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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

party politics « Previous | |Next »
March 15, 2006

Though factions, as informal sub-groups coalescing around ideas or individuals, are part of any organization, the ALP's factions just don't work anymore do they? The events of the last week or so have confirmed what Mark Latham said in the Lathman Diaries.

Bill Leak

The factions are collapsing from within as they are being driven by personal alliances and differences. The factions now lack a philosophical/political core, they rarely speak for anyone but sections of the trade union movement, and they routinely destroy the trust upon which their agreements are based. With the rise of this kind of machine politics we have the absence of good public policy and an indifference to community building and social capital (mutual trust and co-operation). We have social and economic conservatism by default.

Was there any discussion in the media of Beazley's greenhouse climate policy that was released last week? Did any one notice? Did it break new ground beyond its commitment to sign up Australia to the Kyoto Protocol and set a mandatory emission reduction target--60 per cent reduction in greenhouse emissions by 2050? Was it innovative policy? Since it never got any air in the media, there was little media discussion of the two key policies for a cleaner coal industry and a solar power industry. How is he going to ensure the latter?

Update: 15 March
In an op.ed. in The Australian Barry Cohen writes:

Any reform will be extremely difficult for it requires those who are now the main beneficiaries to concede power. Don't hold your breath. Politics is about numbers and the fewer there are the better the bosses like it. Nothing agitates them more than a sudden influx of new members into key branches, particularly when preselections are in the offing. They prefer loyal spear carriers who will increase their power, rather than talent.

The factional overlords rule and they do so by pulling the levers to ensure a particular result. What does that mean for social reform, social justice and the social democratic project?

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 2:27 PM | | Comments (0)