World Politics

LIT assessment of Argentine elections

Millions of Votes Against Government’s Austerity

Thursday, 28 November 2013 23:28

In a historical result for the so called " hard left ", the Left Front and the Workers (FIT) far exceeded the results obtained in primary elections, for senators and representatives, held in August this year.

 It got more than a million votes nationwide, a workbench with four national deputies (although now they want to rob us of the seat Olivero in Cordoba), state legislators (provincial) and councilors. The very high ratings in several parts of the country are also an achievement of this phenomenon.

This huge vote took place in the more general framework of the government’s defeat. Unlike what is said by the Kirchnerism and some sectors of the left, we don’t consider that there has been a "vote en masse for the right." What occurred was a massive punishment vote provoked by anti-workers and anti-people policy of the government, by inflation, by the agreement with Chevron delivering our natural resources. To punish the government and protest, many people used the tool they thought was best for hitting the government and, of course, not a few have fallen into the deception of thinking that Massa, Pino or Binner will comply with what they were forced to pledge: no tax over salaries, 82 % for retirees, etc. The novelty here is what we said in the beginning: more than a million workers and popular sectors have decided to punish the government, choosing an alternative of class independence and a revolutionary program to break with imperialism, capitalism and the struggle for socialism.

Undoubtedly the success we have obtained should be considered as a victory for workers and fighters as a whole, which raises the immediate task of transforming the FIT into a reference to the struggles against the looming adjustment.

Deepening crisis of the government

The grin that the government was trying to show on Sunday evening in the "bunker K" can not cover the reality: through voting, millions of workers voted against the austerity model, plunder and repression of the current government. Millions said no to inflation, wages tap, casualization of labor, layoffs and suspensions. They said no to delivering our sovereignty, transferring millions to external debt at the expense of our health and education.

Exchange of accusations and the search for "scapegoats" within the government itself are a clear demonstration of the government’s crisis, for whom the internal struggle for presidential succession has just started. The underlying problem is that this new blow falls on a government that has its President out of the political scene, currently by her illness, but mainly because the workers began to bid farewell to Cristina Kirchner a long time ago. And this weak government is the same that has been commissioned by the bosses to make the workers pay for the crisis with more and more austerity, save multinationals and imperialist powers by delivering them our natural resources.

Employers alternatives, new supporters of the government and austerity

The extraordinary vote for FIT can’t make us lose sight of millions who decided to punish the government by giving their vote to other employers alternatives. The race for the succession of Cristina puts Massa in the first position of the grid. Macri, meanwhile, launched his candidacy at the night of his election, in a demonstration with more colors than convictions. Even Fernando "Pino" Solanas and Elisa "Carrio" began to be quoted, despite their modest previous votes. Certainly other candidates will take their positions in the race for 2015.

But every employer oppositionist suffer the ills that associate them with Cristina’s government. First, because none of them have any different proposal: all are variants of the same austerity model against the workers and the people.

And moreover, they have the added difficulty of having to support the current president up to 2015, expecting her to take charge of the work piece. Therefore, as they have been doing even before the October 27, they seem very "concerned" to defend what they call "governance", ie, to ensure they continue on power until the end of Cristina’s  government.

The problem is that the workers and the people had already showed willingness to face the austerity and fight for their rights, and in this fight they are on the opposite side of the barricade. Therefore, for any employer oppositionist and supporter of the austerity and of looting and repression model, the road to 2015 will be long and tortuous.

The challenges of the FIT

After our great electoral campaign, the challenges and responsibilities that lie ahead will be even greater. Firstly, it is essential that all the forces that form the FIT, and mainly its leading parties (PO, PTS, IS), learn all lessons from the massive support received, which exceeds not only each party, but also the set of them.

The immediate task is to open the FIT to all political forces that fought together the electoral battle. The challenge we face is not the election, but prepare for clashes in the class struggle. And in this respect what matters is not the "legality" granted by the electoral justice, but rather the willingness to fight. Therefore, the criteria to define or delimit the front can not be based on this legality "law".

But it is not only the political forces of the left, but, fundamentally, of thousands of fighters who are not organized in any party, thousands of shopstewards and activists who feel as members of the "FIT" and want unity to fight. It is to them that the FIT should open its doors.

Beside the challenge of sthrentening this tool that is the FIT, we also need to overcome the electoral terrain. The responsibility given to us by more than a million workers, with their vote, means that we have an obligation to respond in every field, and especially in the forthcoming confrontation against the austerity policy. The FIT should be transformed into a tool to fight to lead the struggles and to end the influence of the old treacherous leaders in the unions and to democratize them, so that workers have a new leadership, combative and democratic.

Similarly, we need to find ways to make the new FIT parlamentarians (national and state) keep in touch with the large amount of fighters who voted for them, so that they can make their concerns and proposals known and turning these mandates at the service of the workers and people struggles.

If we progress down this path, incorporating new sectors on the basis of a program and the willingness to fight together, if we can break with the old sectarianism of the left, so often criticized, and not fall into the temptations of self-proclamation, we’ll allow the FIT to continue doing history.

The PSTU, as part of the FIT, invite you to join us for this battle. As we chanted at the celebration party held on Sunday as the electoral results were released and the election of deputies of the left, let's keep moving forward, to achieve more, and to ensure that from now on "the bosses pay for their crisis!"