Voting for Albo

I VOTED JUST NOW for Anthony Albanese in the Australian Labor Party’s leadership ballot.

It was hardly a difficult decision. Since I’ve lived in Grayndler I’ve enjoyed voting for Anthony at the Federal level, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed his work in Parliament. Of the two, I know his political views are closest to mine, and as I’ve written about, he is a prominent face of the Left in the labour movement and its parliamentary wing. I needn’t have put the number two in for Shorten, as my vote would have been valid with just the one, but I made the gesture anyway—I respect Shorten and I’ll be perfectly satisfied should he win.

At every State Conference of the ALP I remember attending, reform of the Party has been front and centre as an issue. At every one of these Conferences, Albo has spoken in favour of reform involving rank and file elections. And at every one of these Conferences, these kinds of reforms have been delayed, amended, watered down if not simply rejected. There’s a certain few levels of irony in Kevin Rudd being responsible singlehandedly for this ballot.

I’ve remarked to a few people that it’s the most exciting time I can recall being in the ALP; if only because a ballot like this precludes all the usual deal-stitching and vote-avoidance. Nobody I’ve talked to really has any idea what’s going to happen. Most interesting and refreshing of all has been the way there’s been something of a race to the Left, with both candidates canvassing us ordinary members, unrepresentative swill that we are. Michael Egan’s baffling and rather offensive column gives some sense of the stakes, and the sheer novelty.

There’s my vote, anyway, and my reasons. If you’re entitled to one, I encourage you to vote the same way I did.

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