Thursday, September 21, 2006

Labor Party Factions

Federal Labor Senator Robert Ray has caused much angst in Labor circles after his speech to The Fabian Society 20-Sept-06.

In the speech is reported to have been critical of:
  • Labor factions looking out only for themselves and being too concerned with being in political control
  • Members of Labor factions some of whom, he says, are robots
  • Stifling of new, enthusiastic members, especially if they are aligned to a a faction.
  • a lack of passion in the Federal Labor Party.
As a swinging voter - I must agree.

The concept that Shadow Ministers/Ministers are chosen by agreement among the different factions, disregarding the concept of choosing the best person for the job, is a socialist anachronism. Australia needs competent, enthusiastic shadow ministers/ministers. It does not need such positions to be given as a "reward" for past service, nor based on political "mateship".

Furthermore, I believe it is entirely appropriate for (shadow) ministers to issue statements or interviews on behalf of the party. Yes, Kim Beazley needs to be seen to be leading the Party, but if he has to hide his erstwhile ministers from public gaze, then perhaps we should be worried!

There has been little or no response from members of the Federal Labor Party. Perhaps they are all whispering "Not I, surely!" to the nearest journalist.

Finally, the Labor Party has to realize the following: it's NOT about the Party; it's NOT about internal power; it's about demonstrating useful, timely criticism and competence at fixing problems they identify with the current government! To do that, they need to work as a team - not as a bunch of factional idiots.

The Analyst.