As they say, the more things change the more they stay the same. After the token experiment with letting ordinary members have a say in choosing the federal party leader, the trade union-based factional bosses are back in control of the Labor Party. In New South Wales there was nothing rank-and-file about choosing a successor to Bob Carr as a senator. The party executive imposed the defeated member for Robertson, Deb O’Neill, into the job after Left faction leader Senator Doug Cameron said there was no point party members nominating for the Senate vacancy because a cross-factional deal had already been struck. Hard to disagree with Shoalhaven party member Michelle Miran, who declared:
“Sussex Street is like the politburo with its shady backroom deals. Again it’s the anointed who are chosen, someone who’s lost her seat, said she wants to recontest it, and they’ve decided to give her a job for the next three years. Why bother calling for nominations if you have no intention of honouring them?”
And now its Victoria’s turn as the thoughts of the factional bosses turn to the next state election. Labor’s Victorian factions, the Age tells us this morning, are scrambling to work out a plan for vacant state seats but are keen to avoid infighting ahead of next year’s state election. And then this:
Democracy in action, Labor style.