Oct 9, 2014

Poll Bludger: Faulkner dares to take on the unions

Senator John Faulkner's call for reform of the Labor Party does not shy away from the party's largest ally -- trade unions.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

At a time when corruption scandals and electoral debacles have left the party at a historically low ebb, Senator John Faulkner’s image as a straight-shooting honest broker is a rare asset for the ALP.

He once again put that reputation to use in pursuing the case for party reform in a speech on Tuesday evening, offering his most comprehensive prescription to date for how the party might dig itself out of its present hole.

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3 thoughts on “Poll Bludger: Faulkner dares to take on the unions

  1. CML

    While I agree with your article, William, it has always amused me that people think the Labor Party is anything else but the political wing of the union movement. Now, you either accept that, or you don’t. Labor as a political party in Australia, grew out of the early union movement formed well over 100 years ago. It is not surprising that the unions do NOT want to relinquish power over the party that they indeed own.
    However, times change, and the biggest problem has become who runs the unions. Their influence is no longer benign, and they do enormous damage to the once great Labor Party. Inevitably, the union bosses will either have to listen to people like John Faulkner, or go their own way. Good luck with the latter alternative!
    Having said all that, after 60+ years, I am still a firm supporter of the Labor Party, because what alternative is there? They are still marginally better than the LNP, especially on social issues, and the Greens IMHO are not, and never will be, able to form government. They are mostly nuisance value and in the same stable as PUP, as far as I’m concerned.
    So, yes change would be good, but anyone who supports Labor and doesn’t know and accept where they come from are very poorly informed.

  2. GF50

    Totally with CML, in a nutshell.

  3. Luke Hellboy

    John Faulkner has talked about this publicly since at least 2010 (and probably longer than that behind closed doors.) It has growing problem for a lot longer than that with falling union membership and falling political party engagement more generally. Has anything substantive been done about it? Of course not, while the current beneficiaries of the ALP’s patronage system still control their ever shrinking fiefdoms and put forward only members that are within their control. So we get leaders who stay on the latest focus-group inspired script or are undermined more ruthlessly by their own side than any other political party possibly could. Meanwhile the LNP can do whatever the hell it wants to push arcane ideologies and reward business benefactors effectively unopposed. Until ALP HQ stops fighting over the silverware in a burning house, politics and democracy will continue its steady decline.

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