Faceless factional hacks of caucus chose leader with new improved appearance of broad party democracy

Nicola RoxsonNicola Roxon says a lot of sensible things in the full text of the John Button Memorial Lecture.


It may be unkind to observe that the preparedness to “bell the cat” is somewhat later than might have been most useful.

However I’d like to point out a somewhat more current and problematic element which (to the best of my knowledge) I am unique in pointing out.  The much praised new more “democratic” leadership electoral process is a complete sham.

Bill Shorten is, in any fair analysis, and old style factional hack, who plays the game with more than usual brutality.  To suggest he is somehow a “dream” leader for the ALP 2013 onwards seems contrary to normal understanding, or at least seriously premature.  Bill Shorten won the Caucus ballot, and Anthony Albanese won the ALP party membership ballot.  When added together 50/50 Shorten came out on top.

How is this different from the old system where Caucus elected the leader?  In primary effect not at all.  It took longer than the old system.  It identified a leader more preferred by the broader party. It delivered the Caucus choice exactly as the old system would have.  Let me spell this out very very clearly.  The all new more democratic system clearly showed that the party membership did NOT want the leader that Caucus wanted, and the new more democratic system still delivered the Caucus choice.

I would like to offer a prediction.  The current system, or any similar variation of it, will ALWAYS deliver the Caucus choice, independent of the broader party choice.

Caucus is not some blind vote in which the result is a surprise to the voters.  The Caucus members lobby, and sound out each other.  The very real result of all of this maneuvering, added to the self interest of Caucus members in voting for the winner, means the likelihood of the closeness of a Caucus vote being overturned by the broader party vote is extremely remote.

Oh, yes, the new system also locks in the party to its leader.


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