.............................................. ...............................................

The problem of Labor

by Dave Riley

When you read news like this:
ITEM:Labor has extended its lead over the Coalition according to the latest Herald/Nielsen poll to be published in The Sydney Morning Herald tomorrow(Monday).
Labor's two-party preferred vote rose two points to 57 per cent. The Coalition fell 2 points to 43 per cent
..and recognize that the Coalition government is going to be history whenever the poll is called you have to consider the problem of Labor.

And the problem of Labor is huge! Rudd ALP is Howard lite -- that's the truth ain't it? We're promised very little change from steady-as-she-goes in capitalist Australia. This is a me-too party-- useful perhaps to help rid us of Howard and co for a time, but that's about it. It's a merry-go-round or see saw except that since 1996, when Howard's gang replaced Paul Keating's ALP government, the status of the major parties and peoples' confidence in them has collapsed.

How far that confidence and surety has fallen may be uneven but while Howard and the Liberals may soon be wearing a massive backlash, Labor supporters have paid a hefty price too.

In power in all states, and with federal party rigorously economic rationalist , Labor has over the past decade abandoned any pretense of a leftward tact. This is why, at the state level, the Liberals are in perennial crisis. The ALP has displaced them and their platform absolutely.

In Australia there is but one program on offer from the main parties.

I say 'abandoned', but it is more correct to say that "reforms" -- in the sense of changes we could feel good about -- are no longer allowed. There is a relentless agenda unfolding and it matters very little who carries it out.

So why not Labor? We poor punters prefer it that way perhaps? We prefer our punishment -- given our presumed traditions of allegiance -- in house.

But the 2007 election may prove to offer a sort of cross roads: that while we may get an ALP government, that government is sure to stretch our patience big time.

The question is: how annoyed are we going to be?

While the collapse of the Howard project may occupy our thoughts here on in, the question on the other side of polling day has to be one of whether we can go beyond Labor somehow. Whether the Greens are the alternative we can bank on or do we need a vehicle that is less parliamentarist in its perspectives and containment?

Because after almost 16 years The Greens have primarily played the game of spoiler --as the Democrats did before that -- but with the advantage for us types that the Greens bat for the Left very much more often than the Dems ever did.

That's a plus inasmuch as the Greens may be consistent --but there's sense in play, I guess it's almost a political culture, that all we can hope for is wielding the balance of power. That no matter how much good stuff we may aspire to, our Panglosian world is limited to that one achievement.

This is Get Up's platform isn't it? A 21st century version of 'keeping the bastards honest'?

So every three years we are given this option: can we? will we? -- get spoilers in the upper houses.

The problem is that us lefties aren't the only ones who think or do in that mode and we've seen One Nation and, more recently, Family First rise to the same challenge.

And there are a few other problems with the scenario too..but I guess the main one is this: is that all there is? Is that the best we can hope for? A dependence on what happens in parliament while we sit passively on our hands and hope for the best to occur?

God I hope not!

But ,you see, the political motion is such that as Labor is found wanting, the problem of Labor falling so short of our needs and aspirations begs the question of alternatives -- and what is or could be on offer?

0 Com:

Post a Comment