Bill Shorten Elected ALP Leader

Bill Shorten has been elected leader of the A.L.P.

The result has just been announced, following a Caucus meeting in Canberra.

Shorten won 55 votes to 31 in the Caucus ballot (63.95%) and 40.08% of the membership vote, an overall win of 52.02%.

Shorten polled 12,196 membership votes to Albanese’s 18,230. The ALP says the turnout of 39,426 party members was 74% of those eligible.

ALP email to members and supporters – CLICK TO ENLARGE

ALP

The leadership election is the first time the party’s rank-and-file members have been given a vote. The membership vote has been weighted at 50% with the Caucus vote also worth 50%.

Shorten is the 20th leader of the party since Federation in 1901. He entered parliament at the 2007 election as the member for Maribrynong in Melbourne. Albanese has been the member for the Sydney electorate of Grayndler since 1996.

The ALP’s interim leader, Chris Bowen, the Returning Officer, Chris Hayes, and the party’s National President, Jenny McAllister, officially announced the result.

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McAllister

Bowen

Shorten’s victory in the Caucus is significant. His 55 votes is greater than the Right faction’s parliamentary membership. The overall result means that the ALP has the best of both worlds as a result: the membership has had a vote but the person overwhelmingly preferred by the parliamentary party has been elected, undercutting any criticism from the Abbott government.

Former prime minister Julia Gillard has tweeted her congratulations to Shorten and Albanese:

History suggests that Bill Shorten will never become prime minister. After its defeat in 1996, the ALP lost another three elections before winning in 2007. After its defeat in 1975, the ALP lost two more elections. After its defeat in 1949, the ALP did not return to government for another 23 years and 8 elections. After losing in 1931, the ALP lost another three elections.

The last time Labor returned to office at the next election following a defeat was in 1914 when Andrew Fisher was elected to his third term as prime minister, following his defeat by Joseph Cook in 1913.


“We Could Be Great” – Business Council Plan For Australia’s Prosperity

Tony ShepherdThe President of the Business Council of Australia, Tony Shepherd, has delivered a speech calling for more imaginative leadership and offering “a plan to lock in Australia’s prosperity”.

Shepherd said Australians “are beginning to lack confidence in the future and in our economy”. Many Australians are “doing it tough”. He suggested “the feeling of optimism and clarity that characterised Australia through my childhood” was on on the wane.

“But Australians are waiting for the call, the vision for the future and the plan that’s going to help us get there.”

Shepherd offered a wide-ranging plan covering infrastructure, taxation, population and immigration, and engagement with Asia.

The BCA represents around 100 of Australia’s largest companies. Shepherd gave the speech to the Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce in Sydney. [Read more…]


We Want Gough!

Edward Gough Whitlam is 95 years old today.

Whitlam on the steps of Parliament HouseWhilst it is thirty-five years since Australia’s 21st Prime Minister was dismissed by the Governor-General, his political career contains lessons and his unbounded spirit is missed.

The present Labor government is already nine months older than the Whitlam government was on November 11, 1975. Yet, if it fell today, its record would pale by comparison. The reservoir of good-will would be low and few would hanker for Rudd or Gillard.

Whitlam, however, is loved by his party and many in the community. Affection and loyalty walk arm in arm with him through the pages of history. He is a living lesson in political leadership.

Forty years ago, Whitlam was the Opposition Labor Leader who spoke to a generation of people who had known nothing other than the coalition in power in Canberra. Menzies was long gone and the government of William McMahon was a joke. Only the most rabidly partisan would deny it. The Liberals had disposed of their former leader, John Gorton, and opted for an overweeningly ambitious replacement who wasn’t up to the job. [Read more…]


Drifting Into The New Year On Thin Gruel

The Australian political year is regarded as commencing around Australia Day. The Prime Minister’s National Press Club address today kicks off 2011.

Thin GruelBut it’s a myth that politics in Australia stops over the summer holidays.

In fact, experience suggests leaders are often made, broken or changed in January. In the past, elections have been called, ministries reshuffled and major policies announced. In this way, the parameters of the new political year are set.

Sometimes it is only in retrospect that we can see how significant were the somnolent weeks of January. Who would have thought last January that Kevin Rudd had just made a fateful decision? Had he announced a climate change election on this day last year, we can but speculate what the political landscape would be like today.

For the people who work in and around politics, or follow it slavishly, there has been only one topic of conversation this January: the future of Julia Gillard. Even for those with only a passing interest in politics, there has been but one question: “How do you think she’s going?” The question’s myriad variations all seek to know the same thing: will she last? [Read more…]


2CC Commentary: Liberal Leadership & Climate Change

I appeared on Mark Parton’s breakfast show on Canberra Radio 2CC this morning.

Mark Parton, Radio 2CC Canberra

We touched on the state of Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership of the Liberal Party, especially in the light of today’s opinion polls which show a significant collapse in coalition support and approval of Turnbull.

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