Modia Minotaur

Trawling the airwaves to spare you the agony!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Beating The Rank and File Drum

I know I do go on about this, but it's interesting to see both sides of politics speaking out on the topic of rank and file preselection.

Firstly the Liberals of Goulburn aren't happy about the notion of Pru Goward being parachuted in. For all his complaints about the ALP dictating who goes where, Peter Debnam has gone through an awful lot to place his preferred candidate but not had a lot of luck until now. Despite a local outcry, it appears the only local challenger, Martin Laverty, has been heavied out of mounting a challenge and spending the rest of the day denying suggestions that the commands came from John Howard himself.

Things aren't much better in Newcastle, where local ALP members are outraged at the dumping of local MP Bryce Gaudry, as I have already discussed (and Alan Ramsay has essayed at greater depth).

Both cases illustrate the same essential principle: head offices of both parties have got things around the wrong way. Talented potential MPs need to be attracted to parties at the grass roots level, rather than scouted out in some sort of political equivalent to Australian Idol. Achieving this requires complete renovation of party processes. Unfortunately, that's something that doesn't seem to be particularly high on anyone's agenda at the moment.


At 11:36 am, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's pathetic in both cases. Goward is in a hurry to get in there and save the Liberals from themselves, but she's going about it the wrong way. Epping was a stacked branch, and there appears no method of dealing with it. Failure there, so she goes to an area where the branches do work well and barges in. One cannot help but feel Seaton was leaned on, but what gives with replacing a very strong female MP, with 10 years experience, with another strong female? Surely they'd be better with two?

As for Newcastle, it's despicable. Gaudry did a good job and stuck up for good issues, and is punished. His replacement has a community background hosting telethons, reading the news and running PR for John Hunter Hospital. She might be impressive, but clearly she's been put in because the Premier liked her style when he was health minister. So she's going to be a Terrigal too ... just what we need, more Terrigals.

At 1:40 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the seat of Shellharbour several unions are organising to run a canidate against the Lylea McMahon who was endorsed by the ALP National Executive.

The unions include AWU, CFMEU, Teachers Federation, Fire Brigade Union and members of the NTEU.

Local ALP operatives are laughing because the new seat of Shellharbour has almost a 60% ALP primary vote and being a state election it has optional preferencial voting - ie the ALP will run a Just Vote 1 campaign and starve the unnamed union candidate of votes.

It is very difficult to obtain the preference lockout that was organised in Cunningham by ex-ALP members in the state system.

Local ALP loyalists were concerned that the unions might run a ticket in all the Illawarra ALP seats. Some for factional reasons would have loved to have seen them run a candidate against Noreen Hay in Wollongong who hand picked Lylea McMahon for the seat.

One rumour about is that the union candidate in Shellharbour maybe Vicky King, an ex-councillor.

At 8:54 pm, Blogger Minotaur said...

That's quite an interesting point you raise there, Anonymous 1. N40ing is bad enough, but what about giving the boot to a factional enemy and replacing them with a factional ally? Inter-factional warfare is the quietest it's been in some time in NSW, but that's the sort of thing that could get the Left quite justifiably angry.

At 3:42 pm, Blogger Oz said...

I think it's because the Left is at each other half of the time Minotaur, that's why the interfactional warfare is so quiet.
Undoubtedly the N40 rule needs to be restricted if not eliminated but the problem is being stuck between head office and deadwood MPs who can control numbers mainly because the branches are so small.
I don't see talented people attracted at the grassroots level. The grassroots level is pretty boring and I live on the edge of the inner west. Inevitably those talented people will be recruited by factional leaders and parachuted in because I doubt many would spend their time trying to climb up the "ladder of opportunity" and doing numbers for years.

At 7:32 pm, Blogger Minotaur said...

I agree. That's why the notion of neglecting the grassroots is so stupid in the long run. They say they need a rule to parachute talented candidates in, yet they could get them for free if they cultivated them in their own areas!

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