and to fight for the overthrow of capitalism and its replacement with an economic system based not on private profit and private ownership, but on human need.
A list of the Workers Party’s 2008 electorate candidates announced to-date is available here.
For more information contact Workers Party national organiser Tim Bowron on 027 715 9178 email tim.bowron(at)gmail.com or Workers Party national secretary and Manukau East candidate Daphna Whitmore on 029 494 9865 email wpnz(at)clear.net.nz.
We publish below a talk given by Philip Ferguson at a recent Christchurch Workers Party forum. It is an expanded and updated version of an article originally published in the Spark in 2005 available here.
Most of the parliamentary parties favour tax cuts both for individuals and companies. Indeed, under Labour there has been a small cut in company tax and also tax credits for companies investing in R&D - and, in the latest budget, some personal tax cuts. Although the personal tax cuts are presented in a populist way, as if they would benefit workers, these parties vigorously oppose measures such as substantial increases to the minimum wage, serious across-the-board wage rises and increases in welfare payments to keep up with inflation, let alone living real wages and incomes for people on benefits. And all the parliamentary parties oppose the abolition of GST.
During the upcoming election campaign, one of the minimum platform points of the Workers Party will be demanding the abolition of GST, something that would be done by any government with even a token desire to make life a little easier for workers, especially the poorest workers.
The Workers Party candidate for the seat of Wellington Central in the 2008 parliamentary election is 59 year-old Rongotai factory hand Don Franks.
“I’m standing in this election because none of the established parties give a stuff about low paid workers” says Franks.
“In a land of plenty, basics like milk and cheese are becoming luxury items. If Labour wanted to implement tax cuts favouring workers, they’d whip the GST off food.
“They’re not likely to do that because they’re a capitalist party who inflicted GST on us in the first place.”
More WP candidates will be announced in the coming weeks. In addition to contesting electorate seats in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch at this election the Workers Party will also be contesting the nationwide party list vote for the first time ever.
For more information or to find out how you can help with our election campaign get in touch with the WP branch in your local area here.
Except where it is indicated that an article has been solicitied from or submitted by a guest contributor, articles reflect the views of the Workers Party as authorised by the joint website committee and production team of The Spark which is elected annually by a meeting of Wokers Party members. Event promotions, advertisements, video clips, etc, do not neccessarily reflect the views of the Workers Party.
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