The Liberal Party of Australia has forgotten the forgotten people and the light on the hill is definitively out for the Australian Labor Party. The parties no longer represent the people they purport to represent. The Liberal Party of Australia is not liberal, and the Australian Labor Party no longer represents labour. Neither party is committed to implementing its formal platform and neither party represents the electorate.
The Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party (ALP) has historically been a reformist party, seeking to civilise capitalism and use state power exercised through Labor Governments to achieve social reform. Ordinary people would join the ALP as an expression of hope that the ALP could improve lives. Being a member of the party allowed a real and dynamic participation in the political life of the nation.
In theory if not practice people would discuss and formulate policy at their local branch. Branch representatives would take the policy to state and national conferences. If the conference supported the policy, it would be incorporated into the party platform.
Party members at the local level would then return to their electorate and select candidates committed to the platform and would work to ensure their local candidate was elected to the Parliament. The candidate once elected would work to introduce legislation to give effect to the platform.
Internal party democracy gave party members a political voice. Internal democratic processes allowed members to participate in the life of the party and the nation. Party members, the faceless men and women of the ALP, and party democracy, ensured the party remained true to its reformist ideals.
The party platform reflected the democratic will of the base party membership and the party was theoretically democratic.
This period if it ever existed is over.
Corporate and branded funding, collective union funding not necessarily endorsed by union members, and state funding, mean the ALP no longer needs its membership to provide in-put and policy direction.
The ALP has betrayed its own membership base and its natural constituency and is corrupt both in terms of how it formulates policy and how it selects candidates. Candidates do not join the party to reform capitalism but to further their careers or business interests.
While the ALP Platform is a tremendous statement of participatory modern social democracy, party practice represents a systematic violation of the platform. Labor does not discuss the platform because it contradicts the policy and practice of the party.
The idea that the party exits to civilise capitalism is dead. The idea that the party is a vehicle for reform of the state and society is dead. Internal democracy within the party is dead. The killing of the nameless and faceless men and women of the ALP, and the unwillingness of Bill Shorten and the party hierarchy to bring it back, has ensured the ALP is finished as a vehicle for reform and is now subject to the same inducements of corporate money, state funding of its operations, and access to career advancement for party operatives as the conservative parties they traditionally opposed.
Joining the Australia Labor Party opens the door to a range of career possibilities and appointments of greater and lesser advancement within the state and private business.
The Liberal Party of Australia
The Liberal Party of Australia represents a contradictory mix of high-level business interests, instrumental neo-liberal economics that would support market freedoms to the point that competition would diminish the institutional advantage of big business, and a conservative rump whose faith based and frankly prejudicial and discriminatory principles align with imperial Christianity.
Factions compete to seek access to the power and influence that comes from being within the “broad church” of the Liberal Party. The one thing that unites the party is its opposition to the Australian Labor Party. Even so, it is now intractably caught between its conservative wing and its liberal wing on matters of ideology and political strategy.
While the Federal Platform of the Liberal Party is a magnificent statement of noble collectivist principle and balancing of individual rights, the practices and living policy of the party are an betrayal of the platform. Liberals do not discuss the platform because it embarrassingly contradicts the policy, practice and ethics of the party.
The Liberal Party is successful because it provides a vehicle for the advancement of policies that benefit a wide range of particular businesses and commercial interests. It is by definition open to the influence of specific industry sectors and the business agenda broadly defined. It also controls appointments to the critical institutions that regulate the state and capitalism in banking and finance, corporate affairs, the judiciary, public administration, the diplomatic service, and military.
Joining the Liberal Party of Australia opens the door to a range of career possibilities and appointments of greater and lesser advancement both in business and within the state.
The Democratic Reform Alliance is a political party established to direct public dissatisfaction towards enhanced structures of accountability. The Democratic Reform Alliance has a Platform underpinned by a series of strategies that would allow it to restore representation to the Australian people.
We ask you to join us in delivering on the Mission of the Democratic Reform Alliance by voting for the Democratic Reform Alliance on Election Day.
Together we will deliver the positive changes Australians are looking for.