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Saturday, December 10, 2011

Third Party Coverage for Presidential Election 2012: Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) - Peta Lindsay and Yari Osorio

PSL hopes to continue the struggle
against the capitalist system in 2012.
The next part in our coverage of third-party candidates in the 2012 Presidential Election. I anticipate reposting and updating this closer to the election, as it is still almost 11 months away. This is not intended as an endorsement of any kind. Also, do not pay notice to the fact that the socialist parties are being covered first - they were simply the first to nominate somebody. Also, I apologize for the atrocious formatting. Blogger's being annoying. 

Party: Party for Socialism and Liberation
Presidential Nominee: Peta Lindsay*
Vice Presidential Nominee: Yari Osorio*
Election Website: http://www.votePSL.org
Ideology: Socialist/Marxist

* - Neither Lindsay nor Osorio is Constitutionally eligible to be President. Lindsay is 28 and Osorio was born in Colombia so is not a "natural-born US citizen". This is explained further below.

Response by staff member (text in bold was my questions):

Dear Gregory

You could consider posting what we have on our site at http://www.votePSL.prg which will have the most up to date information on our campaign.

I am inserting some excerpts from the website below so you can get a better idea

The PSL is a revolutionary Marxist party in the United States that struggles for socialism. We want a revolution; and, we work hard to make it happen.
The PSL is involved in struggles—both large and small—that affect the U.S. working class. From the Occupy movement to the anti-war movement and the fight for immigrant rights; from struggles for affordable housing and health care to combating racist police brutality; from the movement for women’s rights and LGBT equality to labor and union struggles—the PSL is at the forefront of the class struggle against the capitalists and their rotten system.
Peta Lindsay will be the Presidential
We are comprised of militant, working-class organizers and leaders dedicated to advancing the struggle for workers’ power.
Our party knows that revolution is necessary. We fight for reforms that ease the burden on workers and oppressed people, but ultimately reforms are not enough. We know that revolutions are made in the streets, in the factories and other workplaces, and in the military units when workers—in and out of uniform—become conscious that the power of the capitalist bosses and the generals must be replaced with the power of the people. This is the message that the PSL will bring through its intervention in the 2012 elections.
The U.S. electoral system is reflective of a capitalist plutocracy. We live under a government of, by and for the wealthy. These politicians—from President Obama to Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and on down the line—are fully beholden to their corporate backers, the 1 %. Even if they started off from humble backgrounds or espoused progressive positions earlier in their careers, not one politician will be able to become president of the United States unless they adjust their positions to that which is acceptable to the capitalist vultures and the military-industrial complex. Each one of them will embrace the goals of U.S. imperialist domination or they will be dumped unceremoniously by the Republican and Democratic parties. None of them will forward the working-class struggle.

The PSL’s 2012 campaign is meant to inspire more working-class organizing, agitation and revolutionary consciousness. We will take the ideas of socialism—a better, more just society; the way forward for humanity—to the workers and poor people in the United States. The PSL’s campaign will open a much-needed avenue for workers to wage political combat against the capitalist establishment and their corrupt representatives.
Our candidates will travel to every part of the country to spread this message.
Join the PSL’s 2012 campaign. Raise the banner of socialism. Champion the cause of the working class.
Become an advocate for people’s rights and revolutionary change.

First (and this part I am asking everyone), could you please give me a summary of your campaign and what it stands for. What are some important issues to you?
Also, since ballot access is important for third party candidates, please let me know (as best you can - best guesses are fine) what progress you have made/plan to make on ballot access.
The ruling class in the imperialist United States do everything they can to keep workers' candidates off the ballots. Those who do get on have to collect thousands of signatures using volunteers for weeks and week and even with such a noble effort it is still only possible to get on a handful of states' ballots. Most organizations that represent workers interest do not have the millions of dollars to pay to get the candidates on the ballot or the ability to spend millions in mobilizing volunteers, e.g. California alone requires hundreds of thousands of signatures to gain access for just one election.
Yari Osorio will run for VP.
He is not Constitutionaly
eligible to be President
but PSL wants to send a message
more than anything.
Neither you nor Mr. Osorio are Constitutionally eligible to be president. How will this impact ballot access?
Our candidates are selected as representatives of the struggles of working people. Our first decrees would be to offer universal healthcare for all, end landlordism, forgive all student loans, forgive mortgage payment and reverse forclosures to attain housing for all, provide citizenship to all undocumented, abolish racism, double the minium wage--these are just some examples of our program and what our candidates represent. Our campaign is one of expanding rights of working people, not a campaign of exclusion like those of the candidates of the rich. The Constitution, as you state, prohibits our candidates from running. Each state has different laws that interpret this and it will be part of the struggle for ballot access. We will, however, gain access to the states we are aiming for.
Also, what happens if you win and Speaker of the House John Boehner becomes president?
I'm not clear about this question. (see note below)

What makes you different from Stewart Alexander of Socialist Party USA? Why should we support you over him?
We run with other socialist and progressive candidates against the capitalist system. We are not running against them but with them. We will have different campaigns and views. Workers should select the candidates they feel best represents them, but our campaigns are all in the spirit of solidarity with other campaigns like the Socialist Party.

What is your view on First Amendment Rights?
Although PSL nominee Peta Lindsay
 and Socialist Party USA candidate
Stewart Alexander agree on most
issues, Lindsay would not protect
hate speech as "free", while
Alexander would.
We support individuals choice in worship if they choose to do so. The first admendment is a description of bourgeois rights--we ask right to assembly for who? We stand for the right of assembly of the Occupy movement that is being severely repressed by the cops around the country, we are for workers' rights to organize a union at the workplace. However, we are not for the rights of racists, like the Klan and the Nazis--the promotion of racism and violence would be illegal. We are also not for the bankers to hire armies to suppress people from speaking out against them.
Do you oppose all forms of censorship, no matter what? Or would you support censoring certain things, possibly including hate speech or attempts to reinstate capitalism?
I think I answered this in the previous question

President Obama has been "accused" of being a socialist. Do you feel these statements are accurate? Why or why not?
President Obama is a representative of the banks and corporations. He is th ecommander in chief of an army of occupation that is killing people in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and elsewhere. He is not a Socialist.

Is war ever justified? If so, when?

We are for the defense and liberation of working and oppressed people.

What do you feel is your biggest accomplishment so far in terms of politics?
In seven years our party has grown and matured in the struggle. It is an achievement to announce this campaign that will capture the attention of many working people around the country as we promote a program for true liberation through Socialism.

My notes and commentary:

Obama is just another
corrupt capitalist, according
to Lindsay and the PSL. 
  • After reading the response to the first couple questions, it appears to me PSL is attempting to continue the struggle against capitalism in 2012, not win it then and there. This isn't particularly a problem for a small party. Start with baby steps, and hopefully you will eventually reach your goal.
  • Also, I stand corrected with regards to John Boehner. It was my understanding that Constitutionally speaking, if neither the President-elect nor Vice President-elect were Constitutionally eligible to be President, it would pass to the Speaker of the House (Boehner). But, accordng to Article III of the 20th Amendment, "Congress shall provide by law for [such a case]". Either way, PSL doesn't seem to expect that to happen. But as I've said, if you truly support a third party candidate, you should vote for them even if they have no chance of winning. It's far better than picking the lesser evil. 
  • Note the differences between Lindsay and Stewart Alexander on free speech. Recall my quote from my coverage of Mr. Alexander. "As President, even if Nazis or Klansmen protested peacefully outside the front doors of the White House for weeks on end, I would not raise a finger against them or instruct anyone else to do so." In contrast, PSL would censor these things. I personally prefer Alexander's approach, but for voters who want to see those things stopped, Lindsay is the better choice.
  • I completely agree on the quote about Obama. This is why we need a third party candidate. Obama is absolutely pitiful. I can't believe I supported him at one time.
  • Let's hope all third party candidates can capture America's attention, Peta. Good luck!
Jack Fellure of the Prohibition Party is the only already-nominated candidate who I haven't covered. I will mail him a letter when I get back to UConn to ensure that his response gets to the right place at the right time.

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