Sunday, May 24, 2015

Unleashing the ALP

The following lines may provide more than a clue on how the ALP could dramatically improve its electoral stocks.

Does the party govern for the people or the unions? Hardly a superfluous question, more accurately, a perfectly legitimate query in light of some arresting facts as explained by Patrick Hannaford.
  • The party’s national platform contains over a 160 references to unions.
  • In the ALP national executive, over 70% of the 26 members are current or former union officials.
  • In parliament, over 40% of lower house MP’s and over 70% of ALP senators were former employees of the union movement.
This is startling considering that the number of workers in Australia who are trade union members in relation to their main job, is fewer than 20% of the workforce down from around 41% in 1990.

Moreover, only 12% of our nation's voting age population consist of trade union members.

Consider too, that over 50% of federal ALP parliamentarians were formerly part of union officialdom.

We now know how unions have managed to increase their clout in spite of falling union membership numbers and it's no surprise that Queensland’s Palaszczuk Government has recently provided union’s access to Government resources Inc. office space computers and phones. Nor any surprise that there is a perception that Victoria's Daniel Andrews is paying off the unions that actively campaigned for his election.

In light of how indebted Labor Governments are to unions (given the hefty sums of money provided for election campaigns), it is entirely reasonable to suggest that unions have become a franchise of Labor Governments.

This raises a further question, how much more effective and successful would the Australian Labor Party be, if it chose to be more representative and governed for the people? 

The first thing it ought to consider is to limit its bonds with the union movement, Bill Shorten should take the lead in this matter.  

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