|Socialist Left Party|
|Founded|| 1953 as Socialist Left Party|
1919 as Communist Party
|Ideology|| Democratic socialism|
|Close to||SDP, P70|
|Far from||CvB, CDU|
The Socialist Left Party (Dutch: Socialistische Partij) is a leftist and democratic socialist political party in Brunant, usually considered to be far-left or left-wing. The party is considered the furthest left of all major political parties in Brunant. At present, the Socialist Left Party is the third largest political party in Brunant.
The origins of the SLP begin in 1919 with the foundation of the Communist Front by Maarten Dolmatoff. This was an alliance of various communist and socialists in support of Lenin and the Soviet Union. Dolmatoff ran for president in the 1928 elections, winning by a 1% vote margin and propelling the party to prominence. However, due to the economic downtown, he narrowly lost, by a 3% margin, in the 1934 elections. After Dolmatoff left as party chairman in 1935 the Communists lost most support and the party did not seriously compete in elections. After World War II, there was increased support for leftist parties, however, this coupled with a distrust of communism. This led to the reform of the Communist Party and the creation of the Social Party (Sociale).
Socialist Left PartyEditIn 1953, the Communist Party was reformed into the Socialist Left Party. Under recently selected chairman David Wijk, the party began a campaign to earn the support of workers and laborers around the country. The party renounced support for the Soviet Union and People's Republic of China, became less left-wing (including a significant social democratic wing), and became a more independent party, especially after the name change. Support was regained, though the party was never able to capture the presidency again. The party often supported governments led by the SDP, such as in the Warson government (1965-73), the Elteman government (1977-81), Milner (1985-89) and the Michels grand coalition (1998-05).
After a defeat in the 1982 elections, the SLP shifted further towards the left in an attempt to return to its roots. An advertising campaign, billing it as "democratic socialism" reignited the power of the party, despite the loss of some more moderate members. Despite the rather successful attempt, initially resulting in gains, a strengthening Social Democratic Party took away some supporters during the late 1980s, though the support was regained during the 1990s. In the 2009 elections, the SLP won 7.9% of the popular vote, resulting in one Senate seat and eight House seats. The current chairman, Oliver Hewton, was elected for the party.
In preparation for the 2013 election and reforming the party's platform and image, the party ditched the "left" in it's name for a "new" look according to party reformer, party wonk, and Deputy Leader John Sayer. Party Leader Oliver Hewton and Sayer changed the logo, name and a new "21st Century Socialist" platform. John Sayer, who became leader of party image and platform, decided that this new image would boost support from even those in the neo-liberal spectrum, to social democrats and make socialist happy to see their policies in action. In 2015, following Sayer's resignation, the change was reversed, and the party returned to have the SLP name, and repudiated some of the moderate reforms Sayer had made, in particular becoming much more heavily critical of neoliberalism and capitalism than in the past decades.
Currently, the SLP has been gaining support, receiving the third most votes and seats in the 2013 General Elections, and becoming the largest opposition party. It has been very active in the anti-austerity movement in Brunant, organizing strikes and protests in order to resist austerity policies implemented by the government. It has expressed admiration for the left-wing SYRIZA government in Greece (along with some criticism for its more moderate branch), and has vocally encouraged Greece to resist creditors and exit the Eurozone.
The Socialist Left Party holds socialist viewpoints, meaning that its main goal is to establish social ownership over the means of production, workplace democracy, and worker self-management. A wide diversity of socialist views are present in the party, including Trotskyism, Marxism-Leninism, Anarchism, Libertarian Socialism, and others. When working with other parties, it pushes left-wing viewpoints, including nationalization of major industries such as healthcare, coal, water, and electricity. It also supports heavily increasing corporate taxes and income taxes on the wealthy to fund the welfare state. The Party has a strict policy on members supporting social rights like gay marriage and protecting minority classes. The Party has taken a moderate approach to being in the EU, and says that while it supports the EU in theory, it believes the EU is currently acting as a proxy for "neoliberal interests" and believes the EU needs heavy reform. The party is also moderately environmentalist, alter-globalist (supporting global cooperation and justice and opposing capitalist influence), and left-wing populist, believing that creating positive change is more important than ideology. The party is also republican, seeking a peaceful end to the monarchy.