Sunday, February 27, 2005


Stop moaning: join up and pitch in.

That's the message from Victorian Labor figures to its members and its sympathisers who have been whingeing about branch stacking and factional featherbedding, and it makes sense too.

Things are set to explode in the Victorian ALP. With the newly empowered dominant right faction let by Biffa Bill Shorten, about to clean out some of the dead wood including ex 3.30 Report presenter Mary Delahunty. Problem is that the Right are just going to install some dead wood of their own.

The only way to fix this self-perpetuating cycle is to increase the numbers of legitimate members so that their numbers completely overwhelm the "stacked" members, which Race Mathews thinks constitute 25% of the party's current numbers.

That's not all though Race. The party's gotta fix the rule that allows unions to control 50% of the vote as well. This rule might be acceptable if union members actually really did vote themselves, (many don't even vote Labor) but the way it works now, the Union vote, comes as a big block with 50% of the clout, and this enormous power rests in the hands of the faction leaders, who surprise surprise are also big knob Union leaders.

The ALP might have started as the party of the workers, but its a whole lot more than that now, it's the party of the people, and its time that archaic and unrepresentative shackles of Union control were taken off.

The only way to do this folks is to join up and get involved. The greater the groundswell the harder it will be to resist, even the outrageous Union block voting rules won't stand a concerted assault. After all, the Unions are even weaker than the ALP.

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