The victory of the National Party at the polls was due to the bankruptcy of the right-wing Labour Party leadership that had no real meaningful reforms to offer workers. This resulted in the lowest turnout since 1978 and the second lowest turnout in a general election since 1902. A large proportion of workers didn't vote Labour or just didn't vote.
The forthcoming elections in New Zealand have been overshadowed by the world financial meltdown and the oncoming recession, which have highlighted the huge level of debt in the country’s economy. This all puts at risk the very ability of any government to guarantee basic social reforms. In New Zealand as elsewhere the choice is between whittling down the welfare state or a radical socialist transformation of society.
Prime Minister Helen Clark has called the general election for November 8th hoping to win a fourth term. The problem for the Labour Party is that it is well behind in the various opinion polls which give the National Party between an 8% and 18% lead over the Labour Party. With such a lead in the opinion polls the Labour Party is most likely to be defeated.
New Zealand is clearly entering into
recession with its economy shrinking in the first quarter of this year.
"Statistics New Zealand" (SNZ) has provided the figures that confirm what most
of us have known for sometime that indeed we are at the beginning of a
Bourgeois historians portray New Zealand as
a place where class conflict has never really existed. Such statements bear no
relation to reality, as the history of New Zealand is a history of class
struggle with the building of the trade union movement in the late 19th
century, the fight against the arbitration system and for militant trade
unionism in the early 20th century culminating in the great strike
of 1913. Today that tradition is once more coming to the fore with a rising
level of working class militancy.
We are proud to announce a new website
linked to Marxist.com, Socialist Appeal New Zealand,
the website of the Marxist tendency in New Zealand. Its aim is to defend the
ideas of Marxism within the New Zealand labour movement and create a tendency
embedded in the mass organisations of the New Zealand working class.