If the Party is to survive as a membership based party, it must take its direction from the membership, it must exist to fight for the interests of its members. The argument that ‘we know what’s good for you’ has been disproven. It was disproven by the election of MacDonald, it was disproven when Rozendahl was placed at #1 on the Senate ticket, ahead of John Faulkner, it was disproven in the NSW lower house by the elections of the likes of Obeid and Reba Meagher, to pick just two, and it was disproven in Victoria when candidates in Gipsland who had received 90% support from the rank and file were overridden by factional choices, even though it broke the party’s own rules to do so.
The usual argument in favour of allowing the factions to choose candidates is that it allows the party to recruit ‘star candidates’. Apart from the party’s inability to pick stars from duds – see previous paragraph – the fact is that if someone is such a political star they will win a rank and file preselection. A demonstrated fear of a rank and file preselection ought to be enough to disqualify any would be candiate for high office.