Your candidates for National President -- what they say about party reform.

Labor National President candidates Mark Butler and Claire Moore have both put a high priority on ordinary party members having a substantial vote in Federal and state preselections, according to their answers to an Open Labor questionnaire on party reform.  

Moore, a Queensland Senator, gave an unqualified yes to ordinary members having 50 per cent of the vote in Senate preselections while Butler, Federal Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy, gave a qualified yes to the question, noting that in some states ordinary members get 33 per cent of the vote. 

The issue of ordinary members having a greater say in party preselections is likely to be debated at the ALP National Conference in July. 

State and Territory Labor parties vary widely in how much of the vote they give to ordinary members in preselections. For example, Victoria gives members no vote in the election of their Senate candidates, while the ACT gives members 100 per cent of the vote. 

Both candidates gave a qualified yes to democratising union voting within party structures, though Butler believes that unions should be able to attend Conference as a bloc delegation. 

Both also supported giving registered supporters as well as party members a role in pre-selections and other party decision making, and Butler gave the proposal a high priority, saying that "it has been very successful in other jurisdictions."

You'll find full answers from Butler and Moore, below. The other two candidates for National President, Wayne Swan and Mich-Elle Myers, did not answer the questionnaire.

Mark Butler and Claire Moore's responses to Open Labor's questionnaire on party reform.

Mark Butler

  • Federal Member for Port Adelaide
  • Shadow Minister for Climate Change and Energy
  • Current ALP National President

Claire Moore

  • Federal Senator for Queensland

 

 

1. Require states to give members at least 50% of the vote in Senate and Upper House pre-selections.

Support: Qualified Yes

Priority: High

Comments: Direct members vote must be substantial – some states use 33%.

Support: Yes

Priority: High

Comments: N/A

 

2. Allow direct election by membership ballots for all state level party presidential positions.

Support: Qualified Yes

Priority: High

Comments: Direct member vote must be substantial, with some state flexibility.

 

Support: Qualified Yes

Priority: High

Comments:This needs to be discussed across States and Territories. The size of the electorates vary as do eligible members.


3. Allow direct election by membership ballots for all state level party presidential positions.

Support: Yes

Priority: Medium

Comments: N/A

Support: Yes

Priority: High

Comments: Require rather than allow.


4. Democratise union voting within party structures, allowing members of affiliated unions an individual vote, rather than bloc voting.

Support: Half Yes

Priority: N/A

Comments: Union members should be able to participate alongside Party members in local ballots. Unions should be able to attend Conference as a ‘bloc’ delegation.

Support: Qualified Yes

Priority: Medium

Comments: Need to consult with unions.

 

 


5. Explore a role for registered supporters in pre-selections and other party decision-making.

Support: Yes

Priority: High

Comments: It has been very successful in other jurisdictions.

Support: Yes

Priority: Medium

Comments: Need for further examination and Party discussion.


6. Trial community-based pre-selection ballots.

Support: Yes

Priority: Medium

Comments: Prefer focus on registered supporters.

Support: Yes

Priority: Medium

Comments: Review trials. Need for further consideration.


7. Require party memberships to be paid by traceable means, and explore other measures to prevent branch stacking.

Support: Yes

Priority: High

Comments: N/A

Support: Yes

Priority: High

Comments: Important.


8. Enforce secret ballots for internal elections and consider a trial of electronic voting at party conferences as part of a review of internal party voting methods.

Support: N/A

Priority: N/A

Comments: No strong support for electronic voting.

Support: Yes

Priority: Medium

Comments: Need to research issues around electronic voting and security.


9. Introduce an annual “State of the Party” report, available to all members, that clearly explains party structures and decision-making processes, and how members can get more involved in them.

Support: Yes

Priority: High

Comments: N/A

Support: Yes

Priority: High

Comments: Important.


10. Support development and resourcing of the Labor Academy so that party members can acquire skills that will strengthen their work for the party.

Support: Yes

Priority: High

Comments: I helped launch the Labor Academy.

Support: Yes

Priority: High

Comments: Check my video response to Labor Academy.