Sep 2, 2014

Poll Bludger: Labor’s party reform a gift to Newman

Labor's Queensland branch has become the latest to reform its procedure for choosing party leaders, after last week's state conference ratified a move to grant a share of the vote to the party membership.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

With Labor’s recently acquired enthusiasm for democratising its leadership elections, Australia has emerged as a late arrival to a trend that has been playing out in Western democracies over several decades.

Selection of parliamentary leaders and presidential election candidates has long been a matter for the top echelon of party hierarchies, which in different national contexts gave rise to metaphors invoking smoke-filled rooms and faceless men. That began to change from the 1970s, as parties throughout the Western world confronted electorates that were losing enthusiasm for engagement in party affairs through the traditional avenues of membership and activism during election campaigns.

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