Thursday, February 05, 2009

Factions, Philosophy and Names

Shortcons and Left-Right-Outs? If you are having trouble keeping up with
factional maneuvering
in the Victorian ALP, the NSW ALP and even the Liberal party, you might like to know that these refer to the break-away right group (led by Shorten and Conroy) that has done a deal with the left and the group that is left behind. At the same time the Shortcons are reportedly registering an association called Labor Unity to effectively claim that name.

This has of course been matched with the turmoil in the NSW ALP. This reaches even further into the lolly-bag of names - with labels of Terrigals, and Troggs.

At least these names are more distinctive than Left or Right, because these factions don't any longer have much at all to do with ideology. While the Left/Right split has its historical base in the relationship between the labour movement and its political wing with communism, there is blessed little philosophical difference between the factions.

People join factions because you can't get nominated or elected to anything without being part of one. Once in it is about deploying that patronage.

For the true true believers the Communists are making a comeback!

At least the Liberal Party turmoil does seem to revolve around philosophy. What is frightening is that there are any left in the party who can seriously believe the extreme US conservative model. But clearly Tom Switzer does.

I think the period of global turmoil will see some development of political philosophy. Kevin Rudd's attempt in The Monthly is worthy but as the Piers Ackerman article notes it has received flak from former ALP right heavies Mark Latham and Michael Costa.

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