Opposition Leader Bill Shorten's right-wing faction has lost control of Labor's national conference for the first time since 1979, opening the way for a big push on traditionally left-wing issues such as party reform, same-sex marriage, tax, asylum seekers and trade.
Internal party numbers obtained by Fairfax Media show that neither the major Right or Left factions will have a majority of the 397 delegates to the triennial conference, which is being held next month in Melbourne.
Labor deputy leader Tanya Plibersek has agitated for a binding vote on the issue in recent months but has run into strong resistance from across the party.
"I think that marriage equality is a matter of legal discrimination not an issue for a conscience vote … but I have to say we are a lot further down the track towards marriage equality than I anticipated we would be going into national conference," she told Sky News this week.
Other issues the Left is likely to agitate on include a greater emphasis on labour and human rights protections in trade deals, and the question of whether overall taxation levels need to rise. more
Friday, 19 June 2015
Labor to move to the left?
Oh I hope so. For too long they've been too similar to the Lieberals. A move to the left would be a welcome breath of fresh political air. I may have voted for Labor under Gillard but was appalled by Labor's stance of asylum seekers. Rudd was even worse.