In January, the Red Party endorsed Mimi Soltysik / Angela Walker of the Socialist Party USA for President, on the basis that the SPUSA ticket gives an opportunity to cast a vote for independent working class politics and opposition to the capitalist parties and their state. We also advised a vote for other socialist candidates where the SPUSA ticket is not available.
Below are maps detailing which of the candidates are on the ballot state by state, as well as a guide from the RP Central Committee on voting in various ballot initiatives and referenda on November 8th. You can also access a 50-state list of socialist candidates by ballot status here.
Arizona Proposition 206 would gradually raise the state’s minimum wage to $12 by 2020 and require most employers to offer paid sick time. Colorado Amendment 70, Maine Question 4 and Washington Initiative 1433 likewise propose gradual increases in the minimum wage. While none of these proposals set a living wage as their target, and communists should not campaign for incremental, tiered expansion, we nevertheless recommend a yes vote.
South Dakota Referred Law 20 would create a two-tiered minimum wage system, lowering the minimum wage for workers under 18 years old from its current $8.50 to $7.50. Vote no.
Maine Question 5 would establish ranked choice voting (single transferable vote) for state elections and elections to the Congress. While this is not proportional representation, let alone the extreme democracy the working class needs to rule as a class, electoral reforms of this kind increase the possibility of using elections to build a revolutionary opposition force. Vote yes.
Arizona Proposition 205, California Proposition 64, Maine Question 1, Massachusetts Question 4 and Nevada Question 2 are proposals for legalization of recreational marijuana. Some propositions, including California’s, would have a retroactive effect allowing those with prior or pending marijuana convictions to have their records expunged. Vote yes.
Arkansas Issue 6, Florida Amendment 2, Montana Initiative 182 and North Dakota Initiated Statutory Measure 5 consider medical marijuana. While this falls short of full legalization, and Florida sets an undemocratic ‘supermajority’ threshold of 60% for constitutional amendments, we recommend a yes vote.
Colorado Amendment 69 would establish a single-payer health program (ColoradoCare) governed by a board of trustees elected by the plan’s beneficiaries. In general, the Red Party critically supports concrete campaigns for single-payer compatible with our minimum program’s demand for the abolition of private healthcare and its replacement with a socialized health service.
There are, however, serious problems with the amendment reflecting its origins as a project of Democratic Senator Irene Aguilar. First, ColoradoCare would not provide access to abortion, and would actually restrict abortion access for women who are no longer insured under Medicaid under the new system.
In addition, financing for ColoradoCare would fall in large part on the working class. The program is only partially funded by an employer’s increase in payroll, capital gains and business income taxes. Employees would see a rise in non-payroll income tax (including Social Security benefits and pension payments) and would pay a 3.33% increase in payroll tax. While still largely financed by employers and wealthy individuals, a significant burden still falls on the working class rather than the ruling class. Vote no.
Massachusetts Question 2 would lift the current limit on the number of charter schools allowed in the state, empowering the government to authorize up to 12 new charter schools or enrollment expansions per year. Charter schools are part of the bipartisan neoliberal education agenda, under which the slogan of “school choice” is used to break unions and push down wages, transfer public resources to private institutions outside of democratic control, and undermine the principle of free public education for all children. Vote no.
California Proposition 63 would prohibit possession of “large-capacity ammunition magazines” and strengthen background check requirements. Communists condemn the acts of violence by atomized, alienated individuals that the proposition’s backers aim to curb, but recognize social conditions, not firearms, as the cause.
Rather than leave all arms in the hands of the state, we recognize the right of the people to bear arms as a precondition for the far-reaching democratization of society, one in which the standing army and police are replaced by workers’ militia. Vote no.
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