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Socialist Party Platform 1912

Accepted, Subject to Ratification by Referendum, at the State Convention, Belfast, Maine, March 20, 1912.

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Preamble

The Socialist Party of Maine endorses the platform of the Socialist Party of America. It reaffirms its allegiance to the International Socialist Movement of the world. It recognizes the growing power and greed of Capitalism; the increasing poverty and enslavement of the Working Class; the intensifying Class Struggle, and the necessity for Immediate Political and Economic Demands and for Political Action, in order to ameliorate the condition of the workers, under Capitalism, and eventually to give them complete political and economic supremacy — in a word, to supplant Capitalism with Socialism.

To this end, the Socialist Party of Maine endorses and declares for the following Municipal, State and National Principles, viz:

(A)— General Demands__

Our National Representatives are pledged to work for the National Ownership of railroads, telegraphs, telephones, steamship lines, express companies and all other means of social transportation and communication; in fact, for the Collective Ownership of all industries which are organized on a national scale and in which competition has virtually ceased to exist. We advocate the Parcels Post and the National Ownership of the manufacture and sale of intoxicants, thereby destroying this evil through the elimination of Profit.

Our State Representatives are pledged to work for Collective Ownership of mines, quarries, forests and water-power, and for conservation of forests. We advocate Home Rule in municipal affairs, and demand the repeal of any and all laws abridging that right. We oppose centralization of government by the few, as exemplified in Government by Commission.

__(B) — Economic Demands__

We advocate the establishment of a minimum wage in all manufacturing, transportation and other large industries; i.e., a wage-rate below which employers may not legally pay. We advocate the eight-hour day, with a period of rest of not less than one and one-half days each week; also:

An adequate system of employer’s liability and old age pensions, for the Working Class;

State life and fire insurance, at cost;

A thorough system of factory inspection to supplant the present farcical system;

Improved sanitary conditions in shops and factories;

The abolition of “child labor” under 16 years of age;

State employment on public works, for the unemployed; and the establishment of free state employment agencies;

Improved railway inspection and the installation of railway safety devices;

A two-cent-a-mile railway rate, and reduced freight rates;

Relief of the Farming and Working Class from taxation, by the following measures:

  1. Graduated income tax on all incomes of $2000 and upward.
  2. Graduated inheritance tax, with a minimum of 25% on all estates of $25,000 or over.
  3. Enforcement of equable taxation on mill, factory, corporation and railway property, which shall be subject to taxation in the same ratio as farm and working-class home property.
  4. The just taxation of privately owned water-power sites and wild lands.
  5. Abolition of the poll-tax.
  6. The right to vote not to be contingent on payment of taxes of any kind.

__(C) — Political Demands__

Equal suffrage for both sexes. Abolition of the State Senate, and abolition of the power assumed by the Supreme Court, to pass on the constitutionality of legislation. Election by popular vote, of the Attorney General, Secretary of State, Judges (for short terms), and State Treasurer. The recall of all popularly elected officials, including the judiciary.

All election days in the state to be holidays. The punishment, by prison sentence exclusively, of all contraventions of the speed laws governing automobiles, said punishments to be inflicted upon the owners of said automobiles.

Abolition of pensions for judges, and of sinecures for state officials, thus effecting economies of public money and lowering the tax-rate.

We submit these various demands to the Working Class of the State of Maine; and in the belief that such demands must appeal to the intelligent self-interest of that class, we again exhort the workers — in shop, factory, mine, on shipboard, on the farm — to vote for their own welfare; to work for themselves; to strike another blow for their industrial, political and economic freedom.

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A True Copy Samuel B. Martin Chairman

Fred E. Irish Secretary

Source: Maine State Archives.

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