Articles on Labor Party

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Jenny Macklin emphasises that the pursuit of inclusive growth also requires a set of economic policies that recognise the importance of human capital. AAP/Lukas Coch

Labor needs new narrative, Macklin says

Opposition frontbencher Jenny Macklin says Labor should frame its policies around delivering “inclusive growth” and needs…
The problem confronting Labor and federal leader Bill Shorten is not so much the ties with unions as the centralisation of power in the party and a handful of affiliated unions. AAP/Lukas Coch

Labor will be making a mistake if it simply divorces the unions

Proposed reforms in the Australian Labor Party aim to give members a greater voice in party governance and policy development. This is driven by the need to reverse the party’s shrinking support base after…
Gough Whitlam took principled revisionism to the very top of Labor politics. AAP/Sergio Dionisio

Whitlam’s hard fight for reform holds lessons for Labor today

There was nothing inevitable about Gough Whitlam’s rise to the top. He had to fight every inch of the way. The fight was not only against born-to-rule Liberals who thought he had betrayed his class but…
In office, the late Gough Whitlam sought to fulfil, rather than to end, the promise of capitalism. AAP/Alan Porritt

Political limits of today intensify rosy memory of Whitlamism

The popular response to Gough Whitlam’s death tells us more about the politics of the present than the past. Whitlam has been cast as a messiah; as Labor’s saviour; and as the slayer of what Paul Keating…
Julia Gillard’s My Story is about defending her legacy, but she is not blind to the faults of the Labor Party nor to her own mistakes. AAP/Dean Lewins

Book review: Gillard’s My Story, a defence of her prime ministership

Julia Gillard’s autobiography, My Story, presents a comprehensive defence of her prime ministership. Gillard dives straight into the heart of her story, beginning on the day she was sworn in as prime minister…
Senator John Faulkner’s call for political parties to re-engage with Australians through social media is laudable, but his own efforts illustrate how much politicians have to learn. Facebook/John Faulkner

Politics as usual? Ailing parties fail to get to grips with social media

After his speech about party renewal last week, I went to Labor Senator John Faulkner’s Facebook page. It has about 2700 likes. The page features links to speeches and pictures of events that Faulkner…
Opposition leader Bill Shorten has found himself in a better than expected electoral position a year into his leadership. AAP/Lukas Coch

Grattan on Friday: In Conversation with Bill Shorten

Bill Shorten will have been a year in his job next month. After its trouncing at the election, Labor is in a much better position than many would have expected, leading on a two party basis in the polls…
New Zealand Labour leader David Cunliffe cast an early ballot, but few voters followed his lead, with Labour recording its worst result since 1922. NZN Image/Sarah Robson

NZ’s Labour pains mirror party problems in Australia

For the New Zealand Labour Party, which has been the dominant force on the left since it first took office in 1935, Saturday’s general election was a very bad day at the office. The 24.7% of the vote Labour…
Bill Shorten needs to define a positive story for Labor that goes beyond the constant whining about the government’s broken promises. AAP/Alan Porritt

As the party faithful drift away, can Bill Shorten reinvent Labor?

Bill Shorten, who seemed so impressive as a union leader and minister, is shaping up as the least inspiring opposition leader since Alexander Downer. In foreign affairs, Shorten’s fear of repeating Mark…
It seems things are not yet bad enough in the Labor Party to make significant reform, such as John Faulkner’s proposed changes to preselection, likely. AAP/Daniel Munoz

Faulkner’s reforms will fail as NSW Labor refuses to change

Labor senator John Faulkner does not anticipate that his moves to reform the party’s preselection processes will succeed at this weekend’s NSW State Conference. Faulkner is hoping to have the rules changed…
A party that saw itself as accountable to itself and to faction leaders soon squandered the broad base of support that propelled Labor to victory in 2007. AAP/Alan Porritt

Geoff Gallop: reconnecting with community is core Labor reform

This is an edited extract of a speech by former WA premier Geoff Gallop at Tuesday night’s launch in Sydney of Open Labor, a national movement for Labor reform and a broader renewal of politics as a more…
The Abbott government’s use of royal commissions for political retribution has revived an older tradition around the politics of scandal. AAP/Dan Peled

Pink batts and union inquiries revive a tradition of political retribution

It would be a fair observation that the Abbott government hopes that the result of the two royal commissions it has established since taking office will be damaging to the Labor Party. The royal commissions…
Opposition leader Bill Shorten attacked the government’s budget as ‘ideological’, but his own vision in the battle of ideas is far less clear. AAP/Alan Porritt

Shorten’s budget in reply: will it reshape voters’ memories?

Opposition leader Bill Shorten was emphatic in his budget in reply that the Abbott government’s first budget was an “attack” on the Australian way of life. In his speech on the floor of parliament last…
Opposition leader Bill Shorten delivered his first budget in reply speech on the floor of parliament tonight. AAP/Alan Porritt

Bill Shorten’s budget reply: experts react

Opposition leader Bill Shorten has vowed to oppose funding cuts to hospitals, schools and higher education in his budget in reply speech, threatening more than A$10 billion in budget savings proposed by…
In the lead-up to the budget, Labor and its leader Bill Shorten seem strangely absent from debates about the purpose of government. AAP/Paul Miller

Shorten, Abbott and the trap of being a negative opposition

Bill Shorten has clearly taken Tony Abbott as his role model as opposition leader. Shorten’s refrain of “broken promises” and “no more taxes” has an eerie ring of familiarity to it, and risks turning the…
Bill Shorten’s objective of an ‘inclusive’ Labor Party is hard to argue against in theory, but achieving it in practice is likely to prove fraught. AAP/Julian Smith

Shorten, the unions and the challenge of Labor Party reform

Federal Labor leader Bill Shorten has outlined his vision for a rejuvenated Labor Party. His speech earlier this week was a call to arms for the reform of federal Labor’s organisational rules. While Shorten’s…
Not since John Howard conceded in 2007 that WorkChoices went too far has Labor controlled and won a big policy debate. AAP/Andrew Brownbill

Can Labor recapture the will and capacity to win the big debates?

In the wake of the ALP’s poor result in the recent Western Australia Senate election, The Conversation is publishing a series of articles looking at the party’s brand, organisation and future prospects…

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