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ALP ballot a triumph of democracy

Brian Mitchell, ALP member writes: Re. “Love will tear us apart at Albo’s campaign launch” (yesterday). A ridiculous contribution from Margot Saville regarding the weighting of caucus votes against those of the wider membership.

It makes perfect sense for the parliamentary team to have a much greater proportional say in the new leader than the wider membership — it is the parliamentary team that has to work closely with the leader, after all.

In the UK, the wider membership supported Ed Miliband while most in the UK parliamentary team supported his brother David. In the end there was enough parliamentary support when added to the membership vote to grant the job to Ed. A triumph of participatory democracy, and UK Labour is now consistently ahead of the Tories on every measure. It’s come a long way in three years and will give many Labor people here hope about what can be achieved if we heed the lessons of the 2013 election: Anthony Albanese, prime minister, in 2016? Albosolutely!

Labor’s new ballot system for choosing the party leader is good for democracy and good for stability. It strips power from factional warlords within caucus and provides the leader with the authority he or she needs to pursue long-term goals, without having to keep an eye on week-by-week polls.

I predict every major party in Australia will have this system, or something similar, within 10 years.

Poles apart

Doug Marmion writes: Re. “Richard Farmer’s chunky bits” (yesterday). I think Richard Farmer got it wrong about Murdoch’s tweet. Murdoch said: “Pls explain record increase in Arctic ice.” I suspect Murdoch was talking about the Antarctic, which has indeed had a record increase in ice cover. So Murdoch still a denialist, but simply showing his ignorance in confusing the two opposite poles.

This increase happened despite the increased temps — turns out it’s because of increased winds that pile the ice up and make it thicker, which enables more sea to ice over as even with increased temps it’s still way below zero down there.

Less cynicism, please

Moreno Giovannoni writes: Re. “Crikey says: Canberra’s brutal inauguration” (yesterday). Is it possible to have an editorial policy that calls for “less cynicism and sarcasm”? The tone of your pieces is a bit predictable. Surprise me?


Crikey writes: Re.”Tips and rumours” (yesterday). Yesterday we mentioned a widely held belief that The Australian’s Nicolas Rothwell is Rupert Murdoch’s godson.  He isn’t, we’ve been assured. Sorry about that, Nicolas.

Peter Fray

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