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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
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housebound housebound 3:49 pm 13 Nov 08

I don’t think anyone can really explain Labor’s behaviour, even Labor.

areaman areaman 4:09 pm 13 Nov 08

Michael Moore is as always full of it

Thanks to the way the Assembly elects a chief minister, should the Greens oppose the move it will be their turn to become irrelevant.

That’s the opposite of how the assembly works. The chief minister has to be elected by the assembly so if the greens didn’t like it they could vote against say Hargreaves, and instead side with the Libs.

Tetranitrate Tetranitrate 4:19 pm 13 Nov 08

areaman said :

Michael Moore is as always full of it

Thanks to the way the Assembly elects a chief minister, should the Greens oppose the move it will be their turn to become irrelevant.

That’s the opposite of how the assembly works. The chief minister has to be elected by the assembly so if the greens didn’t like it they could vote against say Hargreaves, and instead side with the Libs.

Maybe that was his point? Their only option is to side with the libs, which would in all likelihood halve their vote next election.

Tetranitrate Tetranitrate 4:20 pm 13 Nov 08

make that only other option.

areaman areaman 4:23 pm 13 Nov 08

Not if they framed it right, don’t forget the Libs offered them 2 ministries. Anyway if that’s the argument he’s making they’ve always been irrelevant.

housebound housebound 4:27 pm 13 Nov 08

This Greens=Labor fascinates me. The much-lauded Patterson-Canberra Times poll had Greens voters evenly split between Zed and Jon when it came to which leader they preferred.

Regardless, commentators push the idea that all Greens voters must be closet Labor, and therefore even a hint of siding with not-Labor (always defined as Libs) makes them unsupportable.

The Greens themselves go along with it (or maybe they’re closet Labor too), and seem to predictably support Labor at every critical point.

The only conclusion is that half of the Patterson-Canberra Times poll resondents lied, and they were also closet Labor, but too scared to say it even over the phone.

Tetranitrate Tetranitrate 5:06 pm 13 Nov 08

Quite possibly the poll was dead on correct.
However I remember a year or two ago, the Victorian labor party was able to do a *lot* of damage and easily win two bielections that had been predicted to be somewhat challenging by throwing around the accusation that the greens were siding with the liberals in the upper house.
It may well be the case that ACT voters are different, but it’s worth wondering about something:
the half that might have preferred Zed presumably are aware that the greens tend to support labor and are willing to vote green regardless – what about the half that preferred labor though?

johnboy johnboy 5:17 pm 13 Nov 08

housebound said :

This Greens=Labor fascinates me. The much-lauded Patterson-Canberra Times poll had Greens voters evenly split between Zed and Jon when it came to which leader they preferred.

The poll I remember had a huge preference to Labor from Green voters.

BeyondThought BeyondThought 7:57 pm 13 Nov 08

Of course the Greens wouldn’t go into coalition with Zed in Bed, as ministers they may actually have to be responsible for their actions. Take life easy and throw mud from the sides.

There is another reason too; the libs are now full of religious anti abortion, anti-fun facists. Zed, catholic. Dunne, catholic. Coe and Symthe active protestants. Anyone know about Despo and Soldier Boy?

Factionally I guess its Zed = 3, Smythe = 1, Despo = 1 and Soldier Boy = 1 and if I was Zed I would’nt count on Coe.

housebound housebound 9:07 pm 13 Nov 08

Are you suggesting that Greens choose the governance of the ACT is determined by whether or not someone supports abortion, attends church, etc.

Am I the only one in town who thinks there is more than that to governing?

imhotep imhotep 9:27 pm 13 Nov 08

BeyondThought said :

“the libs are now full of religious anti abortion, anti-fun facists. Zed, catholic. Dunne, catholic. Coe and Symthe active protestants.”

Any evidence of this BT? I’m a catholic, and you sound more fascist than me.

And what is an ACTIVE protestant? Do they believe in beheading unwanted wives as well?

.

Thumper Thumper 10:05 pm 13 Nov 08

That’s a pretty interesting piece. I’m not so sure on his views re Gallagher but interesting all the same.

BeyondThought BeyondThought 10:18 pm 13 Nov 08

HOUSEBOUND. No, it would just make it harder.
IMHOTEP. The “evidence” that you seek is in the donation disclosure statements:
http://www.elections.act.gov.au/pdfs/returnselect_04/thirdparties/actrighttolifeassoc.pdf
Hansard makes for boring if informative reading.

nomnomnom nomnomnom 8:33 am 14 Nov 08

It seems a pretty lame assessment of ALP factionalism in the ACT.

Written by someone who thinks they know how it works, rather than someone who has any idea what is actually going on at the moment.

Stanhope might have been the one doing the negociating, but it didn’t happen in a vacuume.

poptop poptop 9:00 am 14 Nov 08

Nomnomnom – I don’t have a clue how ALP factional politics works in the ACT Branch.

Can you explain it to me?

amarooresident amarooresident 9:58 am 14 Nov 08

poptop said :

Nomnomnom – I don’t have a clue how ALP factional politics works in the ACT Branch.

Can you explain it to me?

I’ll have a go. The ACT Branch of the ALP is roughly dived into three groupings, the left, the “independents” and the right. Numbers are resonably even across the three groups if you take annual conference as the measure.

BUT it is not as simple as that. The right for example is actually two seperate factional groups – Centre Coalition and Labour Unity, which split off from Centre Coalition a few years ago. Labour Unity could largely be described as the industrial right as it is where the right wing unions caucus. While both groups would support the same things 90 per cent of the time, there are idealogical differences (particularly when it comes to industrial relations and some social issues)as well as the usual personality issues. Barr Hargreaves and Birch (I think) are Centre Coalition members.

The independents, who like to think of themselves as non factionalised, in practice tend to vote as a group and sometimes play a deal making role as their numbers can be the make or break on any issue.

The left faction have always had various sub groups operating however when it comes down to it they always vote as a bloc as they have a very strong sense of discipline within the caucus. They have in the past made life very difficult for left faction members who have gone against the left faction line.

Part of the reason the ACT ALP has been so succesful is precisely because the numbers are relatively even across the party and most of the senior people have recognised that the factional warfare that went on in the long and colourful history of the ACT Branch was destructive in the extreme.

amarooresident amarooresident 10:14 am 14 Nov 08

A couple of things
Burch not Birch

I forgot to say Mary Porter is a member of CC.

Moore also forgets to mention the part that the party organisation plays in terms of the Assembly caucus. I would hazard a guess that the unions, including the right wing ones would be more comfortable with Gallagher as the nesxt Chief Minister rather than Barr or Hargreaves.

Tetranitrate Tetranitrate 10:27 am 14 Nov 08

BeyondThought said :

Factionally I guess its Zed = 3, Smythe = 1, Despo = 1 and Soldier Boy = 1 and if I was Zed I would’nt count on Coe.

Smythe’s ‘numbers’ are irrelevant because he’s the only non-right winger. He is not a faction.

Tosspot and Soldier boy are really the only at all legitimate ‘rivals’.

Bilko Bilko 10:37 am 14 Nov 08

The left faction have dominated ACT labor for more than 20 yrs in branch council and at conference, here was a chance for the 4 right wing members to elect a new leader amoungst the current MLA members and they wimped out.
Cossey and Stanhope ran a Howard rodent style fear campaign and failed. Cossey has gone Stanhope should have been dumped as well.
The left wingnuts praise a 20 yr plus happy partnership but deride a similar marriage lifestyle as it smears those who chose other style relationships. hypocritical to say the least,finally re post15 there are three factions, left, centre semi independant mix and the right currently split into two possibly half rights the sooner they rejoin the better for all concerned.

Tetranitrate Tetranitrate 10:55 am 14 Nov 08

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?

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