Vote Left – Transfer Left

Open Letter issued by People Before Profit

On June 7th voters will go to the polls to elect new local Councils. The results will be closely watched as an indication of the outcome of a general election that will follow shortly afterwards.

There is widespread anger against the domination that Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael have exercised over Irish politics for the past hundred years. And it is no wonder.

Despite all the claims that Ireland’s economy is one of the most successful in Europe, many people don’t feel it. We have the worst housing crisis ever. Many young people consider emigrating rather than living in overcrowded conditions with their parents or being stuck in a rent hell.

Added to the housing crisis are long waiting lists for hospital treatment and one of the dearest childcare arrangements in Europe. These elections can be used by people to serve an eviction notice on the government and elect Councils which will use their power to ensure social and genuinely affordable homes are built on public land and to invest in our communities.

No doubt some of the international issues will also form a background to voting in the local elections.

It is vital therefore that parties which support neutrality, oppose the growing preparations for war and promote solidarity with Palestinian people are elected.

We think that the best way to achieve this is a pact among left-wing parties and independents, calling for Vote Left – Transfer Left.

This is all the more important as a concerted effort is being made by sections of the establishment to turn the anger of Irish society onto migrants and foster racist sentiments.

By presenting a coordinated left alternative – whatever our own differences in approach – we can help to ward off this threat.

People Before Profit believes that we should start with the local elections but enter further discussions on a general election.

We are mindful of the fact that there is a growing disillusionment among people over a practice whereby one thing is said before an election and another afterwards.

We therefore believe that a Vote Left-Transfer Left Pact should carry with it a commitment not to enter into ruling groups after the local elections that involve Fianna Fáil or Fine Gael, support their austerity budgets, or partake in council junkets. Instead of propping them up, like Labour, the Greens, and some independents have in the past, we should fight for a left alternative.

We would therefore like to invite representatives of the different left parties and independents to come together to discuss the possibility of a Vote Left – Transfer Left pact. We fully realise that there will be different perspectives advanced and see this open letter as simply the first step in the process.

People Before Profit