Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. (Image: Flickr/Dimitri Rodriguez)

Crikey readers were quick to jump at the chance to discuss what a shaken-up ALP would look like. While some thought the prospect of a revolutionary could draw the left back to Labor, others cautioned that it would take more than a Jeremy Corbyn or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez figure to get Australians to vote for the left. Elsewhere, readers took on Peter Dutton’s information strategy, and the implications of religious freedom legislation.

On the need for a Labor shakeup

Nathan MacFie writes: As a Green-aligned former Labor voter, I vowed never to back them again after they waived through the border force and encryption legislation. But perhaps the only way forward is to join my local ALP branch and agitate for an Ocasio-Cortez like candidate to displace the enfeebled centre-right incumbent. Food for thought.

Maureen Peck writes: I think the only politician likely to convince voters to prefer him over the ghastly Scott Morrison is Daniel Andrews because of his track record in achieving projects and Victoria’s prosperity relative to other states. I thought his $600 million grant to pay for the replacement of fire prone cladding and his challenge to Scott Morrison to match it was actually the beginning of a bid by Andrews to become a national political figure.

Nicholas Browne writes: The British system has problems of its own. Party members (on both sides) tend to be more extreme in their views than either the parliamentary party or the voters (even those who are fairly committed). Handing power of appointment to the membership has given Britain, on one side, an almost certainly unelectable Corbyn, and on the other Boris Johnson. But then Albo was the choice of the ALP membership last time anyway. Add to that, the Australian electorate rejected possibly the most progressive agenda Labor has produced in ages, and re-elected a bitterly divided and borderline incompetent Coalition. What chance would a Corbynesque figure have?

Frank Dee writes: Have Labor become so clogged up with factionalism and procedure that they are now redundant? If so, who is going to replace them? I hate myself for saying this, but maybe Cory Bernardi was on the right track. Perhaps what is needed for this country’s future is for some disgruntled and visionary Laborites to leave the party and join together with the more sensible Greens (the ones who aren’t into replicating Labor’s factional warfare).

On Dutton and the boats

Steven Westbrook writes: Note that the government is only too happy to do a big reveal to selected outlets on this one. We will decide what information you have, and the outlet through which it is released…

On religious freedom

Mark Dunstone writes: My understanding of the proposed legislation is that it will, by way of example, give people of the major religions the “right” to slag off against women, homosexuals, and non-believers such as atheists by exempting them from civil law. But this “right” to slag others will be denied to atheists and agnostics, etc. Can anyone explain why religious people should have this additional right?

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Peter Fray

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