National Conference Report – 3rd December

Today was not a good day for the true believers.  There were a few good moments, but some truly dire ones as well.

In rough chronological order:

  • support for equal marriage is now part of the Federal Platform
  • the part of the Federal Platform that deals with equal marriage is completely toothless – totally non-binding
  • any part of any State Platform that deals with equal marriage is also now completely toothless
  • support for on-shore processing has been removed from the platform and replaced with support for offshore processing
  • many people said how vital reform is
  • they then voted for a motion to set up a committee to explore possible ways to implement reform at some point in the future
  • several real pro-reform motion were voted down without being discussed, or in some cases, moved.
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3 Responses to National Conference Report – 3rd December

  1. Marian Quartly says:

    are we to understand that this is a major victory for the NSW right? Marian Quartly

  2. Ben Aveling says:

    I’d say so. Equal marriage is now policy and that’s being a win, but with a Faustian dimension. One of the speakers said “people keep calling me a bigot … this vote is about whether there is a place in the Labor Party for people like me”.

    We don’t allow conscience votes on uranium, refugees, live exports or the Internet filter; you may hold your own beliefs but you must vote the party line. But if you believe that marriage is too special for gays, for that, we make an exception.

  3. Jo Holder says:

    Hi Ben,
    It’s an accurate analysis – unfortunately. On Rules Reform, passion abounded – passion for online surveys, sub-committees and visions from the US. Passion for anything except diluting union power and giving members meaningful votes. The majority of delegates have no real interest in rules reform that rocks the status quo and, incredibly, the left bosses came up with a scheme to increase the power of the union secretaries (the so-called 50/50 proposal). Sunday a non-day: we now have uranium sales to India despite an interesting (ill-timed) intervention from the 99% (who were promptly evicted). The surprise issue that almost took the floor was the motion to ban on live meat exports. This was the closest debate of the conference and deserved to win. In summing up everyone agreed they enjoyed engaging in set piece debate and nothing of significance. Everyone congratulated themselves for their ‘cross-factional” good will. Lots of congratulation about “intellectual debate”, but “non-factionals” were gagged. Staffers declared it a “fun time”. It was interesting.
    Jo Holder

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