The Left has failed the Membership in Victoria.

In Victoria, the rules dictate that candidates are chosen 50-50 by local members and the ‘Public Office Selection Committee’:

18.5 The selection of candidates for Public Offices shall be made by the following:
For the House of Representatives, the Legislative Assembly, the Legislative Council and Municipal Electorates, members of the Public Office Selection Committee sitting and voting after a plebiscite of local voters residing in the electoral area concerned …

Instead, Victorian Left faction leader Kim Carr, seconded by the Right’s Don Farrell, successfully called for the selection to be made by the National Executive, cutting out the rank and file.

Further reading:

PS. Six hours before the Victorian Admin Committee referred the ballot to National Executive, Opposition Leader Daniel Andrews was asked if he could guarantee ALP members would get a ballot. Allegedly, he replied that he was “not aware of any alternative arrangements“.

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14 Responses to The Left has failed the Membership in Victoria.

  1. Denise Allen says:

    Absolutely disgusted with this decision. Once again the powerful factional leaders dictate to branch members. No wonder they walk away.

  2. ron jean says:

    Dont walk away. Stand & fight, otherwise they win

  3. Denise Allen says:

    I will always fight them Ben…alas others unlike us just get sick of it and do.

  4. Ralf Kluin says:

    I get the feeling that more of the Victorian public is moving away from the major party’s. In this context it amazes me that the publicly elected members of the party have such a reported grip over the rank and file, my observation isn’t naive, but realistic. Of course our party model is fairly comparable to the US Party model and that was he we got o vote for the federal leader. I suppose that it continues to be the case that the ALP model for responsible party governance will continue as a majoritarian model, making an ALP government responsive to public opinion. We see this being played out with the Liberals because they did fail to present clear and coherent programs to voters when compared to the ALP. Nevertheless, the balance between the left and the right in the ALP must, in my opinion, always ought respect a procedural process based upon who should participate in decision making? How much should each participant’s vote count? and how many votes are needed to reach a decisions? Lets hope that the ALP and its competitive interests, the factions, can conclude a more democratic party representation which in a general election embraces the majority as well as the minority needs of the Victorian people.

  5. Carmel says:

    Victorian ALP – members not needed
    save myself some money next year

    • Ben Aveling says:

      Hi Carmel,

      That’s an understandable response. But it doesn’t have to be that way. There are things you can do that will make a difference. For example, your branch sends delegates to the local Federal Electorate Assembly. Are they factionally aligned with the Left or the Right? If so, that needs to change.

      People like Kim Carr and Don Farrell can only get away with these factional games so long as we let them. They’ve taken us for granted for a long time. They need to see that we won’t take it any more. They need to know that if they abuse the power that conference gives them, then we’ll fight them for control of conference.

      Regards, Ben

  6. Chris Haviland says:

    Ben, it’s not only the Left that has failed members in Victoria. Don’t let the Right off the hook. But notwithstanding that, it simply isn’t good enough. The factional warlords, in this case both Left and Right, have done a grubby deal to deny rank and file members their rights.

    We must continue the fight to democratise the party, as set out in the recommendations of the Faulkner-Bracks-Carr review. I am now the NSW Convenor of Local Labor, which is dedicated to that cause. We will be holding an event in the New Year. Ben, we need to work together on this.

    Chris Haviland

  7. atkenos says:

    Nothing wrong with supporting a faction so long as you are not a blind at any cost puppet. Most of us will be either more left or more right. But democracy demands that we the people are involved at the minimum if we do not actually control the outcome. I am sick of the likes of Stephen Conroy and believe that they way to resolve this is to bring in large numbers of new party members who will demand changes to policies and rules that require greater honesty and integrity. Of course that comes with a warning. Some will seek to use such numbers to spill existing MPs just to take their places. I know one bum in my area who would destroy a very good local MP by branch stacking his way to the numbers because he wants the glory and the extravagance of being a MP. And he will lie and deceive members as he has done in the past. But if new members are awake they will ensure that we only have the best and thus we will win more elections and be more relevant in office. So what say you folks?

  8. Ross Smith says:

    And when there is only one surviving member of both Left and Right Factions, that person will blame the Faction they were not a spear carrying member of for the demise of the Party.

    Hopefully the non-factionally aligned Party members will then kill the survivor of the inter-factional wars and sanity can prevail. The Party may even re-engage with its original Aims and Objectives, develop some workable policies based in reality, and restart its career as a political party.

    A pox on the Factions and all who inhabit them to paraphrase the famous saying


  9. ron jean says:

    I can understand people walking away. The system is clogged up with so many rules that are not followed & no one enforces them unless it suits their own agenda. One wonders where it will all end. It can wear you down. We are all fighting but is anyone listening. I think their Bluff should be called. NO Support if you done support & mean it.

  10. Ben Aveling says:

    The returning officer has declared the factional fix invalid – it breaches the affirmative action rules:

  11. Simon says:

    I was in the British Labour Party for a few years. The left organised, quite legitimately, to get their candidates elected and selected for party positions. And so did the right.

    But, there was politics at stake. Some were convinced socialists. Some were convinced Blairites. There were sharply conflicting world views in play that made the fight worth fighting.

    What is at stake in the ALP at present? Very little of real political substance. Depoliticised machine politicians, from the ‘left’ and ‘right’, manouvre for influence and career advancement. So one technocrat gets selected for a seat in place of another technocrat. So what? What is at stake? Nothing. That is why so many members are disillusioned and apathetic.

    I joined the ALP several years ago because I am interested in politics first, and who gets elected/selected for party positions second.

    But there is no politics within the ALP. Look at the Victorian members magazine. It is so bland and facile that it’s publication is an entirely pointless exercise.

    More fundamentally, the party is corrupt. Not only in terms of fixing selections, or making dodgy deals with dodgy business people. That is bad enough. There is a fundamental corruption of political spirit within the party. Years of chasing votes at almost any cost, abandoning almost any principle to gain short-term electoral advantage have left the party ideologically rootless. That is why so many turned against Labor this year – the party is perceived, rightly, as being little more than an electoral machine which will say or do anything to win.

    Do you dislike refugees? Well, we will change our policy overnight. Are you a single mother on welfare? We will pander to the right-wing newspapers and cut your income.

    Absolutely shameless.

    So the problem with the ALP is not the lack of democracy – it is a lack of politics. When you develop a politics that comprises more than being against the Coalition, and for whatever banal progressive phrase Labor commonly uses (fairness, moving forward, being nice) then people will take the internal life of the party seriously and assert their democratic rights. Until then, I am out.

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