Joe de Bruyn took time off from the self flagellation over the weekend to lobby for the Bomber. The 88 caucus members and a not that happy band of bruvvers hit the phones.

But perhaps the ALP might like to look at one of our Commonwealth cousins for some ideas about how successful political parties chose their leaders.

In Alberta, Canada, the Progressive Conservatives have just held a ballot. They might have a clumsier name than People Power – but they’ve run the province for 35 years.

Perhaps that might be because more people than just caucus hacks and their union string pullers have a vote. Indeed, more than 140,000 party members had a vote.

Any Australian political party would die to have a membership like.

Perhaps it’s a lesson – for recruiting, let alone winning office – about what happens when you take the power away from the faceless men.

Peter Fray

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