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Federal Politics

Federal Politics Live: September 24, 2013

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Now it's over to the Labor Party members to make up their minds. We will know the result in ten days' time on October 13.

Thanks for being with me this evening. Your company is, as always, delightful.

Well, that was interesting.

Both men were incredibly nice about each other and the importance of the democratisation (for want of a better word) of the leadership process.

Both delivered very positive visions for Labor.

Mr Albanese concentrated more on attacking the Coalition government than on presenting his own Labor vision. To me this seemed like he was making the case to be opposition leader rather than Labor leader if you get my drift. You could see more of how he wanted to fight Prime Minister Tony Abbott rather than how he wanted to lead Labor.

Mr Shorten, on the other hand, laid out the areas he wanted to focus on as Labor leader - domestic violence and the ongoing discrimination against women, an (unspecified) increase in the refugee program, areas which would appeal to the left of the party (from which Mr Albanese hails). Mr Shorten was demonstrating his vision rather than the case he would make against the Coalition.

 

 

Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese at the Labor leadership debate in Sydney.

Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese at the Labor leadership debate in Sydney. Photo: Marco Del Grande

And that's it. (Except for the raffle which I won't blog.)

Mr Shorten: "I believe there's an appetite in this community for brave political parties....We should be the party which is brave. We should be the party of the future.....If elected you will hear less about 'I' and more about 'we'. The era of the messiah is over."

Mr Shorten says there will always be a place for Labor as long as there is a child who goes to school without breakfast and as long as there is a parent concerned about their child with a disability.

Bill Shorten at the Labor leadership debate.

Bill Shorten at the Labor leadership debate. Photo: Marco Del Grande

Mr Shorten says he wondered if the leadership process would "go off the rails" but it has jump started Labor's momentum.

"If you pick him I can understand," Mr Shorten says of Mr Albanese.

Speaking up for people who are the underdogs is "Labor's DNA", he says.

"We are part of the Australian story....We need to refresh and renew and reinvigorate that vision and we can."

"As Gough Whitlam said it's about the party and the policies and the people."

Mr Albanese says the "time is right" for him to "step up to the leadership of the Labor Party".

"I wouldn't do it if I didn't think I was the right person to lead the Labor Party at this time," Mr Albanese says before saying more nice things about Bill Shorten and the members.

"Make sure you vote," he finishes.

Anthony Albanese at the  Labor leadership debate in Sydney.

Anthony Albanese at the Labor leadership debate in Sydney. Photo: Marco Del Granda

Concluding statements.

Mr Albanese: "This is an historic moment for our great party....If I had my way this certainly won't be the last."

"We want it to be just one term [of opposition]....Labor governments make a real difference. It is only Labor governments that tackle the big ideas."

"We need to use this period of opposition to hold the government to account and defend our legacy....Labor needs to be a constructive opposition but also use this period to develop the next big ideas."

 

A woman in the audience wants to know what Labor will do for women.

Mr Albanese says Labor has a strong record of selecting and promoting women.

Mr Shorten says he is sick of seeing the discrimination against women that still exists in Australia. He does not like that his daughter and step daughters face pressures about the way they dress that "blokes" do not.

Domestic violence is only the "tip", Mr Shorten, says before listing the gender pay gap, lack of childcare and part time work, pregnancy discrimination and job insecurity as the issues women must deal with.

"Your beautiful child doesn't stop needing their primary carer at 9 or 12 months," Mr Shorten says.

Mr Shorten says Labor must "pull up its socks" when it comes to its own quotas for women MPs.

Both Mr Albanese and Mr Shorten are championing the national disability insurance scheme (which Labor did not mention much during the campaign for fear people might remember the prime minister who got it through Parliament - Julia Gillard).

Mr Shorten is reminding people that he was the one who championed the scheme as parliamentary secretary.

Mr Albanese talks about his mother who suffered from arthritis and needed assistance.

 

Bill Shorten at the first Labor leadership debate in Sydney.

Bill Shorten at the first Labor leadership debate in Sydney. Photo: Marco Del Grande

Bill Shorten is spending the time Mr Albanese speaks tweeting his heart out.

(I'm not going to put them up because that's just unfair.)

Anthony Albanese and Bill Shorten at their first debate before party members at UTS, Sydney.

Anthony Albanese and Bill Shorten at their first debate before party members at UTS, Sydney. Photo: Marco Del Grande

An audience member would like to know if either man is prepared to fight an election with a more humane policy on asylum seekers.

Mr Albanese: "In terms of moving forward we need to hold the government to account. They've gone from stopping the boats, to buying the boats to hiding the boats."

Mr Shorten: "Immigration to this country is a great thing.....I do not think it is illegal for people to want to come here....We are pro refugees. It is not a bad thing to want to come here."

Mr Shorten says Labor must define itself by "our fundamental principles" and should life its refugee intake.

 

Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese at the Labor debate.

Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese at the Labor debate. Photo: Rob Homer

The next questioner wants to know why young people aren't interested in politics: "The Labor Party represents young people - we just need to remind them of that."

Mr Shorten says he does not think young people are disengaged with politics. Rather, it is about the party connecting with young people and their interests such as the environment, foreign aid and women's rights.

"The way that the Labor Party organises its own matters can join the 21st century," Mr Shorten says. "There are issues still worth fighting for in the community."

Mr Albanese says this process of electing a new Labor leader will help young people see that politics isn't something that just happens in Parliament house.

"We need to engage, I think, much better in the future," he says.

Now to questions.

The gentleman with the microphone asks what kind of prime minister both men want to be.

Mr Albanese says he is much better equipped to be an infrastructure prime minister than Tony Abbott.

Mr Shorten: "I would like to the prime minister for the powerless....We need to be a party for all Australians."

Mr Shorten says he thinks about people with disabilities and their carers and victims of domestic violence.

Mr Albanese says Labor must not shy away from its legacy.

His is a "warts and all" candidacy.

"What you see is what you get," Mr Albanese says.

Anthony Albanese at first leadership debate before party members at UTS, Sydney.

Anthony Albanese at first leadership debate before party members at UTS, Sydney. Photo: Marco Del Grande

Mr Albanese says Labor must do a better job at communication its policies.

He says Labor had an excellent small business policy at the last election but failed to sell it.

Mr Albanese also names sustainability - "not an add on but an essential part of a modern economy".

"Climate change didn't end just because Mr Abbott become prime minister," he says.

 

Anthony Albanese: "Just two weeks after our electoral defeat Labor is becoming stronger."

Mr Albanese says he does not want to lead "just a party" but a movement.

Mr Albanese says his vision is based on "what people talk about around the kitchen table" - education, healthcare, childcare and jobs.

 

Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese arrive for the Labor debate.

Bill Shorten and Anthony Albanese arrive for the Labor debate. Photo: Rob Homer

Mr Shorten says Labor must be brave on behalf of those who are powerless and have no voice.

He names domestic violence as the area Labor must focus on in the same way it took the initiative on the national disability insurance scheme.

Mr Shorten says "a line must be drawn under the divisions of the past" and calls for unity whoever wins the leadership.

"What will generate Labor....is the quality of our ideas," Mr Shorten says.

The next election will not be won in the Parliament alone, he says.

Mr Shorten wants Labor to be the party of science, innovation, life long learning and bravery.

 

Bill Shorten goes first: "I believe that I am like all of you - I joined the Labor Party to make a difference. In my case that was 29 years ago when I was 17 years old."

Mr Shorten says the leadership debate comes down to the question of how each contender will make the Labor Party relevant to the lives of ordinary Australians.

(Mr Shorten manages to get the evening's first "light on the hill" reference in.)

"We must take stock of where we are," Mr Shorten says. "We came second. Only 34 in every 100 Australians puts us first.....We have only a million and a half Australians who have moved their vote to the Coalition."

Your chair for tonight's proceedings is the NSW Labor Party President Michael Lee (his claim to political fame is for a stint as communications ministers in the Keating government).

Anthony Albanese has won the toss and has chosen to go second.

We're about five minutes' away from starting (presuming the debate starts at 7.30 pm when it is supposed to).

They have even got matching ties:

 

These guys are so nice to each other:

 

The votes of the caucus and the general party membership are weighted 50/50 which sounds like they are even.

But this isn't really the case given there are 43,000 members of the ALP and 86 members of the Labor caucus. It doesn't take a huge amount of mathematical ability to work out that each MP's vote is worth a lot more than each party member's vote.

At the moment it seems like the party membership is more inclined to be pro Albanese while the caucus is more inclined to be more pro Shorten.

 

This is Bill Shorten.

He is 46, a powerful member of the Victorian Right and a former workplace relations minister. Bill wants to "rebuild [Labor] from the bottom up". You might remember him from past portfolios such as employment services and education and being a union boss.

In his spare time Bill enjoys standing up for the underdog.

Labor MP Bill Shorten addresses the media at Parliament House in Canberra on Friday 13 September.

Labor MP Bill Shorten addresses the media at Parliament House in Canberra on Friday 13 September. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

This is Anthony Albanese.

He is 50 years old, a powerful member of the NSW Left and a former deputy prime minister of Australia. He wants to "bring vision, union and strength" to the Labor Party. You might remember him from past portfolios such as infrastructure, broadband policy and the environment.

In his spare time Anthony barracks for the South Sydney Rabbitohs and enjoys fighting Tories.

Labor MP Anthony Albanese during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra on Friday 13 September.

Labor MP Anthony Albanese during a press conference at Parliament House in Canberra on Friday 13 September. Photo: Andrew Meares

At least there is actually a leadership vacancy - unlike in the Senate where we have the peculiar situation where people keep saying they are or are not interested in a spot on Labor's NSW ticket.

The latest person to say they want to serve is former Labor frontbencher Mike Kelly, who finally declared defeat in his NSW lower house seat of Eden-Monaro late last week.

Dr Kelly confirmed today that he was interested in a spot.

Not that there is one at the moment. Rumours are flying thick and fast that former foreign affairs minister but still Senator Bob Carr wants to resign. However, nothing has been heard from Senator Carr since he attended a meeting of the G20 in Russia earlier this month.

Curiouser and curiouser.

The debate is part of Labor's move to give a greater voice to its rank and file membership.

Previously the party's MPs decided the leader. But former prime minister Kevin Rudd brought in new rules with the dual aims of making it harder for the leadership shenanigans of the past three years to take place again and to increase the say of party members.

Anyone who was a financial member of the ALP on September 7, 2013 can vote.

The (postal) ballot opened today and will close on Wednesday October 9, 2013.

At 4 pm on Thursday 10 October the members of the federal parliamentary Labor Party will meet to vote. Members' votes will be counted the following day (Friday 11 October) and the caucus votes will be counted on Sunday 13 October.

The new leader will be announced on that day.

You can read more about the rules and regulations here.

The debate is being held at the University of Technology, Sydney, in front of an audience of about 450 people.

Both men will make opening statements. Then people will be able to ask questions directed to either contender (but both will be given the chance to reply) followed by closing statements. It should be finished about 8.30 pm.

What can we expect from tonight?

Quite a bit of civility if the manner of both Mr Shorten and Mr Albanese over the past couple of weeks is anything to go by. Both have been stressing what a good bloke the other is, how Labor needs to put its recent behaviour behind it and that the real enemy is the Coalition.

This is, basically, supposed to be a policy debate.

Good evening.

Welcome to a mini blog of tonight's debate between the contenders for the leadership of the federal Labor Party - Anthony Albanese and Bill Shorten. Too much democracy is never enough.

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  • Shorten is in trouble. I heard an interesting story from a cab driver tonight on the radio discuss his experience driving the potential Prime Minister of the Powerless to the debae tonight. It wasn't a good look.

    Commenter
    Monty of Brisbane
    Location
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 9:05PM
  • My penny's worth is that Albanese is old school and maybe more trustworthy. Shorten definitely has a checkered history of looking for opportunities which benefit his own position, regardless of how it affect others.
    I would have preferred either Stephen Smith who has been respected for many years on a bipartisan basis, or Penny Wong who may alienate some, but would most likely receive more loyalty than the current two contenders.

    Commenter
    Gary
    Location
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 8:54PM
  • After just a few weeks in power this "new' government has given us a fair idea of what we are in for, secrecy and ignorance of the peoples feelings. How arrogant and smug they are in the statements they have made even at this early stage. What other secrets will they excuse as being of an operational nature of which the public do not have a "need to know"? We can only hope that Labor, regardless of which man they chose as leader have learned enough not to tear themselves apart, and that they have the good sense to leave Rudd on the back bench where he is till such times as he retires.

    Commenter
    Mavrik
    Location
    Sydney
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 8:51PM
  • What a pathetic list of comments ....... from BOTH sides of politics. I am a very strong supporter of PM Tony Abbott, but believe comments in these forums should be void of spiteful words full of hate and vitriol.
    I also have hope for a future where Politicians of all persuasions can debate without bringing personal issues into the fray. There are some good examples on both sides, however the fanatics can not see past their biased noses.
    And the Greens ( as much as I would never cast my vote in their direction ) I also believe would do better if they could all speak with an honest voice as did their previous leader Mr Brown.
    Democracy with respect is what I hope for.

    Commenter
    Pierre
    Location
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 8:48PM
    • well there you go...democracy....I have this unbelievable feeling of disgust for Abbott and it has taken only 1 week to surface....well there you go

      Commenter
      JT
      Location
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 8:58PM
    • " without bringing personal issues into the fray."

      and tony abbott telling julia gillard to make "an honest women of herself" is not personal? nice try, you are a partisan block of concrete.....

      Commenter
      look at yourself
      Location
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 9:03PM
    • this hilarious, like abbott saying "i want an honest government" then proceeding to block the media from information holding the government to account. or news corp saying "we're holding the government to account" but not criticising abbot from preventing that from happening? i can't believe what i'm seeing the intellectually bereft attitude of the australian people. duplicitousness and hypocrisy i expect from an lnp government but for the australian people to roll over and say "yeah i'm fine with an effective dictatorship"

      makes me sick

      Commenter
      look at yourself
      Location
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 9:09PM
  • As a Liberal member I think Shorten was the clear winner, Aldo seemed to be hooked to the last 6 years, Bill seemed to have a different policy direction, which I found enlightening.

    Commenter
    Martin Says
    Location
    Canberra
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 8:45PM
  • the true fact is this will energise the labor base, getting back to their true roots. question is can they carry this "community spirit" to the wider electorate? with the coalitions media grey out it may get interesting. it's up to you fairfax, news corp has demonstrated itself as no more than a lnp press release billboard. will you step up to the plate?

    Commenter
    get ourselves some breakfrast
    Location
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 8:44PM
  • it's funny, reading the comments here, apparently the only opposition is from the liebral apparatchicks and conservative rusted ons. do you think this is for you you fools? live up your smugness, it's early days yet.

    Commenter
    coming for you
    Location
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 8:40PM
    • Mate by the sound of you, you have not had a good squirt of WD40 decades, talk about rusted on.

      Commenter
      WD40
      Location
      Canberra
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 8:49PM
  • We'll let's entrust the party faithful and the hierarchy to make a valued judgement on the leadership ballot.
    It's obvious the Abbott govt is in disarray already and doesn't give a damn about a multitude of issues that will affect us long into the future.
    Whether that be diplomacy or the environment is irrelevant. Labor needs to sell it's message and bring Abbott to account.
    "We" can't afford our great country to be cast back in time and to let the polluters loose.
    Labor, get your act together and get it together quick.
    Consider working with The Greens and you could easily win govt when the DD occurs.
    I see that occurring more likely under an Albo led ALP.

    Commenter
    A country gal
    Location
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 8:39PM
  • I don't think that the ALP have yet realised that they are no longer in power and are largely irrelevant.
    Mind you, the new, Abbott government is starting to go about its job without the need for an hourly press release, so the self indulgence of Labor's own navel gazing will serve to fill the column inches which would otherwise be taken up by real news, had the Fairfax press not got rid of so many journalists.

    Commenter
    JohnB
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 8:37PM
  • Albanese is damaged goods.
    Shorten is a cleanskin.

    If Albanese gets in, it will be a problem of Kim Beazley proportions (i.e. completely unelectable).

    If Shorten gets in, he will need to prove his ability to find common ground and to take the fight where it matters. Things that have not been seen yet.

    A difficult choice.

    The hilarious thing: Rudd may have actually played the biggest prank on a political Party in this country's history. By introducing the rank and file into the selection process, we will be getting candidates who are skewed towards popularity WITHIN their own party - hardly a representation of the wider community. Whereas, previously, the person chosen only needed to have the confidence of people in the know - i.e. people who would have first hand evidence of an individual's strength.

    It was this mechanism that allowed the party to dump Rudd when his dysfunctional nature became apparent, and to dump Julia when a slaughter at the polls was imminent. In a way, it was a feedback mechanism that served the Party rather than one individual. This may not necessarily be a good thing when considered in light of social dynamics such as 'group think' but the old adage "two heads are better than one": comes to mind.

    John Howard would probably have never been elected by his party rank and file.

    Just goes to show....

    Commenter
    Malik the magic sheep
    Location
    Perth
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 8:30PM
    • I have watched your posts for some time. They are rudimentary at best. You don't seem to understand why Labor is where it is and largely it is because of Bill Shorten. Bill changes his mind every time he well, changes his mind. No previous government has ever taken note of a poll. He shouldn't. Rudd was elected. Rudd should have stayed. Shorten changes his mind. Rudd goes Gillard stays. Shorten changes his mind. Gillard goes Rudd stays. All this played out in the media that hid the real policies that Labor should have been re-elected on. NDIS, Superannuation, Unemployment, Interest rates, education reforms, inflation, credit rating. The Libs had not one big ticket item. Yes the carbon tax is a dog. Climate change exists. Carbon taxes don't do anything except price electricity to unaffordability with no alternative in sight. Solar power cannot run trains, cars or industry. The real issues weren't boats though Abbott made out they were. And of course they are not. Never were. Just like Tampa the Libs convinced the idiots there was a problem with boats. The rusted on voters didn't need convincing but the idiots did and were. Now the NBN is being dismantled. Climate change is being ignored. The big ticket items for the Libs are how to get the Packers back onto the nightly news with some hairbrained scheme. There's a thought. Sell the NBN to the Packers. never thought of that. Or did they? Hmmmmm?

      Commenter
      Shaun the sheep
      Location
      Melbourne
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 9:16PM
  • No thinking, intelligent,caring woman who wants be part of parliament would ever join the LNP......that's why Tony doesn't have any to choose from.....it's quite obvious.

    Commenter
    JT
    Location
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 8:27PM
  • Blah, Blah, Blah.

    Commenter
    Molly
    Location
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 8:18PM
  • Labour has to have trusted leadership.
    Will labour rely on rules and regulations to ensure trusted leadership. Or will it look to a leader that they know can be trusted?

    Commenter
    jeffo
    Location
    melb
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 8:06PM
  • Jace and country gal, have you any idea why Labor got tossed out at the election, or hasn't anybody told you that you have lost.
    It is going to take at least a year to clean up the Labor crap.

    Commenter
    thepres
    Location
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 8:00PM
    • I didn't vote Labor, haven't for a long time. But as far as major parties go, they are way above the divisive, anti environmental and
      "Give to the rich and take from the poor" policies of this ultra right wing party that calls themselves the Liberals.
      Liberals, what an oxymoron if ever there was. Time they stopped duping the electorate with their lies and nationalistic diatribe. Shouldn't take long to see the real damage inflicted upon very hard working and once proud Australians.
      Good luck with their agenda thepres.
      Yes Labor brought much upon themselves but their core ethics generally are a cut above the other limbo mob.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 8:13PM
    • thepres...Labor got tossed out (not by a landslide) but got tossed out in order to allow rebuilding.....to be able to toss out Abbott when he fulfils his own destiny.....a one term PM.

      Commenter
      JT
      Location
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 8:15PM
  • I switched off after Albanese started his introductory speech. Labor perfected at least one thing in their six years of government: vapid exposition.

    Labor, I'm going to do you a favor. Next election, there is only one thing you need to keep repeating:

    " We support the Coalition's policies and actions on border protection and have no intent to alter a working system, regardless of party political pressures. You can, finally, trust us on this one."

    Commenter
    Malik the magic sheep
    Location
    Perth
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 7:57PM
    • Malik....the LNP policies won't work...you know why?..because they are ridiculous.....idiotic...they know that and so they won't tell us they are failing.....the boats will keep coming but if we don't know then they must be stopped...if you are fooled by this...then you are just as big a fool.

      Commenter
      JT
      Location
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 8:07PM
    • @JT

      "Malik....the LNP policies won't work...you know why?."

      Perhaps a history lesson is in order. Wiki "The Pacific Solution". Look at the graph showing number of arrivals by year. It worked under Howard it will work under Abbott.

      The "it won't work" lie sailed with Gillard and Rudd. When it does, the best advice I can give to anyone who wants Labor to be a viable Party once again is to just remember what happened in the 2013 election. It might be a little difficult since Labor won't get another shot until 2019.

      Then you'll all be asking yourselves:
      "Was six years of conservative rule worth sticking to our guns on a policy nobody except the wide eyed bleeding heart left supported, who believe that everyone around the world has flowers in their hearts?"

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 8:16PM
  • What is this debate about, it's just stupid and why are they dressed the same, I'm glad we actually have some adults running the country while these clowns are touring on their circus!

    Commenter
    Monique
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 7:55PM
    • Hint: if you want to be seen as an independent commentator, don't reach for the conservatives phrase of the moment.

      Commenter
      Simon
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 8:13PM
  • Labor have to somehow re-educate the public about why Australia needs certain policies and overcome the propaganda generated by the LNP (which works very well when the public are ignorant).....this is their challenge....very difficult. Hawke & Keating tried but can Shorten or Albanese do this????????

    Commenter
    JT
    Location
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 7:52PM
    • I don't think the problem is educating the populace... with the exception of rusted on conservatives and those fooled by toxic media, most are open to good arguments. We lost this on leadership stability, unity and a lack of effective communication strategies. That's where we have to develop strengths. I like both Albo and Shorten for different reasons and suspect each would be stunningly effective in the right time and place.

      Commenter
      Susan
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 7:59PM
    • Labor needs to re-educate itself as to how to make and sell policy. Watching the marketing types explaining their heroic efforts to 'sell' decisions that shouldn't have been made in the first place (eg the top-end tax haven) shows the extent to which Labor lost its way.(Ironically Barrie Cassidy had a good article on the abc website about this just this week). Same issue for MPs deciding any environmental policy is optional (cause flip-flopping on global warming is exactly the stuff that wins over voters who care about that stuff).

      Commenter
      Simon
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 8:11PM
    • @JT

      "Labor have to somehow re-educate the public about why Australia needs certain policies"

      There's your problem. Labor doesn't need to re-educate anyone - this approach is why they were trounced. What they need to do is listen, play on fears and give THE VOTERS what they want.

      Kind of like how TA promised he'd stop the boats, while Rudd and Carr stood next to their Indonesian counterparts and told us a "regional solution" was needed - yeah thanks for coming up with the idea of co-operation with the same people who had been doing nothing about the problem - it only took them six years to come up with that doozy.

      Commenter
      Malik the magic sheep
      Location
      Perth
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 8:37PM
  • This is real democratic politics. I welcome the change and I hope all Australian's embrace it.

    Commenter
    RTP.
    Location
    Sawtell
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 7:51PM
    • I agree. I feel more connected to where the party is at and what it has to tackle than I have for years. This process won't be without its' problems, but to reinvigorate the membership we have to embrace some new ways. May be this will tempt some of those who left for the Greens to come back too.

      Commenter
      Susan
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 8:01PM
  • Just shows how poor Labor has got that contenders need to run an election campaign to big note themselves.

    If the Labor members don't know who they are now then they shouldn't be members or the contenders shouldn't be running.

    Commenter
    cybernet
    Location
    Perth
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 7:42PM
    • How many times do we lefties have to say it to you lot on the right.... transparency meets talking, debating, informing, educating. It's a good thing... nothing to be afraid of. You poor old things - you've been kept in the dark by your leaders so long you really believe a debate is a bad thing now, don't you? Go back to school and learn some basic citizenship ed - and take Tony and his crowd with you please.

      Commenter
      Susan
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 7:51PM
  • Either of these 2 guys, with the Greens until next July, have to be able to stand up to the despicable tactics employed by Tony Abbott..and tell the public.....because the media won't do it, count on that....so someone has to....good on the locals of Christmas Island to tell us all what's happening...and Tim Flannery with the Climate Council...and ???? who??? to tell us about the extra expense to fix the copper for the idiot NBN.

    Commenter
    JT
    Location
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 7:39PM
  • What is it about male polliies, many on both sides are short in stature compared to the general population.

    Commenter
    A country gal
    Location
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 7:31PM
    • Wait what?

      Politicians as a group are taller than average. Any politician that 'looks' short in that company is probably at least average height (Howard being the latest example).

      Commenter
      Simon
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 8:06PM
  • For all Labor supporters it must be dreadful to have to choose between these two duds.
    If Albo wins he had better watch his back, and if Shorten wins Labor will be in the wilderness for another 10 years.

    Commenter
    thepres
    Location
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 7:24PM
    • So what would you prefer, no opposition?
      Give Anthony John Abbott a free ride to wreck the country. Seems he's done enough of that in a mere few days.

      Commenter
      A country gal
      Location
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 7:35PM
    • I put the Coalition ninth and Labor eighth on my ballot paper, they are both useless and beyond redemption, look at these for gross stupidity:

      Australian professional women will have $75,000 maternity leave payment while 50 cents per day to keep a child alive in the Sudan is stopped?

      Asylum seekers will be sent to Nauru where conditions are rife with dysentery, no water for washing clothes and with 6 portable toilets for several hundred inmates.

      We will buy second hand Indonesian fishing boats?

      And waste $3.2 billion over 4 years on an unworkable Direct Action Plan for climate change that scientists claim cannot change anything?

      We promise Tasmanian world heritage forest will be turned over to logging.

      All are equal under the law providing you are not gay and wish to be married.

      Give $200 million counselling service for couples, which has been applauded by the right-wing, conservative Australian Christian Lobby, the Yeshua mobs are delirious, while kids in Africa starve.

      Fund the Great Barrier Reef while increasing coal production to help destroy what is left of it?

      Anyone would be pressed to top these in the stupidity stakes.

      Commenter
      Pen of hrba
      Location
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 8:01PM
  • The sad fact that these two are what, in the year 2013, the "great" [cough cough] ALP is offering the electorate as Opp Leader, perfectly sums up why the party is indeed Dead with a capital D. Mind you, I'm not complaining. In 2013 the ALP truly has become THE political party for losers and these two jokers ain't gonna change that basic fact. Keep up the deadbeat in-fighting fellas, you're doing well....

    Commenter
    Robo
    Location
    Land of Oz
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 7:12PM
    • An your new hero Tony has proven his critics right, in less than one week.

      Commenter
      Jace
      Location
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 7:39PM
    • You and I must be living in parallel universes. My perception of Abbott and co. is much the same as Howard and co., but then there are so many of same old secretive, paternalistic, destructive and divisive pollies who think nothing of wrecking the country from opposition and keeping the populace in the dark when in power. Transparency my A#$%. Wouldn't know it if it bit them.

      Commenter
      Susan
      Location
      Sydney
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 7:43PM
  • Whatever the result ...and who wins.....Labor can never move forward with Kevin Rudd the narcissist still in Parliament............he did his job to get more seats for Labor , but now he must go...because he will cause instability, it's in the narcissists DNA....but how to get him out...they stick on forever.

    Commenter
    JT
    Location
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 7:06PM
  • I think charisma will win the day as it usually does, so it's Albanese with Tanya in the deputy's seat for Pen.

    But who ever wins I hope they give Abbott hell on climate change.

    Commenter
    Pen of hrba
    Location
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 6:59PM
    • hey pen....Abbott needs to be given hell on lots of things, including climate change (I don't think he will even do his direct action thing, instead just ignore global warming altogether), the NBN and this stupid idea of secrecy around the boats.......this is ultimate fascist policy..."we''ll do what we like but we won't tell you"...this is disgusting and anyone who voted for this is also disgusting.

      Commenter
      JT
      Location
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 7:11PM
    • Pen, seems my reply didn't get approval.

      Commenter
      Oz gal
      Location
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 7:50PM
    • Tanya won't be deputy to Albo as they are both from the Left faction. The challenge is to find a good'un from the Right faction!

      Commenter
      Chris
      Location
      Kiama
      Date and time
      September 24, 2013, 8:38PM
  • Good luck to either man if successful. I think it's time for a true champion of the left to hold the leadership, someone not afraid to stand by their convictions. For this reason my vote will go to Albanese.

    Commenter
    brettski82
    Location
    Melbourne
    Date and time
    September 24, 2013, 6:39PM
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