The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Elections:
Voters Expressed Themselves

Nov 14, 2011

Last Tuesday, voters in several states finally got a chance to express their opposition to attacks on the population.

In Arizona, voters recalled Russell Pearce, the architect of the state’s harsh anti-immigrant law, from the State Senate. In Michigan, State Rep Paul Scott, who led cuts in public education, was recalled. And in Ohio, voters overturned a law curtailing collective bargaining rights.

It’s obvious that these votes will not change very much. But they expose the lying propaganda we’ve been told: that the population supported attacks on immigrants, on women’s rights, on unions and on teachers. When given the chance to weigh in on those attacks, the voters said NO!

The Democrats will surely try to take advantage of this discontent in the next election. But Democrats are behind recent attacks just as much as Republicans have been. In state after state, and nationally, nothing could have passed without Democrats’ approval or at least acceptance.

Democrats might be more careful not to tread on the toes of the union apparatuses the way Republicans have in Wisconsin and Ohio. But they have been passing measures that attack workers just as much as Republicans have.

Democrats will tell us that we need to vote for them in order for things to change – but that’s a lie. Neither the recalls nor the referendums would have succeeded without the mobilizations of immigrant rights activists, teachers and union members. Only mobilizations will truly change our situation in the future.

We’ve been told we can’t mobilize. The results of these votes show we can.