Phil's Replacement will need to do this

Julia Gillard is trying to change the way the ALP operates, reducing the impact of unions and factions. Labour here do not have formal factions but they do have a system that promotes seriously average and unelectable union hacks over good quality candidates who can appeal to the public.

Her proposals are broadly in line with the spirit of the report, which noted that Labor’s membership was ageing and haemorrhaging, leaving the party unable to man some election booths in last year’s election. It proposed a system of US-style primaries for preselections in open or non-Labor held seats, with a guaranteed 20 per cent share of the vote for union members, 60 per cent for ALP members and 20 per cent for non-member supporters.

This is quite the system that allows National to have seriously talented people like Mark Mitchell or Maggie Barry win selection in safe seats without having done years of drudgery in the party. This is one enduring advantage National has over Labour, selection of good people from outside the party is possible.

Labour needs to look closely at why it has a party list that ranks useless, unelectable union hacks ahead of high quality people with a long term future. Moroney at 10 ahead of Grant Roberston? Darien Fenton 9 places ahead of Stuart Nash. Nash is also behind 18 year veteran and well known useless bastard with nothing to offer Labour in the future Rick Barker ? sending a really clear message that Labour rewards hacks not talented new comers even if the hacks are well past their used by dates.

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