Friday, September 13, 2013

Albanese versus Shorten: Democracy is coming... to the ALP?

All members of the Australian Labor Party and its supporters should be very pleased about the upcoming ballot for Federal leader. So should all those who are interested in seeing a healthy and vibrant democracy down under.

Update (24 Sep): It's definitely a presidential style campaign to fit the nature of politics these days. The vote for #LaborLeader has turned into a version of the US primaries. We have two party debates for ALP and union members this week: one in Sydney tonight, the other in Melbourne on Friday. Both are sure to be booked out already. You can watch the first one live on ABC24 at 7.30.

The media will be looking for knockout punches or embarrassing moments. Let's hope we get some vision and real policy ideas.

Update (23 Sep): The candidates seem to be agreeing with one another quite a lot. The latest is the cutback to single parent benefits. Are we about to enter another golden age of consensus Labor politics? Incidentally, who is the silver bodgie, Bob Hawke, supporting?

Meanwhile ALP member Patricia Amphlett aka Little Pattie has a video endorsement for comrade Albanese:

Comments are disabled for this video but you can can learn more about why "It's Time for Albo" at the Artists for Albo Facebook page where comments are allowed.

Update (21 Sep 2013): Please click to hear Bill Shorten's radio interview with Richard Glover on 20 Sep on 702 studio.(ABC Local)

Update (20 Sep 2013): Attended the Per Capita event on Thursday with Albo and will get to next Wednesday's forum with Bill.

I'm still waiting for more detailed proposals for party reform, including those to modernise the relationship with the unions and their membership. Anthony stated the obvious when he said the party without trade unions is not a Labor party. Party members need more commitment from both candidates on this vital issue.

The transcript of Albo's speech to Per Capita forum is here. The video is also now online. Does anyone has a version without SkyNews branding or the latest video from Bill Shorten's campaign??

Update (17 Sep 2013): I've just joined a Facebook group Local Labor: members supporting the Faulkner/Bracks/Carr reforms. Take a look if you're a party member or thinking of joining. It's an open group - just ask to join.
Local Labor is a cross-factional voice inside the ALP advocating on behalf of ordinary members and local branches for the implementation of urgent reforms to revitalise the Party and more deeply engage with our communities.
The decision of the National Executive to give all ALP members financial on election day is a real breakthrough, if just one important step towards a more democratic, collaborative party.

I'll be more than satisfied with either Anthony Albanese or Bill Shorten as our leader. At this stage I'm in the undecided camp with a leaning towards @Albo.

It is time to develop a set of Selection Criteria:

My suggestions include, in no priority order:

ALP Leader - Selection Criteria
  • Public profile and reputation
  • Potential election winner
  • Strong, articulate political performer
  • Vision for Australia
  • Proposals for ALP democratisation and revitalisation
  • Position on current issues: eg. Repeal of Emissions Trading Scheme/Carbon Price; Asylum Seekers/Refugees; Marriage Equality; Indigenous Australia
  • Ideas for Policy Change & Innovation
  • Personal Qualities
  • Communication skills

Please add your thoughts in comments. Will publish an updated list before ballot papers arrive.

For some balance: Criteria for Selecting a Liberal Party Leader

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Unknown said...

Shorten is not a strong articulate performer, and has no profile in NSW. My vote is for Anthony Albanese, though I would like to hear their positions on policies.

Kevin Rennie said...

Bill can be a very effective communicator but he seemed off his game during some of his encounters with Pyne during the election. His work in seeing through DisabilityCare from its earliest stages was impressive. Sometimes he comes across as too 'clever' and too 'wily' at times.

rossleighbrisbane said...

At the moment, I'd doubt that either of them appear "electable", but that can change. How "electable" would Tony Abbott have appeared four years ago?
I suspect that Shorten's reputation as the person who "knifed" two Prime Ministers wouldn't matter much if were actually Opposition Leader.
On most of the other qualities, I suspect Albanese is slightly in front.

Kevin Rennie said...

Everyday is another day closer to electing the next Labor government.

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