Put the SEP on the ballot! Become an electoral member of the SEP! Take up the fight against genocide, war and inequality!

The Socialist Equality Party (SEP) is launching a campaign throughout the working class to regain the SEP’s official party registration. This is essential to ensure that the SEP’s name appears on the ballot papers for the next federal election, as the only party fighting for the socialist alternative to capitalist barbarism, war, inequality and dictatorship.

SEP campaigners win strong support from workers and youth during 2022 federal election.

We urge all our readers to sign up as SEP electoral members. We need 1,500 electoral members in total to get back on the ballot! This basic political right was stripped from us in 2022 under blatantly anti-democratic electoral laws that were rushed through parliament in the lead-up to the last federal election, suddenly trebling the requirement from 500 to 1,500.

We warned in 2022 that the political establishment was intent on stamping out any challenge to the two-party system of capitalist rule after decades of a bipartisan pro-business offensive on working-class conditions had produced staggering social inequality. They feared deepening disaffection and opposition as they dismantled COVID safety measures—letting the pandemic rip for the sake of corporate profit—ramped up their commitment to US-led wars, including the AUKUS military pact against China, and slashed workers’ wages and social conditions to pay the price.

These conditions have intensified enormously since 2022. The monstrous Israeli genocide in Gaza, slaughtering over 30,000 people so far, is backed and armed to the hilt by Washington and its allies, including the Albanese Labor government. The US and its allies, already at war against Russia in Ukraine, are engaged in an escalating conflict in the Middle East and rapidly advancing the preparations for war against China. In its reckless efforts to reassert its global hegemony, US imperialism is plunging humanity into a cataclysmic third world war involving nuclear armed powers.

The COVID pandemic, now in its fifth year, has been unleashed at the cost of nearly 30 million lives globally, and the spread of debilitating Long COVID. Every capitalist government is demonstrating the same criminal indifference to lives as they have in refusing to take the necessary action to halt the disastrous impact of global warming.

A man sits on the rubble as others wander among debris of buildings that were targeted by Israeli airstrikes in Jabaliya refugee camp, northern Gaza Strip, Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023. (AP Photo/Abed Khaled)

The crisis of world capitalism that has produced the descent into barbarism is also creating the conditions for a global movement against capitalism, as witnessed by the massive ongoing worldwide protests against the Gaza massacre. But this requires the development of a political leadership in the working class fighting for the only progressive solution—the overthrow of the world capitalist system and its replacement by socialism.

That is the perspective being advanced only by the SEP and our sister parties worldwide, and this is what the ruling class and its political servants are desperately trying to suppress.

There are no national solutions to the lurch into war and genocide. Our campaign to regain ballot status is part of the fight by the International Committee of the Fourth International, the world Trotskyist movement, for a unified global struggle against capitalism.

It will be conducted in unison with the international campaign launched by our sister Socialist Equality Party in the United States to stand Joseph Kishore and Jerry White as the SEP’s candidates in the 2024 US presidential election campaign to provide the socialist alternative to Biden and Trump, the corporate candidates of war and dictatorship, in the headquarters of global capitalism.

In Australia, the SEP was anti-democratically removed as a registered party in February 2022 as the result of a bipartisan conspiracy between the then Liberal-National Coalition government and the Labor opposition.

In late August 2021, behind the backs of the population—and a wall of silence in the corporate media—the Labor Party joined hands with the widely hated Morrison Coalition government to ram the electoral bills through both houses of parliament in just over 24 hours, less than six months before the 2022 election.

The Greens were complicit as well. While they opposed aspects of the legislation, they quickly shut their mouths and buried the issue, allowing the anti-democratic laws to remain in place for their own benefit.

The legislation nakedly sought to strip party registration from all those political parties, including the SEP, that did not then have parliamentary representation. Overnight, it lifted to 1,500 the number of members required to be officially recognised.

The SEP was given just three months to recruit and register an extra 1,000 electoral members amid lockdowns as the Delta variant and then the Omicron strain threatened lives and health, making public campaigning either illegal or dangerously impossible.

On November 11, 2022, the Australian Electoral Commission rejected the SEP’s request for a six-week pandemic extension of the sudden December 2 deadline set by the laws to submit all the names and details.

Without party registration, election candidates cannot identify their political affiliations on ballot papers. They must stand without any party name or as politically unidentified “independents.” This denies fundamental democratic rights, not least the essential right of electors to know candidates’ political platforms.

In the 2022 election, enormous social and political discontent was displayed, but in a distorted form. Labor barely scraped into office. Its primary vote fell to a near-record low of less than 33 percent, even though the Coalition’s electoral base substantially imploded. The party that lost the least number of votes won the election!

Since then, the political crisis has escalated. Capitalist rule has depended directly on Labor governments, federally and every mainland state and territory, and on Labor’s trade union apparatuses, to suppress rising working-class unrest, strikes and protests.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s government has intensified the attacks of the Morrison government on every front.

Labor has dismantled what remained of COVID safety measures, leading to thousands of deaths. It has stepped up the commitment to US wars, not least by allocating hundreds of billions of dollars for the AUKUS military buildup against China, and supporting Israel’s bloodbath in Gaza. Labor is forcing working-class households to bear the burden, through cuts to public health, education, housing and other essential programs and the worsening cost-of-living crisis.

To fight this barbarism, the working class must have a political voice, and only the SEP can provide it. The opposition to the Labor government and the dictates of big business has to be guided by a socialist program that puts the pressing needs of working people—above all their health and lives—ahead of the private profits of the wealthy few.

The SEP alone fights for this socialist perspective, against the Greens and pseudo-left “socialist” groups that are trying to channel the disaffection back behind illusions in putting “pressure” on the thoroughly pro-capitalist Labor Party and the union bureaucrats. These groups function as the last line of defence of capitalist rule.

We appeal to our readers, supporters, members of rank-and-file committees and all working people, students and youth: Sign up yourselves, if you are not already an SEP electoral member, and help us recruit the extra electoral members that we need to regain our party registration. This is crucial, not just to restore our ballot status but to take forward the struggle for world socialism. At the same time, give serious consideration to taking the next step by becoming a full member of our party, the Australian section of the ICFI.

To take forward this campaign, we urge our readers to complete the form below or contact the SEP.
Phone: (02) 8218 3222
Email: sep@sep.org.au
Facebook: SocialistEqualityPartyAustralia
Twitter: @SEP_Australia
Instagram: socialistequalityparty_au
TikTok: @sep_australia