Labour factional leaders claim they learn but…

Electing the first ever indigenous woman to be a member of the House of Representatives should be a cause for celebration, but ALP factional leaders are dirtying that possible achievement, by doing deals that mean there will be no rank and file preselections in at least two federal seats. Deals and democracy don’t go together. Deals drive members away because deals disenfranchise members from having a say in the party.  If all the factions agree on which candidates they prefer for which seat, they should at least have the guts to go and campaign amongst the local party members for those candidates. It’s a shame that Linda Burney has agreed to be tainted by a short term fix to her problem, that worsens a far bigger, longer term problem for the labour movement.

“Asked how she felt about the intervention of national executive to effectively sideline local branch members, Ms Burney said she had won Canterbury three times through preselection.

“It’s not like I’ve been given things on a plate,” she said.

“I’ve worked hard. I respect the party. My job is to make sure the people of Barton respect me.”

But the intervention will inevitably draw criticism from party members critical of the Labor machine overriding the rights of local branches.

“Despite the fanfare and commitment to change at the recent NSW state conference, the fact is the rank and file members won’t get a say in one of the biggest factional deals in history,” one party member said.

Ms Burney is a member of the left faction. Her move to Barton has been linked to a complicated deal to ensure federal opposition front bencher Joel Fitzgibbon – a right faction member – gets preselected in Hunter.”


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