Paola Harvey, community activist and student, will contest the seat of Keira in the March 2011 NSW elections. Harvey, a member of Socialist Alliance, is a leading equal marriage and climate campaigner in the Illawarra. She is a founding member of Equal Love Wollongong, the organisation leading the struggle for marriage equality, and is a member of the Wollongong Climate Action Network (WCAN).
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
To the progressive community in Wollongong
Thursday December 16, 2010
In the lead up to the NSW state election support for Labor is at an all-time low. Satisfaction with the NSW Labor party has dropped to 23% (Newspoll), this is the second lowest rating in history. The Liberal's approval rating is 46% and the Greens 17%, just 6 points less than Labor. The coalition leads Labor 63% to 37% on a two-party-preferred basis. This is the largest split recorded by Newspoll, with the exception of federal Labor's lead over the Coalition at the height of Kevin Rudd's popularity at the beginning of 2008.
The reasons for this are clear. Labor's hugely unpopular privatisation push has alienated supporters, continual scandals and corrupt conduct have destroyed trust and the undemocratic Part 3A legislation has been used to run rough-shod over communities. Locally, the people of Wollongong and Shellharbour still do not have the democratic right to an elected local government, the result of a state government decision.
What is clear is that the decline in support for Labor will likely result in a Liberal government unless we find the ways to build a progressive team that puts forward an alternative, recognising that we are not united behind one party or group at this time.
Of course this need, while abundantly clear in the current political context, goes beyond the state election. Building progressive alternatives and resistance is always needed. Furthering collaboration and relationships and finding the ways to work together whenever there is agreement is an essential part of this.
Waiting for a broad progressive team will only mean delay, and with it our ability to put people and the planet before profit. A progressive team will have to be consciously developed.
There is a great deal of common ground in terms of what people believe is needed. Commonly supported candidates in elections, shared campaigns, and broad inclusive discussions would help maximise our effectiveness. However, we support all steps toward collaboration.
So if you are interested in working together for social justice, sustainability and democracy; in looking for agreement before disagreement; and in building progressive alternatives and resistance broadly; please contact us.