Epic – Labors failure to hear its own rank and file

Posted: October 14, 2013 in Dummy Spits, Politics

Over the last couple of weeks the people have spoken.

In the election for the Labor Party leadership, approximately 70% of rank and file membership voted, which is an extraordinary success considering the voting occurred during school holidays and there was a delay in sending the ballots out as it would appear someone forgot to book in the delivery with Australia Post.

The membership have indeed spoken, and in the infinite wisdom that has seen the Party brought to the brink of crisis point, the powers that be have decided that the views of the membership, made up of those who pay to support them should be discarded  like the leftovers you find at the back of the fridge that are growing hairs.

In the historic election that for the first time in Australia saw the rank and file members of a major political party have a say in their leadership the weight given to the caucus vote ensured that the poor old rank and file punters opinion counted for Jack-Shit.

It would seem that some members of the caucus who were elected to represent the interests of their members have instead chosen to ignore the views of those members who pre-selected them and go with their own self interests instead.

Some of these, such as Julie Owens, Laurie Ferguson, Warren Snowdon, Kate Lundy, Maria Vamvakinou, Lisa Chesters and Brendan O’Conner are from Labors left who chose to vote against theirs and their branches natural alliances, and I hope the members of their local branch remember this next time pre-selection comes around. It would be interesting to know what it was that was dangled before them that made them into turncoats.

Is this the reform that Rudd promised us all?

The NSW Branch of the Labor Party was put into administration by Kevin Rudd as it was being run so badly, what has changed?

Former State Secretary Sam Dastyari was handed a cushy Senate seat, Matt Thistlewaite in return was gifted a safe electorate (which he nearly lost) for a seat in the House Of Reps. We now have Jamie Clements, Sam’s former assistant secretary at the helm, and again what has changed?

Sweet FA is what.

Meanwhile the one part of the reform that has been put in place, the rank and file having a say in who their leader is has ended up a farce, with the rank and file once again put in their place. We won’t be useful again until there is a campaign to run when doorknockers and people to hand out flyers are needed.

It took the media less than three minutes to start asking the questions about the knifing of Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard and Shortens involvement in both of those knifings, we can expect this line of questioning to continue for a long time to come.

In fact if Tim “the Demtel man” Shaw was selling politicians, Bill Shorten would come with two sets of free steak knives.

tim_shaw_sales_guru

Scandals? But wait, there’s more….

As members we pay for the right to have a say. We have seen our say ignored in the past on issues such as our lurching to the right on the asylum seeker debate, something as a Party we can all be well and truly ashamed of, and also the failure of the Party to adopt same-sex marriage as a Party position rather than some lame conscience vote crap that ensures it will never be passed.

The caucus were elected to represent us, not to suddenly find a conscience.

If our say is totally ignored then what is it exactly that we pay for? Little wonder then there are calls for mass resignations from the party all over social media.

There are those who are talking about a now unified Party taking the fight to Abbott. This is wishful thinking on what is seemingly the grandest of scales.

What this election process has highlighted is that the Party is far from unified, it actually has a split of epic proportions. In the past the split has been seen as between right and left, from what we now know it is even worse than that as the split is between caucus and the membership. This is not something that will be fixed in a hurry, if at all.

Instead we can expect the Coalition and Murdoch to make an upsized super value meal out of this.

The leader the rank & file rejected

The leader the rank & file rejected

Tonight I have a branch meeting which I won’t be attending, instead I will be staying home and contemplating my support of the Labor Party, something I don’t do light-heartedly.

I won’t be giving my apologies for not attending tonight, as I think it is the Party that owes its rank and file an apology for ignoring us once again, particularly after being told for so long that our say would make a difference.

The way I see it, we had a chance to push through the reforms the Party needed so desperately and come out fighting, but our elected representatives screwed it up for us.

It feels like a dog that has been a loyal and trusted companion has suddenly become ill and is suffering.

Despite loving it dearly, sometimes it’s best to just have it put down and buy a new pup.

I hope the caucus have a decent explanation for their decision to reject reform and maintain the status quo that is doing us so much damage when they report back to their branches.

Remember the Queensland wipeout of 2012?

The way we are headed as a Party may make that look like a good day.

I hope I’m wrong, but it smells pretty bad from here.

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Comments
  1. Marilyn says:

    And here is SA they are talking about dumping Alex Gallacher former truckies union flak for Don Farrell former shoppies flak and hard core Zionist involved in spying on ALP for Israel along with Shorten and Feeney, Arbib and Gillard.

  2. Wixxy, this was a bit of a dummy spit wasn’t it. There were a lot of us who thought that Albo would be the better choice, I for one did initially. My reasoning was that Albo had less baggage that the MSM could hurl dirt at than Shorten. Albo spoke well, so did Shorten. Both had similar policies, both really care about what happens to the party they love. They both really care about those who are socially disadvantaged.
    So why does it not matter now to me that Shorten was voted in by the caucus? Well, it just doesn’t. What does matter to me now is that we get on with the job of taking Abbott & his band of merry men & 1 woman & hold them continuously up to account. They will need everyone who believes in the Labor ethos to get in and make sure that the LNP & TA are there for as short a time as possible. These people need to be held to account big time.

    • wixxy says:

      I know. But I think we will find it hard to attack Abbott whilst constantly defending our leader….

    • Marilyn says:

      The problem with that is that for the past 4 years all the ALP did was talk about Tony Abbott and not about what they were doing, and since when did the ALP give a flying fig about the disadvantaged like the single parents, unemployed, refugees, gays and lesbians and other minority groups including their own miniscule membership?

    • Bill Kelly says:

      I supported Albo , now that Shorten won I will get behind him ,this is what Albo would want .The attitude that if your choice does not win you spit the dummy is childish. this is the attitude which has kept the Labor party divided. Let us unite behind Shorten & fight the common enemy & not do the work of destroying our party for the LNP. Sandra your attitude is
      what every party member should adopt.

  3. Perhaps Labor Senate candidates (and the order they appear on the ticket) could be elected by each State’s Labor members? At the moment, it seems to be a back-room deal done by Union powerbrokers – with little or no influence from rank-and-file.

    Some union leaders seem to be using their powerbase for their own purposes, not those of the members they supposedly represent – for example, why is the Shop Asistants Union so opposed to gay marriage – are there no gay shop assistants?

  4. ruawake says:

    What an A – Grade dummy spit wixxy.

    Shorten won 52-48 It’s akin to saying My guy got the most primary votes but lost on the primaries. Albo lost narrowly by the election rules everyone played by.

  5. ruawake says:

    “I would be fine if it was the rank & file who chose as we were led to believe…”

    You got a vote for the first time ever and are now carrying on like a kid who lost a game of tiddlywinks. The membership was only ever going to have a 50% vote, to do otherwise is to end up with the Democrats dilemma where the leader was not supported by anyone in the Parliamentary Party and ignored.

    Your favoured candidate lost, get over it. Go to your branch meeting and work to improve the system not sook like a kid in Kindy.

  6. Iris Ashton says:

    You are talking garbage now. This was a fair vote and the fact that the caucus voted for Shorten seems to say that, as they know him much more personally than our rank and file, they think he will be the person to face Abbott down. Bill is a pragmatist. He knew that Rudd was going too fast and losing the plot and so he voted Julia in, in his place. Later he also knew that Julia could not win the 13 election after all the negative garbage that Abbott and Co had thrown at her for three years and he understood that Rudd had a much better change of getting more votes and getting more MPs into Parliament, (which he did) so he had Julia voted out. Not for her good, but for the Party’s good.
    Anthony Albanese is a great bloke, but he is not as pragmatic as Shorten and does not have the ability to fight in a way that will be necessary during the next three years. If we are to win the next election then Shorten is our best hope. Hopefully Albanese will be our next PM. but that, of course, is in the future and depends on how we, or Bill Shorten, face Abbott and his mob down.

  7. Ricky Pann says:

    I’m done with the ALP after 34 years. I’m just sick of it.

    • Maree says:

      Your choice but it all comes down to what you want for your children and grandchildren and I know what I want and will get behind labor to get rid of what we have now in a secretive, arrogant and msm and corporate government.

  8. Keith Woolsey says:

    As an ex Labor supporter, I always had the feeling, especially over the last 6 years that Labor supporters were generally more left wing than their representatives. How can that happen?

    Labor has moved to the right in their policies(and caucus) but not in their membership. Not surprising that they lost support to the Greens and the lunatic fringe over recent years.

    • Adam Smith says:

      The ALP is trapped by two fundamental social issues: 1. Freedom of the individual & 2. Social compact for people without ownership of employed capital. Until the ALP captures the imagination of enough people, that freedom comes from a social compact reflecting equality of opportunity, then the ALP will always be governing on the margins. I believe that more must be done to change the rules for greater recognition of “local” branch members. So far whilst we’ve made some headway, the power of capitalist ownership will continue to dictate law.

    • Alan Austin says:

      Keith, this really shouldn’t surprise.
      It is the same with Liberal Party MPs. They are further to the left than most of their branch members.
      This is simply because MPs have to represent the entire electorate – not just one faction of their particular party. And at election time they have to appeal to as broad a cross-section of the community as possible.
      It’s called democracy.
      Correct?

  9. Heather says:

    Have to agree with several other responders. Certainly a dummy spit and very disappointing to read from someone I hold in high regard (normally). I voted for Albo, but I’m prepared to give Shorten my wholehearted support.
    Although some . like you. were decidedly against Shorten, many of the rank and file who voted for Albo, also thought Shorten would do a fine job. It’s not black and white.

  10. ruawake says:

    For those who don’t like the new direction, there are thousands joining to replace you who do.

    • wixxy says:

      Alas the evidence would suggest otherwise…. He has been leader for one day so his influence is non-existent as yet, any uptake in membership can most likely be attributed to Tony Abbott being PM

      If Shorten destroys all the means that got him to where he is, which is what is needed for reform, I will take my hat off to him and sing his praises

  11. Ricky Pann says:

    Hilarious.. those people replacing me will find out soon enough that being a member of modern labor is like buying a cupcake from a stall out the front of a hospital and saying you are involved in medical research. Shortman is not a leader, he represents all that is broken in the ALP and he is about as engaging as watching paint dry.

    • Marilyn says:

      Hilarious indeed, what is the point of joining a party with no balls brains or spines.

    • Don says:

      Exactly Ricky point well made and I agree mostly with wixxy – you have someone who garners some 60% of the rank and file vote in Albanese and then turn your back on him. Who is most likely to replicate that result in the wider community?

  12. Vera says:

    Well said Sandra and ruawake.
    I too voted for Albo. But I accept the vote result, as we all should.
    As a follower of your posts wikkileaks for some time now I have to say I am keenly disappointed in this post.
    Perhaps you should have waited a week or so and ‘chewed’ it over a bit more?
    You did not need to add to other damaging comments that will be made. I for one am sick of the leaks/anti comments/criticisms of the past and genuinely thought ‘we’ had changed.
    Just accept that this was a ‘first’ of a new way; maybe needs tweaking but, paid up members can continue to push for ‘improvements’ at conference where it belongs and NOT give MSM any more bullets to fire than needed. (Tonight’s ABC news with members speaking out in front of cameras was a disgrace and if it continues THAT sort of carry-on WILL negate chances of the hope of a ‘one term tony’ ‘. HE is our main ‘enemy’, not Shorten.

    • wixxy says:

      As I have written about before, the Coalitions upcoming enquiry into union corruption will see our now leader dragged in & out of corruption enquiries for years, that will hurt the party.

      I will always support the Party, but I will not sit quietly while we do ourselves harm.

      Yes, we can have a say at conference and be out-voted by one union representative carrying thousands of proxy votes

      If people think those with the power will stand by idly and give it up they are only fooling themselves

      These are the people that put Shorten in power

      Given there are so many more union members than there are Labor members, the unions will always out-vote us while proxy voting is allowed

      • Irene Webber says:

        Peter, Totally agree with you. Congratulations on the work you have done about the TRUE story of the HSU. People read it, and then make a comment. All the documentation cannot be wrong and why have not the Victorian Police laid charges. It is beyond disgusting.

  13. Andrew says:

    The choice was simple. Elect a Prime Minister or Leader of the Opposition. Shorten or Albo. And of one or two parliaments in opposition. Obvious really.

  14. annette says:

    We should all get behind Shorten,we need to rid Australia of this disgraceful government!!

    • wixxy says:

      Shorten undermined and knifed our last two leaders allowing Abbott to become PM

      I will support him, but it is with great reluctance

      • Pat Grifffin says:

        Seriously you know that is BS. Shorten undermined no-one and supported who he thought were best for the Party. I didn’t agree with his decision either time, but it was his choice to make. Both KRudd and Julia have a lot to do with Abbott being PM, so don’t blame Bill Shorten. Rudd was the major culprit and let us down very badly.

  15. Understand the disappointment. I share it. Albanese looked like the last hope of Labor reinvigorating itself. If the process showed anything it highlighted the distance between the rank and file and those who actually hold the whip hand. Difficult looking in from the outside (not a Labor member) but Shorten is both a creation and tool of the ‘Right’ and no fan of Party reform if it threatens the power of the ‘Right’. Don’t expect him to piss on the boots of those who put him in place. The Right has control of the Federal caucus and effective control of the National Conference. I expect all talk of Party reform to be quietly put aside. and Labor’s long march towards Bowen’s market obsessed ‘social liberalism’ to resume after this brief pause.

  16. annette says:

    Wixxy,we all felt like crap when Rudd conceded defeat after the election!! I cant believe Australians could be so stupid, in voting those pathetically corrupt bunch of wankers in!! Shake it off Wixxy!! Keep fighting,we all look to you in supporting the cause!

  17. Fed up says:

    wixxy, you do not believe with a influx of new remembers, and old one speaking out, cannot bring a change in culture.

    One cannot expect miracles overnight, This is just the beginning with a long way to go.

    wixxy, it is a beginning.

    I cannot make any comment where things are at, as I have been on the outside, and away from things for too long. Mainly for the issues you are raising. I did not think that rank and file counted.

    I have been seriously thinking of rejoining.

    • wixxy says:

      I think the new members are primarily old members coming back with the hope of the reform that was supposed to happen

      It didn’t happen and is now even less likely to and those members will bail and be even less likely to come back again when real reform doesn’t occur

  18. Nic says:

    As an ALP member for many years and a financial member I expect to have a say.. When I am emailed daily by my party telling me I have a say in the leadership and I can vote for the leader of my party..then I expect that is the deal. Finally I see the change that we so desperately need. Then the result…suddenly the methodology is the Caucus has the final say??? well there is method to the madness …and just who was it that made this rule???? I support you Peter and am very proud of your stance in this matter…the many hundreds of ALP members that have tweeted, emailed, facebooked and phoned their disappointment in this ??democratic?? process. The members spoke readers…Spit the dummy..you better believe ALP members are spitting the dummy!!!! I wonder how many of these readers are ALP members. We have a right to have a say and we have earned that right. Nic

  19. Steve says:

    Wixxi, don’t walk away. The party needs good people like yourself inside the tent. I will spare you the rest of the metaphor.

  20. David Dengate says:

    I am an Albo supporter, but acknowledge that parliamentary members voted secretly without knowledge of branch members votes. A hard choice between two good candidates. Ultimately it makes no difference to me who the leader is; the enemy of my enemy (Mumbles Abbott and his motley horde) is my friend

  21. shane marsh says:

    I don’t understand. What did Lundy do that was so wrong, please?

  22. Gary Gleeson says:

    I’m a fourth generation ALP member. I voted for Albo and am disappointed he didn’t win. However where we rank and file members are at now is light years ahead of anywhere we have been since the factions became entrenched. Remember that the current rules were put in place by Rudd in an attempt to ensure that he could stay leader as long as he wanted to. Save your angst and put some constructive proposals to Conference. Lets start with direct election of Conference Delegates. In the mean time Shorten is the Leader so lock in behind him

  23. Marilyn says:

    Isn’t blindly playing follow the leader is what lemmings do just before they plunge over the cliff? Seriously, some people need to think for themselves.

  24. wirilda says:

    With you all the way Wixxy. Albo is the old school Labor working class man.

  25. Chris says:

    I agree with you, elect Shorten and thats the end of the Labor party….Elect Albo and thats the end of Abbott…Labor has just handed Abbott a second and possibly third term…the only real alternative to an honest Australian Govt that looks after the interests of the people and planet is now the Greens…..I have voted Labour all my life but have just joined the Greens. Both the ALP and Lib party’s are a disgrace…

    • joy cooper says:

      Chris, anyone who has, allegedly, voted Labor all their lives would NOT spell it Labour. Only L-NP voters spell it that way. True Laborites know better.

      Could this be “concern” trolling?

      • Chris says:

        No, its because I am 5 out of 5 on the Dyslexic scale thank you very much…I am almost 48years old and have suffered this all my life…Winning a scholarship for college but failing because of my english….But I am also a “genius” in my field….

        Maybe its the attitude you show that is rife in the “Labor” party that may be the problem….

        If I had been an LNP troll why would I join the Greens…and if you had read my other posts you would have seen what I said about Abbott being Australia’s first ass-anated PM.

        There is a saying that goes “for every finger you point, there is 3 pointing back at you”…

  26. BillK says:

    ” I won’t be giving my apologies for not attending tonight, as I think it is the Party that owes its rank and file an apology for ignoring us once again, particularly after being told for so long that our say would make a difference.”

    Wixxy you are waking up to the party that says one thing and does another.

    You are quite correct. The stench is overpowering.

    • wixxy says:

      It’s not the first time I’ve written along a similar theme…

      Labor may have some issues, but it pales in comparison to the Liberals

      The Liberal State Executive has lobbyists as the bulk of its members, which poses 2 questions

      Who do they lobby for?
      Who really makes the political decisions in the Liberal Party, the members, the caucus, or the lobby groups?

      Based on NSW I fear the latter

  27. E G Jensz says:

    Again the Labor Party falls asleep at the wheel and plunges off in a direction which the engine room didn’t want and certainly doesn’t support.

    One would imagine that the outcome which led to two women in major roles, ie Tanya Plibersek as Deputy and Penny Wong as Senate leader, was engineered between the Left and the Right to shoe-horn the Right’s choice into the leadership.

    There is no point at all being a member of the party if they shout “reform” then turn back to the same old rubbish they have always been doing.

    I let my membership go in 1991 when Labor supported the US in the first Gulf War and over that time I imagined there may have been some reason to put that dispute behind me and rejoin the team but this sham has put paid to any notion in that direction I may have had.

  28. A Source says:

    No Comment; Mr Abbott and the LNP have been placed in protection by the media and mining barons.. > Rinehart/Fairfaxnews.com.au http://www.independentaustralia.net/2013/politics/roger-corbett-the-abc-and-commercial-tv-fail-australian-democracy/

  29. kezza2 says:

    Peter

    You’re lucky you got to have a vote at all, considering the constitution of the ALP which, as you know, can only be changed at National Conference. And you’re lucky the unions didn’t kick up a stink and declare the vote invalid.

    Having said that, I’m not a member of the Labor party, but used to be for a very long time. I still hand out HTVs at every election and help in any way I can. I didn’t get to have a say, but I voted Labor at the election.

    So, what about us? What about all the voters who preferenced Labor first at the election? There were almost 8.5 million of us versus about 30,000 Labor members who bothered to vote.

    Each elected Labor MP in the HoR represents about 40,000 voters who preferenced Labor first – or approximately 2,200,000 1st Pref votes. That’s just counting the votes won by those Labor MPs who won a seat – the total 1st Pref for Labor in the HoR was 4,311,341.

    And each elected Senator represents about 130,000 voters who preferenced Labor first. The total Senate 1st Pref vote for Labor was 4,038,840.

    Combining the two, then each caucus vote = approx 70,000 Labor voters. Each member vote = 1 Labor voter (if they did indeed vote Labor 1st at the election).

    Can’t you see you’re damn lucky caucus versus members were weighted 50/50.

    Stop this pathetic dummy spit.

    • wixxy says:

      I’m sorry, but as a paying member I am entitled to voice my opinion on my own party.

      I won’t be told I don’t have a right to speak my piece by someone who isn’t even a paying member

      Did anyone call Faulkner pathetic when he called for reform, or even Kevin Rudd when he demanded it?

      No because if is what is needed.

      I am an activist at heart, feel free to plod along and hope for the best and that those who hold the party to ransom will relinquish their hold on it…

      I’ll carry on as an activist for reform in the meantime

      • kezza2 says:

        Peter

        I didn’t say you don’t have a right to speak your piece. You have every right.

        I was a member for over 25 years, and I am still a member at heart. The only reason why I ceased being a member is because I couldn’t afford it. I never walked away. And I still support Labor and volunteer my time and effort as much as any Labor member.

        You didn’t address anything I wrote about.

        And if you didn’t like the rules used this time for electing a leader, then by all means agitate for more reform.

        It seems to me that the R&F being granted a vote and the ensuing heady days of the ‘new democracy’ clouded the R&F to the actual rules, including the 50/50 weighting, and it soon turned sour for those who didn’t like the result.

      • wixxy says:

        I understand you are a Labor supporter, and I do understand the logic behind the mathematics you use, however at the end of it all a caucus member is just another member who should have a vote, if I can get 10,000 people to say they agree with me should I get a bigger vote? of course not…

        The issue is not that we did not understand the rules, we just don’t agree with the weighting of votes because it overrides the rank and file, those the caucus are there to represent.

        If we don’t have the discussion now we will once again be forced into it 3-6 months out from the next Federal Election and we will be wiped out for decades.

        I like Bill Shorten, he did a great job with the NDIS, however it is too early for him as he is too aligned with those who need their wings clipped, he needs to wait until after reform has taken place in my opinion.

        I am sorry if I was harsh, however I have had too many people shooting off at me for promoting real reform, not some half arsed effort designed to keep us in our place and appease the press.

        We all want what’s best for the Party, we just differ in the way we get there

  30. mark cohen says:

    wixxy why dont you come on over, we really have a lot of room for free thinking intelligent individuals in the Liberal party? No one even will ask what you were doing before.

  31. C@tmomma says:

    I didn’t realise how full of the sense of your own importance you had become, Peter. ‘Just a Member of the ALP having my say’. Doesn’t sound like it to me. Sounds like you’re trying to foment an animus against Bill Shorten. How truly malevolent of you at such a delicate time in the life of the ALP as the Opposition to Tony Abbott’s venal cabal. I, too voted for Anthony Albanese. Just. I guess you could say it was a 52-48 decision the other way to the way it turned out. I’d like to think that I voted with my head and not my heart, as such a momentous opportunity, the first for any political party in Australia’s history, and one which you seek to mock and dismissively and casually reject out of hand as worthless, simply because your boy didn’t convince 50% + 1 of the combined Rank and File and Caucus voters to support him.

    Now, I don’t know how closely you followed the leadership election, but I followed it closely, every step of the way for the full 32 days. From going down to Trades Hall to hear Anthony Albanese kick off his campaign, to watching every one of the 3 head-to-head debates, reading every word of every piece of literature sent to me, and taking part in Bill Shorten’s Telephone Town Hall and asking him a question, and I have to honestly say that I found him the one of the two with the wit and imagination to lead our party. He came up with great new Progressive policy ideas, such as the ‘Rehabilitation Care’ one, and he made a point of saying that Labor has to get jiggy with outreach to those demographics that are no longer or have never put a number 1 next to their local Labor candidate. That’s the way leaders think. That he got to where he is today by being a ‘Union Apparatchik’ is irrelevant. Unless you consider Bob Hawke should never have got where he did because of his Union aided and abetted path to the leadership of the parliamentary Labor Party.

    Albo, on the other hand, retailed his apocryphal Labor story for 32 days, and it seemed to me as if he thought that would be enough, combined with Brownie points for his history of achievements as Infrastructure Minister and Leader of the House. I can’t really put my finger on any new ideas that he came up with and in the end I voted for him rather than Shorten because he had been in parliament longer.

    Finally, as intimated above by another commenter, you haven’t quite explained why you have dismissed and devalued the 12,196 Rank and File votes for Bill Shorten? Do you reckon those members all had their arms twisted in some nefarious way by the forces of darkness marshalled by Bill? Give. Me. A. Break.

    Oh, and speaking to someone from Caucus,they said they voted for Bill because he had demonstrated to them he had the ‘X Factor’ that a leader and Alternative PM needs, after watching him closely for the last 6 years. Not simply because of whatever faction they were in. Albo doesn’t possess it, according to them.

    So please try and see past the Old Vinegar Tits style of response, a la Marilyn Shepherd above, Peter. Our party needs to unify behind our new leader, and show the discipline that will be rewarded by the electorate, because they have no real appetite for Abbott, and hence he is eminently beatable if we can just keep it together in the party. We can be the formidable force that is needed to dislodge him, if only this petty nay-saying and infighting can stop.

    • wixxy says:

      I’m sorry

      I was unaware that publicly stating an opinion made me full of my own self importance….

      But I guess if that is the case I am as guilt as anyone who has ever commented on a blog site, written a blog post, or even made a political comment on Twitter or Facebook

      You are right however, I should congratulate the 40% who in a two horse race somehow beat the candidate with 60% of the support from members

      I have nothing against Bill personally or professionally I just think he was the wrong candidate

      What I am against is the hijacking of the reform process by those who have elevated Bill to his position, this is the reform the Party needs and I cannot see Bill delivering it due to his alliances

      I hope I’m wrong, but either way I will always support the Party and what it stands for

    • Adam Smith says:

      I think that both of you have it wrong. You see, in my opinion, according to democratic theory, the ‘Rudd’ rules-adopted democratic theory sets a process of primary party elections, for a party leader, to be followed by all Australians in a general election. It seemingly transpires, in the minds of ALP parliamentary caucus members, since 2010, that they’ve come to see their party position not very well as reflected in the polls they’ve themselves commissioned, and as reflected with the emergence of splinter party’s and independent voices, eg., Indi. But ALP Members are also quick to condemn “undemocratic” tactics as supposedly experienced by the words emanating from say the Murdoch media etc. In truth, I suppose that ALP Members and the general voting electors have a love-hate relationship with political parties. They believe that parties are necessary for democratic government, at the same time they think parties are somehow “obstructionist” and not to be trusted. This distrust is now particularly stronger amongst younger voters. To better appreciate the role of political parties in democratic government, the ALP Membership must redefine exactly what its party platform represents and how it will achieve its aims and objectives. If the ALP believes that it is an organisation that sponsors candidates for political office under its name, then it must implement rules for internal party voting that are truly democratic. The ALP must distinguish its function entirely from any other interest groups. Take the Palmer United Party, I believe that they are a interest group, even though Mr Palmer has begun to veil its cloaked function as we’ve seen with the Motor representative elected to the Senate, quote, “… we speak as a united group…”. The ALP, like its LNP counterpart, contribute to democratic government simply by nominating candidates for election to public office. In the absence of parties, voters would be confronted with a bewildering array of self-nominated candidates, each seeking a narrow victory over others on the basis of personal friendships, celebrity status, or a certain name. The procedure for changing the rules for selection was done over time by appointed party members reports, and by the recent decision of the ALP federal parliamentary caucus. Future reviews will be moved by any number of party branch members and they must be seriously considered. However, at this point in time the ALP must get on with its parliamentary program, failing so to do will only damage its prospects leading into the next election.

  32. Fed up says:

    wixxy, that is more like it. I would be surprised, if you were one to walk away from a just fight.

    No more than Labor can walk away from the CEF and NBNCo legislation. No matter how often Abbott asks us all to repent.

    Too much achieved over the last six years, to allow Abbott a free run with his demolition machine.

    It is also important, that the first small steps that have been taken, to reform Labor be allowed to grow, so the job can be finished.

  33. owen1967 says:

    hi Peter.
    another incisive and perceptive piece … and as for the issue, well, i’m going to try and not say i told you so … difficult though that will be …
    the ALP in 2013 … democratic – not … representative – not … with a little luck you will run for office again, but not for the ALP … then the good people of NSW can vote for representation not a Liberal Party facsimile in red ties.

  34. Nic says:

    Response to C@tmomma….took you 6 paragraphs to say a lot about nothing. Now who is seems to have a sense of their own importance. *sighs*

  35. BSA Bob says:

    Could some of the acrimony be toned down while still keeping this debate alive for the time being?
    But not for too long because Shorten’s now the leader & he’ll require the support of Labor supporters as there won’t be any other kind. I’m sad to say that my musings on who I preferred as leader centred around how well the individual concerned would survive the media attacks that’ll surely come. That’s where Australian politics, or rather the reporting of them, is at.

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