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sydney alternative media - non-profit community independent trustworthy
Monday, 30 April 2007
ALP conference fallout: How to fix broken democracy in ALP branches?
Mood:  sharp

Chris Uhlmann on the ABC AM show asked the critical question of Kevin Rudd this morning along the lines of 'what happened to democracy in the ALP branches?' who lose their right to preselect candidates as per this Big Media story:

Intervention No apologies over preselections: Rudd LABOR Leader Kevin Rudd said it is in the party's interest for him to intervene in preselections in the lead-up to the federal election.

Leader Rudd sort of fudged the answer and he will be fighting to justify the pragmatic common sense of recruiting talented folks over the heads of forelock tuggers, bullies, loud mouth dummies and no account branch stackers who have been passed over.

The real answer to Uhlmann's theoretically sound criticism of the ostensible contradiction of

- business stuck with IR worker domocracy, versus

- federal ALP party going with hierarchy on preselections,

is that when a party's democracy is already broken with very poor grassroots representation and integrity, it's best to drop the facade altogether and junk the role of closed shop branches. That is when something is rotten, let it go, don't pander to it or put band aids on it. Better to go with talented people who are popular by virtue of their earned community respect and demonstrated ability, not some unhealthy local clique, nepotism, time servers or possibly ethnic loyalty.

In other words Rudd and the federal ALP hierarchy are admitting the ALP branches, as ragged as they are, cannot be trusted to exercise their responsibility to choose the best candidates, and he is surely right. It is just another reason why to vote for a genuninely grassroots based Party like the Greens until the ALP re establishes vigorous grassroots democracy in the Labor organisation.

The next step is the nepotism and forelock tuggers of some of the Big Unions with a pretty poor claim to representative status in the private or public workforce (speaking as a left wing ASU member) but still claiming a big say on federal ALP policy, not least over the destruction of Tasmanian forests in the age of climate change, that most of the public abhor

... from the inimitable Bill Leak in The Australian today, and see this Unions won't rule us: Rudd

Posted by editor at 1:52 PM NZT
Updated: Monday, 30 April 2007 2:29 PM NZT

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