Here we go again. More speculation from the Canberra Press Gallery and commentariat about a Rudd leadership challenge that is reinforced by bad poll numbers for federal Labor. This is the world of the Canberra Press Gallery. It loves all that internal infighting, leaking, and rumors as it reinforces its chaos narrative.
The narrative favoured by the Canberra Press Gallery is destabilization. Rudd is coming back. The future of a ham-fisted Swan is in doubt. Every bit of minutiae is interpreted within this narrative. It provides the necessary fodder for the chatter on the various opinion and chat shows on television. It's kinda like the swinger's guide to politic
What we have here is an example of the symptoms of the crisis being treated as the "illness" itself. The poll swings are a playing out of a deeper crisis for social democracy. So what is the illness?
the dimensions of Labor's crisis include the erosion and splintering of its "rusted on" vote, the decay of its party organisation, the dramatic decline in the organised social weight of its base in the unions, the ossification of its factional structures with an emptying out of the social interests they reflected, and the gradual evaporation of the party's raison d'être - the representation of a class interest within the political system.
With the embrace of neo-liberalism and technocratic managerialism social democratic parties, including Australian Labor, increasingly moved to the Right on a series of social issue and increasingly embraced social conservatism. Consequently, the substantive policy differences between the major parties have shrunk.
The result is a hollowing out of the Australian Labor Party. Here's one argument for this position from Christine Milne:
This is her National Press Club Address of 2013---'Australian Democracy at the Crossroads.' She has the mining industry in her sights. They have captured both major political parties.
| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:19 AM | Permalink