BDS Election Campaign
The Bund Demokratischer Sozialisten, our companion Socialist Party in Austria, decided to put up a candidate in the Vienna municipal elections which were due to take place in the spring of 1974. Due to the total lack of ability on the part of the elected Mayor, the SPO (the Austrian Social Democratic Party) were forced to recall him and put forward a new man. As it was feared that their opponents would use the intervening period until 1974, the SPO, who are the majority Party, decided to bring the elections forward to 21st October 1973. This made extra problems for us in that, with our meagre resources, we had to try and obtain the 100 signatures in a much shorter time and, in the event, this proved impossible and we managed only 73. In spite of this we regard our activities as having been successful. It was the greatest effort ever made by the BDS. Never before have we visited so many people in such a short time and made them aware of our existence. We have made a great number of new contacts which we hope to follow up in the next months. With our papers and posters, together with our leaflet, thousands of people have been made aware of our Party and our political standpoint.
This time there were 3,000 copies of the Internationales Freies Wort (usually 2,000). Of these 1,100 were sent by post to ordinary supporters of the SPO and another 1,500 were distributed free to contacts we made. 400 went to subscribers and other regular purchasers. As well as this we had 3000 posters; to date, approximately 1,500 of these have been posted. However, as the contents are not exclusively directed at these elections, we shall be using the remainder for other activities. Apart from this we printed a leaflet (10,000 copies) of which we actually distributed 9,000 in house-to-house distribution.
This, the most ambitious activity of the BDS to date was also, of course, the most expensive and has completely exhausted our resources. We spent 9000 schilling (approx. £200) and, in spite of generous support of members and sympathisers, and in spite of the help of the comrades in Britain, some of the bills are still outstanding. (Donations please to BDS, see address on p. 15).
Nevertheless we feel it right that we should use all possible opportunities to put forward our objective, Socialism, to as many people as possible.