The ALP today - it stinks

As the years have passed by, I have become more firmly entrenched in a centre-left political stance. This means, of course, that I am more likely to vote for parties that subscribe to my politics. This is why I am more likely to support the Australian Labor Party and the Greens when it comes to elections.

I am not a partisan, however. I am not a member of any political party and I see principle and ideas to be far more important than supporting a particular political party. This is why I can, for example, praise the Howard government for its fiscal intelligence while also criticising them for their immoral stance on immigration and the Iraq War.

Yet despite Howard's success, and the success of the Liberal/National coalition in Federal politics, Australia is now governed entirely by the Australian Labor Party. Not only is Kevin Rudd the new PM in charge of an ALP government, but every single state government in Australia is Labor as well. Despite the apparent ascendency of the Liberal/National Coalition since 1996, the hard fact is that Australia is dominated by the ALP. More than that, the chances of a revival in the coalition's electoral success is increasingly slim. The Liberal Party, for example, took around 37% of votes in the last Federal Election. The National Party is in even worse shape, getting only 5.5% of votes.

Of course part of the reason why these figures are so low for the coalition is because of the rise of the Greens to being Australia's third largest political party. Yet the party which has been affected least by the Greens is the ALP.

The ALP has been enormously successful in surviving the Howard years at state level by positioning themselves as a centrist party. The dominant right faction of the ALP has ensured that the more progressive/leftist members of the ALP have not had any real power since the days of Gough Whitlam.

Yet I would have to say that the price of this success has been corruption and inaction. The NSW Labor Party, for example, is enduring all sorts of political fallout - all of it the result of their own stupidity and greed. NSW Labor politicians have been threatening restaurant staff, sexually abusing teenagers, taking money from property developers and mismanaging state funds for quite some time now.

I can't remember the last time I voted for the ALP. I think it was in the 1980s. Ever since then I have voted Liberal, Democrat or Green. The survival of the ALP and its reputation does not concern me in the slightest. I abhor any form of politics that results in inefficiency and corruption. Even though I was deeply angry with Howard's treatment of immigrants and his position on the Iraq War, I cannot think of any major scandal rocking his government during his 11 years in power.

One of the most frightening things I can think of is the potential for Kevin Rudd to turn into a federal version of Morris Iemma, leading a federal version of NSW Labor. That would be complete disaster. Unfortunately I can't see anything positive yet about Kevin Rudd's (albeit short) time as PM. So far Rudd has been strong on words but low on actual, measurable outcomes. Unless Rudd actually starts doing something, I can't see anything beyond a descent into a long term NSW-type Labor activity. And that will do nobody any good.

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