Workers Party of New Zealand

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Workers Party of New Zealand

Hokowhitu o te Kaimahi o Aotearoa
LeaderRebecca Broad
Founded2002 (2002)
Dissolved2013
HeadquartersNone
Ideology Socialism
Marxism
Anti-capitalism
International affiliationNot affiliated
ColoursWhite and red
MPs in the House of Representatives None
Website
workersparty.org.nz

The Workers Party of New Zealand (previously known as the Anti-Capitalist Alliance) was a socialist political party in New Zealand. It published a monthly magazine called "The Spark". In February 2013 the party was transformed from a "mass workers party" to a "fighting propaganda group". The organisation was renamed to Fightback. [1]

Socialism is a range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership of the means of production and workers' self-management, as well as the political theories and movements associated with them. Social ownership can be public, collective or cooperative ownership, or citizen ownership of equity. There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them, with social ownership being the common element shared by its various forms.

Contents

Its last national organiser and secretary was Rebecca Broad. [2]

Platform

According to the party's official website,

The five-point policy platform of the Workers Party is as follows:

  1. Opposition to all New Zealand and Western intervention in the Third World and all Western military alliances.
  2. Secure jobs for all with a living wage and a shorter working week.
  3. For the unrestricted right of workers to organise and take industrial action and no limits on workers' freedom of speech and activity.
  4. For working class unity and solidarity – equality for women, Maori and other ethnic minorities and people of all sexual orientations and identities; open borders and full rights for migrant workers.
  5. For a working people's republic. [2]

The party's magazine The Spark states that the party wants: "A world without poverty and war, a world of material abundance where human potential can be expressed in full," adding that "While these ideas appear untenable today, they were the notions that inspired revolutions in the 20th century." [4]

History

The party was founded in 2002. It was formed by an electoral alliance of the original Workers' Party (pro-Mao, Marxist-Leninist) and the pro-Trotsky Revolution group, with the intention of fielding candidates in the 2002 New Zealand general election. [5] The party was unregistered, and so could not contest the party vote in New Zealand's Mixed Member Proportional electoral system.

The Workers' Party of New Zealand was a minor political party in New Zealand.

Mao Zedong Chairman of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China

Mao Zedong, also known by his courtesy name Mao Runzhi (毛润之) and the title Chairman Mao as Chairman of the Communist Party of China and paramount leader of the People's Republic of China (PRC), was a Chinese communist revolutionary who led the Communist Party of China (CPC) as Leader of the Communist Party of China from 1943 to his death in 1976 and became the founding father of the PRC when it was established in 1949. In addition, he was also the Chairman of the Central Military Commission from 1954 to 1976. Although he was only formally the head of state until 1959, first as Chairman of the Central People's Government and then as Chairman of the People's Republic of China and was succeeded as head of state by Liu Shaoqi, his control over the party and military made him the de facto leader of the PRC from 1949 to 1976 and the paramount leader of the country's first generation of leadership. His theories, military strategies, and political policies are collectively known as Maoism or Mao Zedong Thought within the PRC, an ideology that remains a part of the Constitution of the People's Republic of China, despite dramatic changes to government policy and ideological orientation after his death.

Leon Trotsky Marxist revolutionary from Russia

Lev Davidovich Bronstein, better known as Leon Trotsky, was a Russian revolutionary, Marxist theorist, and Soviet politician whose particular strain of Marxist thought is known as Trotskyism.

In 2004, the original Workers' Party and Revolution merged to become the Revolutionary Workers' League (RWL), which describes itself as a "Marxist current". [6] Subsequently, publications formerly published by the RWL became Workers' Party publications.

Elections

In the 2002 elections, the Anti-Capitalist Alliance stood four candidates, the highest number for an unregistered party that year. [7] The candidates gained a total of 336 votes between them, placing the party in fourth place amongst the unregistered parties which contested. [8]

2002 New Zealand general election

The 2002 New Zealand general election was held on 27 July 2002 to determine the composition of the 47th New Zealand Parliament. It saw the reelection of Helen Clark's Labour Party government, as well as the worst-ever performance by the opposition National Party.

In the 2005 election the ACA stood eight candidates, [9] again the highest number for an unregistered party. The ACA won a combined total of 582 votes, placing them first amongst the unregistered parties. [10] A nationwide recruitment campaign entitled Let’s Make Workers’ Issues Hi-Viz began in 2006 as an attempt to gain the necessary members to register and contest the party vote in the 2008 general election. [11]

In the 2007 local elections, the Workers Party stood four mayoral candidates [12] in Christchurch, [13] Dunedin, [14] Waitakere, [15] [16] The Workers Party received 4,705 votes nationwide, with 2,101 of those votes being for Waitakere candidate Rebecca Broad. [17] [18] [19]

In July 2008, the party announced four electorate candidates for the 2008 general election. [20]

On 3 October 2008 the party was registered by the Electoral Commission, allowing it to contest the party vote. [21] In the 2008 New Zealand election, it ultimately received 932 party votes (0.04% of the vote), [22] and 480 electorate votes. [23] [24] [25] [26]

The party failed to apply for broadcasting funding for the 2011 election. Its registration was cancelled at its own request on 20 May 2011. [27] The party has announced that it will not stand candidates in the 2011 election, saying that the previous election "gave quite clear evidence" that trying to using electoral participation to "raise the profile of both socialist ideas and our own organisation" was not working, however on their website they stated that they are backing the Mana Party in the elections. [28]

Electoral results

Parliament

Election year# of
overall votes
% of
overall vote
# of
overall seats won
# of electorate
seats won
# of list
seats won
+/–
2002 336
0 / 121
0 / 69
0 / 52
2005 582
0 / 121
0 / 69
0 / 52
2008 9320.04
0 / 122
0 / 70
0 / 52

Notable members

In 2003 Paul Hopkinson (who subsequently stood as a candidate for the Anti-Capitalist Alliance in the 2005 election) became the first person charged under the Flags, Emblems, and Names Protection Act of 1981 after burning a New Zealand flag at an anti-war demonstration. [29] In 2008 Hopkinson also became the first school teacher suspended without pay for challenging the provisions of the 1993 Electoral Act relating to public servants, when he refused to voluntarily take unpaid leave in order to contest the seat of Christchurch East in that year's general election as the Workers Party candidate. [30]

Another party member, Joel Cosgrove, won the presidency of Victoria University of Wellington Students' Association (VUWSA) in 2008. [31]

The Party expelled Jasmine Freemantle in May 2009 – she had contested the Mana electorate seat on behalf of the Anti-Capitalist Alliance in the 2005 general election, stood for Parliament for the Workers Party as a list candidate in the 2008 general election and succeeded Joel Cosgrove as VUWSA President in 2009.

2011 leadership resignations

[ neutrality is disputed ]

In February 2011 a minority section of the former leadership of the Workers Party, including former National Secretary Daphna Whitmore, former National Organiser Philip Ferguson and former "Spark" Co-ordinating Editor Don Franks announced their decision to leave the organisation in a joint letter of resignation stating that:

In June 2011 these individuals joined with other former members of the Workers Party to launch an on-line Marxist publication entitled Redline.

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References

  1. "Report: Summer Conference 2013 – FightBack". Fightback.org.nz. 18 January 2013. Retrieved 8 April 2017.
  2. 1 2 "Major decisions of internal conference". Archived from the original on 16 March 2011.
  3. "About: Workers Party of New Zealand". Archived from the original on 14 October 2008.
  4. The Spark (May 2006)
  5. "Anti-Capitalist Alliance to stand in general election". The Spark. April 2002. Archived from the original on 9 August 2011.
  6. "Fusion forms new group". The Spark. June 2004. Archived from the original on 9 August 2011.
  7. "The Anti-Capitalist election campaign". The Spark. June 2002. Archived from the original on 9 August 2011.
  8. "2002 Election: Summary of overall results". New Zealand Electoral Commission. Archived from the original on 19 September 2007. Retrieved 4 October 2008.
  9. "Anti-Capitalists standing in 8 electorates". The Spark. August 2005. Archived from the original on 9 August 2011.
  10. "2005 Election: Summary of overall results". New Zealand Electoral Commission. Retrieved 4 October 2008.[ dead link ]
  11. "Lets Make Workers Issues Hi-Viz". Indymedia Aotearoa. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007.
  12. "Workers Party Mayoral Campaigns". The Spark. Archived from the original on 9 August 2011.
  13. "Byron Clark for Christchurch Mayor". Scoop.co.nz.
  14. "Final election results for 2007". Dunedin City Council.
  15. Orsman, Bernard; Thompson, Wayne (11 October 2007). "Last chance to decide Auckland's future". The New Zealand Herald.
  16. [ dead link ]
  17. "2007 Triennial Elections Results". Waitakere City Council. Archived from the original on 23 October 2007.
  18. "Results – Elections 2007". Christchurch City Council. Archived from the original on 12 October 2007.
  19. "Dunedin election results" (PDF). Dunedin City Council.
  20. "Vote Workers Party!". The Spark. 2008. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 7 July 2008.
  21. "Twenty-one parties registered to contest party vote,". 4 October 2008. Archived from the original on 14 October 2008. Retrieved 4 October 2008.
  22. "Election results – Overall status,". 8 November 2008. Retrieved 16 November 2008.
  23. "Election Results – Wellington Central,". 8 November 2008. Retrieved 16 November 2008.
  24. "Election Results – Christchurch Central,". 8 November 2008. Retrieved 16 November 2008.
  25. "Election Results – Christchurch East,". 8 November 2008. Retrieved 16 November 2008.
  26. "Election Results – Manukau East,". 8 November 2008. Retrieved 16 November 2008.
  27. "Cancellation of political party and registration of substitute logo". Elections New Zealand. 20 May 2011. Archived from the original on 27 May 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2011.
  28. "Election series article # 7: WP not standing in any electorates in 2011". 10 October 2011. Archived from the original on 12 October 2011.
  29. "Flag burning trial under way". TVNZ.
  30. "Election candidate suspended from teaching role". Radio NZ.[ permanent dead link ]
  31. "President's Column". Salient.
  32. "Resignations from the Workers Party".