[Marxism] SWP and Proportional Representation (you know I'll get it in)

Brian Shannon Brian_Shannon at verizon.net
Thu Oct 6 07:16:42 MDT 2005

 From the Yahoo SWP site, posted by Jay Rothermel, we learn that the SWP 
Atlanta campaign made the news as follows:

Lisa Potash, a factory worker, says she is running as the Socialist 
Workers Party candidate for city council president to focus on workers’ 
and women’s rights, and withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq, 
Afghanistan and other countries.

“As the socialist alternative, I will use my office to support the 
struggles and interests of the entire working class,” Potash said. “We 
need to build a movement led by working people and their allies to take 
power out of the hands of the ruling billionaire class, and establish a 
workers and farmers government.

“I will use my office to urge working people to read and study, engage 
in actions and activity independent of the Democrats and Republicans 
and think in our own class interests,” she continued.’

*     *     *     *
 From over 30-year-old MIT archives, posted on the Internet, we learn 
that the SWP once knew a little about Proportional Representation. As 
far as I know, however, they never ran an article on this democratic 
electoral reform, unless it was mentioned in conjuction with Benjamin 
Davis’s victories in NYC in the 1940s.


18-year-old to run for School Committee Lisa Potash, 18, became the 
first announced Socialist candidate for School Committee in this year’s 
municipal elections last night. Potash spoke at a well attended 
Socialist Cambridge Campaign Kick-off Rally at Harvard Hall in 
Cambridge. She stated that because of the proportional voting rules in 
Cambridge, she felt she had a real chance of winning a seat and went on 
to say, “I feel I am the candidate of all the people of Cambridge who 
are concerned with and in motion over the issues of police brutality, 
rent gouging, and the general lack of quality in the Cambridge schools, 
and these issues will play an important part in my campaign.”

*     *     *     *
As mild as Potash's demands were in 1971 (as summarized in this blurb), 
at least they had a concreteness lacking in the Atlanta account. While 
the Atlanta article may not include other issues raised, I recall an 
SWP campaign of a few years ago in Massachusetts, when Andrea Morell 
was the SWP candidate. I saw her complete statement on TV, and it said 
just about the same as Potash’s statement. If anything, it was less 

Brian Shannon

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