Overwhelming backing for ALP reform from national president candidates

News Update2Labor’s five candidates for National President all strongly endorse substantial reform to make the Labor Party more open and democratic, according to a survey conducted by ALP reform groups.

In answers to questions posed by Local Labor and Open Labor and published on the groups’ websites, the candidates almost universally support a greater say for members in votes for Lower and Upper House candidates, national and state conferences and party presidents.

Candidates also broadly support trials of community preselection ballots and granting members of affiliated unions automatic ALP membership and voting rights, in exchange for the end of bloc union votes.

They also favour the introduction of community organisers in all state and territory ALP branches, a code of ethical conduct for party offices and changes to membership registration to prevent fraudulent applications.

ALP members have until June 12 to vote for the president from among five candidates: Mark Butler, Jane Garrett, Tim Hammond, Henry Pinskier and Louise Pratt.

Local Labor National Convenor Stuart Whitman and Open Labor Spokesman Tom Bentley said they were delighted that the candidates had strongly backed the reform agenda proposed by Open Labor and Local Labor.

“Two months from a National Conference that will make vital decisions on party reform, it’s good to see that the next party president will be a champion of giving more power to party members and strengthening connections between Labor branches and their local communities,” Stuart Whitman said.

“Pressure for reform is growing, and it gives Bill Shorten a great opportunity to join the list of leaders who helped to rebuild and renew Labor from opposition,” said Tom Bentley.

Full responses to the survey, including qualifying comments from candidates, are available to download here.

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