Some frequently asked questions about Open Labor – ask us some more...
What is Open Labor?
Open Labor formed in 2013 as a loose grouping of ALP members, supporters and friends promoting renewal of the Australian Labor Party and a more open, democratic and optimistic politics. By Open Labor we mean a party open to new people, ideas and methods, more democratic, better connected to its members, supporters and the public, and powerfully equipped to help elect strong, long-serving Labor governments.
Open Labor is non-aligned. We work with the Independents on some campaigns, but we also welcome and receive contributions from members of the Left and Right factions – anyone committed to a more open, democratic ALP.
Is Open Labor a faction?
No. At least, we don’t think so. We’re a broad ideological church, but we agree on one thing: the ALP will be a stronger party if it is a bigger party, full of people who are loyal to Labor goals and values. To grow its membership, it needs to open itself up more to its members.
Is Open Labor anti-faction?
No. We support the idea that the Labor movement is big enough and inclusive enough to allow for genuine ideological differences, and that organising like-minded individuals to work together towards those goals is logical and fair. Formalised factions are preferable to the LNP’s dishonest pretence that their factions don’t exist. What we object to is the type of murky, corrupt behaviour that led to the federal intervention in Victoria in 2020.
I want to help! How can I get involved?
That’s great! Write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org and tell us how you’d like to get involved. We will be running Zoom meetings during this time, so keep an eye out on the website and the Facebook page. We’ll be reaching out to branches soon, too. Branches are vital in building momentum towards a more democratic party.
I’m in a faction, but broadly agree with these goals – do I have a place in Open Labor?
Yes. We are working to build a consensus across all of the Party. You are very welcome, and will be important in advocating for change. Please get in touch with us: we’d love to talk with you.
I’m not in the ALP, but broadly agree with these goals – do I have a place with Open Labor?
Also yes! Many genuine people have tried to join the Party and have been turned off by the unnecessary obstacles that are put in their way. We want to grow the Party, and bringing in new people, with their ideas and energy, is going to be vital.
So the Victorian Branch is in administration: what is the process from here on?
Have a look at the timeline, here on the website.
What are the obstacles to making these reforms a reality? Could this be just another in a long line of reports that disappear into the ether?
We hope not. A lot is at stake: if we can’t create a broad consensus across the Party, and deal with the worst and most frequent forms of branch stacking, then we lose a once-in-a-generation opportunity. Democracy is in retreat across the world – we cannot afford to let the rot spread any further here.
I find the ALP’s rules confusing and intimidating, so I generally avoid discussions about them. How can I learn about them?
You’re not alone. The rules are complicated, and hard to navigate. Please have a look at the four major goals we have identified: the need for more democracy, greater integrity, growth and capacity. All of our detailed reform proposals are driven by these goals: making the ALP more open and democratic.
I am a friend of the ALP – can I put my ideas on the Open Labor website?
Please do! We do have editorial guidelines and reserve the right not to run everything, so email us your piece. You’re also very welcome to comment on the pieces that other people have contributed. It’s this kind of open debate that we want to see modelled by the Party. (See our Contributions policy and Email us)