First, the depth of the crisis is masked for the ALP by the electoral system. The two party preferred system inflates the focus on Labor when the real mood of the electorate is one of a cultural and emotional disengagement with the whole democratic system. The crisis is masked again by compulsory voting when representative democracy itself is now part of the problem as new horizontal and more direct forms of democracy permeate our lives, often online. But in Oz, while you are legally bound to participate in a system that, to say the least, is losing its legitimacy, democracy becomes more and more just an edifice. Of course, the same applies to the Liberals, but it matters more for the ALP because the right is always in power, regardless of whether it’s in office. Democracy is the only tool Labor has, the only source of power and influence. A sham democracy just results in the illusion of power when in office.
- Neal Lawson, "The challenge for Labor", Evatt Foundation, 7 April 2014 (via redrabbleroz)
jacking the important part from Oz’s quote.
Aw, hell, this on the ALP is good too doe:
Thirdly, its deep, bitter and, as far as I can see, politically meaningless factional divides deny the possibility of fresh thinking and the chance to form powerful and imaginative new intellectual alliances. The personalisation beyond any purpose, the hubris, the jobs for the boys and a few girls, instills rigidity and conformity when the very opposite is so clearly required.
At the Novitiate, the motherless Kataoka children were inconsolable. Father Cieslik worked hard to keep them distracted. He put riddles to them. He asked, “What is the cleverest animal in the world?” and after the thirteen-year-old girl had guessed the ape, the elephant, the horse, he said, “No, it must be the hippopotamus,” because in Japanese that animal is kaba
, the reverse of baka
John Hersey, Hiroshima (1946)
(This really is, as you may have heard, a remarkable piece of journalism.)