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Factional analysis of ACT Labor

johnboy 13 November 2008 47

In this week’s CityNews the former MLA Michael Moore is crunching the numbers and explaining why local Labor acts the way it does.

    “The other big loser in the post-election negotiations was the right-wing faction of the Labor Party. Andrew Barr and John Hargreaves have not done well in the Cabinet portfolio reshuffle even though they are the most prominent of the four members of that faction in the Assembly, which includes Mary Porter and Joy Burch. Barr picks up the Children and Young People portfolio while Deputy Chief Minister Katy Gallagher gets Treasury. John Hargreaves gains Disabilities and loses Territory and Municipal Services to the Chief Minister. Backbencher Mary Porter’s nomination for Speaker did not even proceed to the floor of the Assembly. “

Well worth a read.

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47 Responses to Factional analysis of ACT Labor
jakez jakez 1:03 pm 14 Nov 08

imhotep said :

There isn’t enough political talent in this town to support 3 major parties, let alone factions within those parties.

Yet another reason to reduce the scope of the ACT Government in our lives.

BeyondThought BeyondThought 12:32 pm 14 Nov 08

You got me caf, although perhape rouge is a better descriptor than rogue???

This still comes back to abortion bad/good stances (and other similar issues)

That’s what I was trying to point out initially. Yes, there are more important issues than abortion, but it does underscore that the Libs now are mostly right-wingers which is all good an well, but it just happens to be a liability in the ACT even if they have stopped their squabbles.

Thumper Thumper 12:24 pm 14 Nov 08

So we have dusty reddish MLAs?


caf caf 12:23 pm 14 Nov 08

Rouge elements? Heavily made-up, are they? The mind boggles.

BeyondThought BeyondThought 12:20 pm 14 Nov 08

So, from all the comments it looks like in the ACT it is this way:

1 MLA = A Rouge element
2 Rouge Elements = 1 Faction
1 Rouge Elements + 1 Faction = Party
3 Factions = government

When housebound says the Libs will never, ever get government in this town again (because this stupid safe labor town will keep voting Labor) he or she is probably right and would explain why the Libs can’t attract good candidates.

caf caf 12:15 pm 14 Nov 08

The current Liberals are, it is true – and it’s obvious to Blind Freddy that they’re not resonating in the electorate. They’re down to their rusted-on supporters and that’s about it.

In short I believe it is the Liberals’ choice whether to remain irrelevant, or to get real and become electable. In doing so they may just become Green-supportable, too.

housebound housebound 12:13 pm 14 Nov 08

This still comes back to abortion bad/good stances (and other similar issues).

It’s true, but it means the ACT government is determined by who supports abortion etc rights. Surely buses, schools, even data centres involve more than that? And don’t the libs have a conscience vote on that?

Thumper Thumper 12:00 pm 14 Nov 08

I see can’t see it caf.

The Libs here are certainly not progressive and it would take a huge Stanhope blunder to drive the ideology of greens towards the ultra conservatism of the the Libs.

I’m afraid that I don’t have a lot of confidence in the ACT Greens.

Hopefully i am wrong.

imhotep imhotep 11:51 am 14 Nov 08

There isn’t enough political talent in this town to support 3 major parties, let alone factions within those parties. The more divisions you have, the more likely it is that people are given power because of patronage rather than talent -and the more likely decisions are made on tactical grounds rather than merit.

Someone (housebound?) said that the Westminster system does not suit small cities like Canberra. (I know we’re not strictly ‘Westminster’ but we have a version of it).

Looking at the ‘talent’ available to Labor and the Libs (don’t know the Greens yet), I think they may be right.


caf caf 11:50 am 14 Nov 08

This is Canberra, not Tassie.

Agreed, but that doesn’t actually constitute evidence supporting your case.

I would suggest that Canberra is far more likely to be able to throw up the kind of socially-progressive Liberals who might well be able to work with the Greens, than is Tassie. This would represent something of a turnaround for the current Liberals, but I’m sure there’s got to be a fair constituency of socially progressive yet economically dry voters out there in this city.

Bilko Bilko 11:47 am 14 Nov 08

Nomnomnom @23
point taken re cossey that was a close kept secrete but the campaign was not well run, the emphasise on successes was very low key compared with the level of Lib expertise experience etc, however the Lib voters did dump the majority of their dead wood whereas labor did not.
Now re the portfolio distribution the right dumped on again John Nohope must go

Thumper Thumper 11:37 am 14 Nov 08

3. the Libs will never, ever get government in this town again (because this stupid safe labor town will keep voting Labor)

This is not a fanciful suggestion…

Thumper Thumper 11:35 am 14 Nov 08

This is Canberra, not Tassie.

housebound housebound 11:33 am 14 Nov 08

If the Greens will _never_ support the Libs, that means:
1. Shane Rattenbury was (at the least) misleading during the election (like anyone believed him)
2. a vote for Greens IS a vote for Labor
3. the Libs will never, ever get government in this town again (because this stupid safe labor town will keep voting Labor)
4. Labor can do what it likes, because it will never lose power unless the Greens decide to take the responsibility of forming government (as if)
5. Maybe the Libs should consider giving up

For the record: my personal political view is that the major parties need to get turfed out every couple of terms. They all perform reasonably well in their first terms, variable in the second (some are good, some bad – Sonic was the latter in this case). Third terms can be vary bad. The US system of enforcing change after two terms has some merit and we should consider it.

To cross with another thread: Wollongong is smarter than us because they realised that voting Labor forever = no spending. So they voted independent. (To avoid political bias, insert Wagge and Libs, but like us, they’re also too dumb to swap.)

caf caf 11:22 am 14 Nov 08

Seriously, if the Liberals found a few candidates as keen on “small government” in social policy as they are on it in economic ones, then they might well be able to find some common ground with the Greens.

caf caf 11:21 am 14 Nov 08

You don’t need to write “Period”, there’s a key just for that: .

It’s happened before, Thumper – in Tasmania, when Labor got so jack of the Greens that they refused to go into minority government relying on Greens support. And there’s weirder things under the political sun – like the National Party minister in the current South Australian government.

Thumper Thumper 11:14 am 14 Nov 08

The Greens will not support the Libs. Ever. Period.

nomnomnom nomnomnom 11:13 am 14 Nov 08

amarooresident – pretty good summary, except that the left has significantly more members than both rights combined, and, like you say a better record on solidarity. The reason things go well is just the conduct of the factions, the numbers are run in order to get the best candidates from each faction up, motions at conference are often debated and amended before so that they are acceptable to all parties.

Basically the factions behave like grown ups, and you can see that now with the way that Barr is behaving, in the interests of his party, not himself.

Bilko – Cossey was always going to resign after the election and you could hardly call the campaign a failure. The ALP started a long way behind in the polls and ended up ensuring that all of the swing against it went to a friendly party and not the libs. They retained government and have secured a mandate for progressive government. Hardly sounds like a failure.

caf caf 11:05 am 14 Nov 08

How would they go about dumping the present CM, anyway? It’s not like the Prime Ministership where it’s all conducted behind closed caucus doors – to force him out they’d have to move a no confidence motion on the floor of the Assembly, in their own Chief Minister. Can’t see that happening, myself. They could try to convince him to resign, but Jon’s not one to fold a hand once he’s pot-committed.

amarooresident amarooresident 11:00 am 14 Nov 08

Tetranitrate said :

The Right has the numbers, why on earth can’t they just do us all a favor and get rid of Sonic?
Does anyone seriously think it’s plausible that the Greens would suddenly run across to support the liberals because of the prospect as Andrew Barr as chief minister?

Probably because the ALP went to the election with Sonic as leader and dumping him directly after the election wouldn’t be the best look. After all, he was the highest vote winner in the ALP and did “win” the election.

Give it 18 months or two years.

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