LANSING – The 2016 Socialist Party USA presidential campaign of Emidio “Mimi” Soltysik and vice presidential running mate Angela Nicole Walker will be included among the six presidential tickets appearing on Michigan’s ballot this November. The ticket was officially added to the Michigan Secretary of State’s November general candidate listing this week, along with a clickable hyperlink to its campaign website (rev16.us).
Due to the Socialist Party’s longstanding exclusion from direct access to the Michigan ballot, its Michigan state party branch has, for the past two decades, relied on qualifying its nominees through combinations of independent candidate petitions, dual party nominations, and write-in campaigns. Accordingly, the Soltysik / Walker ticket will be ballot-listed with the label of Michigan’s Natural Law Party, which has independently retained its state ballot status since its national affiliate’s 2004 disbandment.
The 2016 election will be the first to include the Socialist Party’s presidential nominees on Michigan’s ballot since 2004. In the last two presidential elections of 2012 and 2008, the Socialist Party’s ticket was limited to certified write-in status in this state, amid the Michigan NLP’s nominations having then gone to the independent campaigns headed respectively by Rocky Anderson and Ralph Nader.
Citing recent national poll findings that two-thirds of U.S. voters want “radical change,” Socialist Party of Michigan State Chair Matt Erard noted that the Soltysik / Walker ticket represents the only presidential campaign confronting the capitalist system as the root social force driving ever-expanding inequality, political plutocracy, environmental devastation, police and foreign-policy aggression, debt strangulation, and austerity. Uprooting capitalism, he contends, depends most critically on the working class asserting its political independence.
“The Democratic Party is this nation’s premier apparatus for restraining working people from fighting back in the class struggle.” Erard said. “If the choice must be between ‘wasting one’s vote’ or perpetuating the corporate oligarchy, which is the real lesser evil?”
In reference to the victory of nominal ‘socialist’ Bernie Sanders in Michigan’s presidential primary, Erard noted that every Michigan voter who sought to cast her vote against the Wall Street overclass last March is now assured a choice for political expression in November. At the same time, he argued that Sanders’ recent realignment of his ‘political revolution’ behind the neoliberal banner is a direct reflection of the Democratic Party’s essential class character.
The Socialist Party’s presidential ticket will also be joined on Michigan’s November ballot by Socialist Party State House candidate Michael Anderson (www.anderson2016.spmichigan.org), who will be challenging Republican Jim Lower and Democrat Ken Hart in the 70th district—covering portions of the central region counties of Montcalm and Gratiot. In contrast to the Socialist Party’s presidential nominees, Anderson’s name will be listed on the ballot with the label of Michigan’s Green Party.
The Socialist Party’s National Platform, as fully shared by its presidential and Michigan State House candidates, calls for a democratically planned economy, centered on worker- and community control of all major industrial firms and financial institutions, with production tailored to use and sustainability, rather than private profit. Other policy priorities include:
- An immediate 50% in the U.S. military budget, followed by further rapid cuts to less than 10% of its current funding level; Withdrawal of all U.S. troops stationed overseas and closure of all overseas bases; Abolition of the CIA; Prohibition on the manufacturing and use of weaponized and surveillance drones; Withdrawal from NATO; Support for a constitutional amendment requiring a binding vote of the people on all issues of war and military intervention; Cessation of all U.S. aid to Israel; Elimination of all U.S. military aid and arms sales; Forgiveness of all Third World debt; Withdrawal from the IMF, World Bank, WTO, and NAFTA.
- A maximum wage of ten times the minimum wage; Comprehensive single-payer health care for all; Tuition-free college/university education; Forgiveness of all outstanding student loan debt; Full-funding for quality childcare facilities; A 30-hour work week with no loss of pay or benefits, and six weeks annual paid vacation; 16-months paid new-parent leave; A steeply graduated income and estate tax and abolition of regressive payroll taxes; Right of retirement at age 55 with minimum 25k/yr benefits; Rent control for all existing rental units; A sliding-scale utility-fees index to ensure affordable access; A national moratorium on home foreclosures, Automatic union recognition based on card-check; Elimination of all anti-labor legislation, including restrictions on public-sector strikes, hot cargo agreements, and secondary strikes and boycotts.
- Publically elected and fully-empowered police oversight councils, and structural overhaul of the contemporary police force model; Decriminalization of drug-use, and amnesty for all non-violent offenders; Abolition of for-profit prisons; Abrogation of all three strikes laws; A moratorium on new prison construction; Demilitarization of U.S. borders; Full-citizenship rights upon demonstrating six-months residency; Abolition of the NSA, FBI, and Department of Homeland Security; Repeal of the USA PATRIOT and Anti-Terrorism and Effective Death Penalty acts.
- Free abortion on demand; A federal ban on all forms of job discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity; Vigorous affirmative action programs; Federal reparations for slavery, and for genocide of Native American populations; Abolition of the death penalty; Publicly financed elections; Free and equal access to mass media for all candidates; Uniform ballot-access laws for all states.
- Public ownership of all natural resources and energy plants; Strict carbon emission limits, and ratification of the Kyoto Protocol; Development of solar, geothermal, wind, hydropower, and biomass energy sources; Phasing out of all nuclear plants and waste incinerators; Elimination of open-pit mining, Protection of minority communities from targeting for harmful waste disposal sites and operations.