ALP factional feuds usually play out behind closed doors. This week, they were on display at local elections for State Conference delegates and FEA Executives. The contests were tight and the moods tense.
We all know that there remains a problem with ALP democracy in Victoria. Party members and supporters alike are continually disappointed by the rules of the game, how those rules are implemented and the hidden forces behind this.
Last weekend saw more of the same, but also some new signs of hope. A group of our supporters put themselves on the line to ensure an Open Labor presence at the State Conference and local FEA levels.
The Victorian state conference in April is an opportunity to push further the case for genuine democratic reform.
State Conference matters. It not only discusses and determines the direction of party policy, it elects members of the committees that run the party and that preselect candidates.
But we know there is only so much that can be done from the visitors' gallery.
So we’re excited that we’ll have reform-minded people – Joel Kennedy in Melbourne Ports, Mark Karlovic in Ballarat and Michael Leahy in Wills – on the floor as delegates. They will work with other pro-democratic forces in the party to achieve change.
Local FEA Executives are important conduits for local ALP members to support our Federal candidates in their effort to knock off the chaotic Turnbull Government.
We’re particularly excited to see the energetic Kath Cozens, a member of Open Labor’s operating group – get up for the FEA Executive in Goldstein.
Democracy – including ALP democracy – is a participation sport. We congratulate all those who nominated, put themselves out there, engaged their local members and declared themselves ready to play.
Entrenched powers cannot forever ignore the chorus of rank-and-file members, whose voices deserve to be heard.
This is another step forward on the path to change!
Joel Kennedy - State Conference delegate, Melb Ports
Mark Karlovic - State Conference delegate, Ballarat
Michael Leahy - State Conference delegate, Wills
Kath Cozens - FEA Executive, Goldstein