The results are in. The rank and file voted nearly 60/40 for Anthony Albanese, but Bill Shorten won on the strength of the caucus vote.
Some party members are already reacting with desperation, feeling that the initial foray into democratising the party has been frustrated by the caucus ballot. Some are reaching out on social media suggesting they will now 'give up on the party.'
I can understand the reaction but would counsel all of them to stay and continue to drive further reform.
The move to democratising the party by allowing a member vote for leader of the FPLP was championed by Sam Dastyari. That should tell the members something. It was the one move that he felt comfortable with not affecting the power of state secretaries and the factional system that underpins them.
But this is not a genie that can easily be put back in a bottle.
Members of the party need to do the following.
- ask your mp or duty senator how they voted and why, they didn't represent views of the base so let them know your displeasure
- discuss with your fellow members the areas of further reform you want to see
- continue to promote the values of the ALP which seeks to represent the people who make a living by what they do, not what they own. The party that stands for jobs and growth, opportunity, sustainability and a fair go
- encourage more people to join
Leaving will not create change! The only option is to stay and fight for it.