Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Workers Carry Struggle Forward: Government Fraud in Primary Elections

First Published: People’s Tribune, Vol. 3, No. 18, August 15, 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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“I voted! I voted and all my neighbors voted for the CLP! And when it was over, the CLP got zero!”

So it went in precinct after precinct.

On August 3, the working people of Michigan were defrauded at the polls and robbed of their vote. While hundreds of people canvassed thousands of homes to turn out a vote to put the CLP on the Michigan ballot, the government dropped all pretenses of democracy and swung into action. Passing Public Act 94, the openly unconstitutional roadblock to the Michigan ballot–which required minor parties to get 5000 votes in the primary in order to get on the ballot, was only the opening blow in an all-out offensive against the CLP and the people of Michigan.

Until the current campaign the law had read that to get a place on the ballot the requirement was 17,500 signatures of registered voters. When the CLP had gathered over 33,500 signatures, Public Act 94 changed the rules, adding the primary vote requirement.

For two hundred years the bourgeoisie declared, if you want to participate in the government, your weapon Is the ballot, your ammunition is your vote. When the CLP and the workers of Michigan decided to take up the challenge and bring the voice of the working class into the halls of government, the bourgeoisie changed the rules with the clear intent of keeping the CLP off the ballot and keeping General Baker out of the state house at all costs.

Look at the outrages committed against the working class and their party:

Saturday, July 31
–A CLP campaign motorcade is attacked by the Highland Park Police; participants in the motorcade are maced and kicked, beaten and arrested.

Tuesday, August 3
–CLP poll challengers are not allowed to see the poll books;
–locations of polling places are changed without prior notification.
–Absentee ballots with incomplete instructions are disqualified.
–demonstration voting machines don’t have party qualification sections; party qualification levers don’t work.

Instances of outright fraud mounted. But when the returns came in it was clear–the majority of votes for the CLP were never counted. After weeks and months of Intensive campaigning and growing mass support, the voter turnout In favor of the CLP was not counted. Where numbers of people formally swore they had voted for the CLP, the vote count was zero! The official vote count of less than 1000 votes is a lie and a fraud, and the people of Michigan know it!

Thousands of workers, outraged at the open betrayal of working people by a government that is supposed to represent their interests, have responded, each and all: how did this happen! What do we do now!

Because of the Watergate-style crime and deception, the government exposed its class nature, it happened because the bourgeoisie holds state power and uses the courts and police against the people.

That is why working people world-wide fight for socialism, where the reins of power are held by the working class. Then only the bourgeoisie, the former exploiters, and their agents, feel the stern hand of political suppression.

The people are told that socialism is a dictatorship; that only capitalism is democratic. The August 3 Michigan primary clearly proved the extent of democracy under capitalism, which serves only one class, the capitalist class. Behind the mask of democratic forms stands the dictatorship of the bourgeoisie.

The struggle for socialism is the struggle for the majority, the working people, to run society in their own interests. The struggle for socialism is the struggle to free the majority from the dictatorship of the capitalist class. The CLP ballot campaign represented a step forward in that struggle – the education and mobilization of the working people to support their party and the demand of jobs, peace and equality.

Despite fraud, despite violence against the people, despite civil rights trampled on and the mockery made of democratic processes by the government, the August 3 primary in Michigan is a victory for the working class. In Michigan alone the Communist Labor Party doubled its size with new recruits won over to the struggle for socialism.

Thousands of working people learned from their own experience the limited nature of bourgeois democracy. It became clear that the struggle for jobs, peace and equality is a class struggle, the struggle of the working class against the bourgeoisie.

The milltance and fighting spirit, the anger and determination of the Michigan campaign must now be carried Into every city and town, to every shop floor, every union hall and mass organization, to every polling place and voting booth.

Public Act 94, and the fraudulent Michigan primary are a declaration of intent by the bourgeoisie. They are making clear their stand–the electoral process will represent only their interests, civil rights be damned!

The time has come for the working class of this country to demonstrate their anger, dissatisfaction and fighting spirit. In recent elections, local and national, only a small section of the voting population have elected one corrupt government after another. Disillusioned with bourgeois democracy, large sections of the people have stopped voting.

But not voting only plays into the hands of the enemy. The time has come to protest; to reassert the anger and morality of the majority of people.

The time has come to vote Communist; to show the capitalists and their politicians that the workers of this country are organizing to give them a run for their money. The time has come to announce to the world that the working people of this country are ready to put socialism on the agenda!