Mark Bahnisch (of blog Larvatus Prodeo) had a nice piece in Crikey today (but behind the paywall).
He notes the consequence of Saturday being the talk of party reform within the ALP. He takes particular aim at the suggestions built on Putnam's Bowling Alone that the collapse of "social capital" means you can't build an active party.
He says there are two problems, it’s not true and it avoids rather than engages with the problem.
The data actually shows there’s no lack of interest in political issues among many Australians, particularly among young Australians. But existing structures don't engage that interest. He draws attention to a UK Fabian Society report, Facing Out Online: How Party Politics Must Change To Build A Progressive Society and "the disjunction between frozen institutional structures and activist impulses."
He suggests that now is the time to engage with the issue by experimenting with new structures, including considering the kinds of things covered by Gov 2.0.
Certainly a better policy discussion can be had online in a forum than in a dusty school hall. Members can be engaged with the movement every day, not just once a month.
The ALP in NSW experimented with a "Central Policy Branch". The next step should be the "Virtual Branch". Active participation in the (or one of the) virtual branches should give you just as much right to vote in preselections etc as central policy or real branches.
Thanks Mark (and yes - if you want to read the whole original I'd back Mark and recommend a Crikey subscription).
PS And cyber-bowling in groups does happen - its just different kinds of games.
Novae Meridianae Demetae Dexter delenda est