Argentina: MST Proposal to the Parties of the FIT-Unity National Board

Argentina: Propuesta del MST a los partidos de la Mesa Nacional del FIT-Unidad

On July 14, we presented the Workers Left Front Unity (FITU), which the MST, Argentine section of the ISL, forms part of, in 23 of the country´s 24 provinces to participate in this year’s legislative elections. On the 24th the lists of candidates will be presented. In this context, a debate is taking place over how to form the front´s lists, with the most likely outcome being that different lists will be presented within the front´s primary. Here we share the letter that we sent to the other FITU forces with the MST’s proposal regarding this scenario.

Comrades: we are writing you this letter a few days from the deadline for registering pre-candidatures for the September 12 PASO (primary elections).

First of all, it is positive that we have managed to present the electoral alliance in 23 provinces. For us, the political unity of the front is key.

And although it is practically a fact that we present two lists in the PASO, we want to make a final attempt to exhaust the possibility of a common list.

Our force, the MST, considers that the FITU should in all settings be a political example for our militants and the working class, youth and popular base that identifies itself with us.

We reiterate what we have repeatedly expressed to you in the many meetings we have had: we believe it is bad for hegemonic and personality centered tendencies to be consolidated in the front.

We are different parties, we have nuances and we must live with them because that is the only way to strengthen the unity we have between us and to attract other left and anti-capitalist groups to our program. In this sense, it seems to us completely mistaken for one or two parties of a front that currently contains four and aspires to attract many more, to monopolize all the heads of the lists with expectable positions. This prevents the front´s diversity from being clearly expressed in unity and skews the front´s image in favor of one or two forces to the detriment of the rest; and it is also an obstacle for new forces to join.

In addition, we are convinced that it is not positive that the same comrades always head the lists and that it would be very positive for elected deputies to return to their previous activities after two parliamentary terms, as a clear sign that we are different from the traditional parties that perpetuate their politicians in office -and in the unions. This would also allow making space for other figures and other forces. All this would be healthy, helpful, invigorating, it would set an example for the working class and help unmask the practices of bourgeois parties.

For this reason, we want to make a final proposal in writing to form a SINGLE LIST, which we consider democratic and equitable, to face the PASO in the City (CABA) and the Province (PBA) of Buenos Aires, and try to advance in the same manner throughout the country:

  1. In the Metropolitan Area of Buenos Aires (AMBA), the political heart of the country, there are four (4) positions that are expected to be elected and important in terms of making visible the 4 forces that make up the FIT Unity: the 1st national deputy of the CABA and the 1st national deputy of the Province of Buenos Aires; the 1st legislator of CABA and the 1st legislator of the 3rd Electoral Section of PBA. We propose that each of the four (4) forces that make up the FITU head one of those lists and take second place in another. In order to facilitate an agreement, this time and without setting a precedent, we as the MST would accept choosing last. This way we would guarantee all forces the possibility of expressing themselves. It is not appropriate for two parties to monopolize these positions, as they have proposed, to the detriment of the other forces.
  2. If there is no agreement in both districts, but there is agreement in one of them, we propose to agree on a common list where possible and present different lists in the PASO only where we cannot. If this were possible in the AMBA, the same mechanism could be used for the rest of the country: agreement where we can, and primaries only where there is no consensus.

We do not want avoid marking a very important topic. The PASO Regulations that our party signed in disagreement (presenting an alternative one) sets a very bad precedent by stipulating a threshold for “dissident” lists to participate in the rotation of the positions to be obtained, of over 20% of the vote (by establishing that only the candidates that end up in the first 4 places of the final list enter the rotation). This is also true of the clauses that impose conditions for the participation of independent candidates from the social, ecological, cultural, human rights or feminist-LGBTI anti-capitalist left on the basis of the correct program of the FITU.

It will be very difficult to integrate other forces with these conditions. We consider it a gross error to “close” the front. We do not agree with that orientation and, for that reason, believe that it is good for all the nuances that we have, on the basis of ensuring the unity of the FITU, be expressed in an open way, facing the entire militant base of the front and the labor movement, the youth and popular sectors. For example: we have been heard in radio interviews and read in written media leaders of other organizations of the front assuring that they “do not agree with incorporating more leftist forces to the FITU.” We disagree, and we want to debate this, because we consider it a strategic point for the development and evolution of this common organization, to become a real alternative and to prepare to govern. For these elections it was essential to make every effort to incorporate other parties that will finally present their own lists, not to place obstacles for them to not enter our front.

We think unity is fundamental and that the concept that “rhymes” perfectly with another, just as important: “humility”. Because the FITU cannot have owners, or impose invisibility on the forces that make it up today or condition them with “thresholds” or other anti-democratic mechanisms. We need to motivate the incorporation of more sectors of the organic or independent left that are not in the front today, and we are not going to achieve this with restrictive clauses. We want to debate this publicly as well.

We repeat, once again: the MST is open to exhausting all instances in favor of a common intelligence towards the PASO, as long as we have the possibility to express our own profile, which is only possible if all the parties that make up the front have visible positions from which to do so, not behind false hegemonies that do not correspond to the real organized force of the parties in the labor, social, youth, women’s, LGBTI and ecological movements.

With fraternal greetings, Executive Committee of the MST