Number seven in our series introducing Luxembourg political parties ahead of the general election on 14 October is déi Lénk (the left).
We trust that our brief series introducing Luxembourg's political parties has been of interest, and proven useful if you are voting for the first time in your adopted country. It is worth noting that if a party has been omitted, it is only because they did not reply to our invitation.
Delano: When was your party first established?
déi Lénk: Our party déi Lénk (the left) was founded on 30 January 1999.
Delano: Who founded it?
Five years prior to our foundation, a hundred or so people had founded the movement of the "nei Lénk" (the new left), which brought together individuals from various horizons--politics, trade unions and feminism, for example. After the electoral failure of this movement in 1994, and after 5 years of reflection and public activities, we began anew in 1999. What strengthened the credibility of dei Lénk was that it brought all of the left together on the basis of an individual commitment, avoiding a cartel of leftist parties. Thus, we were able to create a movement, whose democratic structures allowed a real dynamic. In the October 1999 elections, we won our first seat in the Chamber of Deputies (Luxembourg parliament).
Delano: Why what it set up? Was there a key event that led to its establishment?
dL: At that time the traditional parties of the left had lost much of their credibility--the Socialist Party, by renouncing all criticism and any fundamental alternative to the capitalist system, and the Communist Party, because of the totalitarian drifts in so-called communist countries. In addition, the fact that the left had become fragmented after 1968 greatly reduced their ability to convince and act. We had to recognise the need for a new assembly, respecting the diversity of biographies, political convictions and sensitivities of everyone involved while engaging in the foundation of clearly defined principles.
Delano: What were its guiding principles at that time?
dL: Our principles were formulated as early as the first statutory congress of dei Lénk: the rejection of the capitalist system, based on unacceptable inequalities and whose logic only exacerbates them; the struggle against the neoliberal offensive; the fight for individual and collective emancipation of so-called "market" constraints; the fundamental renewal of democracy; gender equality; the struggle for the preservation of the planet; the fundamental connection of ecological, social, democratic and cultural issues.
As for form and structure: the new movement was not a cartel of organisations, but a gathering of equal individuals. It was to act at the parliamentary and extra-parliamentary level, seeking alliances in civil society, and establishing relations with similar movements in other countries in a new internationalist spirit.
Delano: How have they changed over the years?
dL: While the guiding principles have not changed over the years, we have endeavoured to clarify and improve them based on deeper critical thinking.
Delano: Briefly, why should voters select your party in October?
dL: If we aspire to a more egalitarian and democratic society, we must change the balance of power--at parliamentary level as well as in civil society. Dei Lénk's support, by voting and/or engagement on the ground, is undoubtedly contributing to such a change.
Please note that Delano is presenting the Luxembourg political parties for your information only, not to promote one over the other.