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December 1, 2011 11:42 AM   Subscribe

Australian Labor Party's 46th National Conference starts today in Sydney. Key agenda items - Gay marriage, refugees, and Uranium sale to India. Follow it live.
posted by vidur (39 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
"We can't roll the prime minister on gay marriage" says Simon Crean. "Leaders get their way."

Yes you fucking can. Roll her. Roll roll roll.
posted by Jimbob at 11:48 AM on December 1, 2011 [6 favorites]


Gay marriage, refugees, and Uranium sale to India.

Look for a platform that combines all three into one policy proposal.
posted by ZenMasterThis at 12:05 PM on December 1, 2011


ALP National Conference Social Media Guide!

Somehow I find that completely hilarious. Should I follow "LaborConnect" on Facebook? Should I?
posted by Jimbob at 12:16 PM on December 1, 2011


Do it and be loud Jimbob.

Who is marching tomorrow????

Taking my husband and kids to the marriage equality rally in Hyde Park. Anyone care to join us? Straight folk need to get on board with the activism or it hasn't got a hope in hell of working ever.
posted by taff at 1:27 PM on December 1, 2011


I'd like to hear Penny Wong's contribution to the gay marriage debate.

Oh, good grief. The social media guide asks commenters to 'leave factions at the door'. Excuse me while I piss myself laughing.
posted by malibustacey9999 at 1:31 PM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


"We can't roll the prime minister on gay marriage" says Simon Crean. "Leaders get their way."

Yes you fucking can. Roll her. Roll roll roll.


The mental image of Julia Gillard being rolled at the Darling Harbour by a bunch of cabinet ministers is, er, disturbing, though nothing compared to what At Home With Julia hasn't already given us.
posted by vidur at 1:54 PM on December 1, 2011


Key agenda items - Gay marriage

Meanwhile (almost), the Labor-run Queensland Parliament has passed a bill in favour of legally recognising same-sex civil unions.

The Civil Partnerships Bill was passed in state parliament at 11.10pm yesterday [30th Nov], with 47 MPs voting yes and 40 no.

The 31 Liberal National Party MPs voted en bloc against the bill and five of the six independent or minor party MPs present for the vote opposed it.

Labor MPs were allowed a conscience vote and four voted no.

posted by UbuRoivas at 2:06 PM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


What? Don't they know that the cricket is on? Un-Australian if you ask me.
posted by Hello, I'm David McGahan at 3:33 PM on December 1, 2011


On Uranium sale: "No other nuclear-armed nation has a philosophy so consistent with the ideals of the Labor Left."
posted by vidur at 3:54 PM on December 1, 2011


Hmmm if India were so consistent with the Labor Left... surely they'd be signing up to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, yes?
posted by Jimbob at 4:01 PM on December 1, 2011


A relevant map...
posted by Jimbob at 4:01 PM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'd like to hear Penny Wong's contribution to the gay marriage debate.

"Labor's platform perpetuates inequality. It's unconscionable" by Penny Wong, 19 November 2011.
posted by kithrater at 4:03 PM on December 1, 2011 [5 favorites]


They keep saying "delegates". Damn I wish they would say "comrades"...
posted by Jimbob at 4:07 PM on December 1, 2011


Hmmm if India were so consistent with the Labor Left... surely they'd be signing up to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty, yes?

I think they mean that the Labor Left is terminally inefficient, hopelessly chaotic, and systematically corrupt.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:11 PM on December 1, 2011 [3 favorites]


Jimbob, I'm pretty sure the speaker who was presenting the first block of amendments and resolutions said "sorry comrades" when the A/V wasn't keeping up.
posted by adamt at 4:11 PM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think he means that the NPT itself is not consistent with the ideals of the Labor Left. The article is more than just my pull quote.
posted by vidur at 4:26 PM on December 1, 2011


The article did raise some fair points, but I don't quite buy the "Hey China has nukes why can't we?" argument. China shouldn't have them either, as far as I'm concerned. But then I'm not Labor-Left, I'm just a nosy Green ;)

Where does Pakistan get it's uranium from, by the way? Russia?
posted by Jimbob at 4:43 PM on December 1, 2011


The article is more than just my pull quote.

Sure, but I'm not letting facts get in the way of a joke.
posted by UbuRoivas at 4:49 PM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sure, but I'm not letting facts get in the way of a joke.

Your ideal is consistent with my philosophy.
posted by vidur at 4:51 PM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


Where does Pakistan get it's uranium from, by the way?

They've got some of their own: http://www.world-nuclear.org/info/inf23.html
posted by vidur at 4:54 PM on December 1, 2011


I'm at the Conference as an observer. For those following, the marriage equality debate will be first thing Saturday morning, and uranium and refugees likely sometime on Sunday. on Twitter it's #alpnc.

I've been hearing quite a lot of the word "comrade", for the record
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 6:45 PM on December 1, 2011 [2 favorites]


Fiasco...are you tweeting independently?
posted by taff at 8:43 PM on December 1, 2011


Bah, I've just seen your twitter account and my dead grandmother is more active.
posted by taff at 8:45 PM on December 1, 2011 [1 favorite]


vidur: "On Uranium sale: "No other nuclear-armed nation has a philosophy so consistent with the ideals of the Labor Left.""

Some of the comments on that article are just great:

See, now, this is the problem; Indians believe that they should be allowed to protect their country with nuclear weapons because of the belief that the Pakistanis will, "...have no problem sending all the non believing Hindus in India to paradise..."

I think this belief is partially based on the evidence that Pakistan has declared war on India every fifteen years on average, and has a nuclear weapons programme entirely created by one of Australia's uranium customers, AND has explicitly ruled out a no-first-use policy due to India's conventional weapons advantage.

But sure, man, it's your uranium and you decide what you want to do with it. Just stop pretending that there's any moral clarity to your policies, it just looks silly.
posted by vanar sena at 5:16 AM on December 2, 2011


You'd also have to be a particularly non-believing Hindu to believe that there's a paradise, as opposed to endless better or worse reincarnations. Even moksha, which is sometimes described as liberation from the cycle of karmic rebirth, is arguably more about liberating oneself from the suffering associated with the cycle, and not about freeing oneself from the cycle itself. Even if it were about freeing oneself, at that point - by very definition - there is no "self" left to free or "go to paradise", anyway.
posted by UbuRoivas at 12:08 PM on December 2, 2011


Ubu, you should be well aware that there is an Indian heaven, and it has Juhi Chawla in it, which is the way it should be.
posted by vanar sena at 12:22 PM on December 2, 2011


So both of this morning's amendments regarding marriage equality passed. I'm a bit confused about what that means. The ALP's platform has changed from not support marriage equality, but member MPs can vote "yes" if their conscious compels them, to supporting marriage equality, but member MPs can vote "no" if their conscious compels them?
posted by adamt at 4:22 PM on December 2, 2011


Summary of gay marriage vote:

Wong's addition of support for gay marriage to the party platform: pass on voices.
Gillard's conscious vote on the issue: passed by vote.

Which means no gay marriage in THIS parliament...
posted by Jimbob at 4:23 PM on December 2, 2011


Actually, something just occurred to me. About six months ago, a report was produced regarding reform in the Labor party - I can't quite remember who was involved - Falkner? Carr? But it came up with recommendations like US-style open primaries, and not requiring people to be formal, paid-up members of the Labor to vote on preselections. Not that I necessarily agree with that - US primaries scare the shit out of me - but were any of the recommendations of this report in any way addressed in the conference?
posted by Jimbob at 7:54 PM on December 2, 2011


Have to admit, after watching, listening to and following the conference, I almost, almost want to become a Labor member. I felt the same way before the "Kevin 07" election. But I can't help myself. I keep voting Green, because when Labor are not all up there calling each other Comrades, when I don't see some shaven-head, tattooed, bearded Union leader talking about workers' rights, when Doug Cameron isn't up there making people want to sing The Internationale, I feel like they are pathetic, compromised bastards.

I want to get into formal politics. I agree with 95% of the Greens platform, but I feel the 5% I can't change will never be changed, and will forever relegate them to be called watermelons. I agree with 70% of the Labor platform, but I fucking hate them at the same time, for being compromised, ineffectual dinosaurs.

What's a wonk to do?
posted by Jimbob at 8:02 PM on December 2, 2011 [1 favorite]


Join the party and keeping voting green anyway?
posted by adamt at 9:26 PM on December 2, 2011


Which means no gay marriage in THIS parliament...

Is that really what it means? According to this article in the SMH:
The majority of the ALP opposed a conscience vote but could not afford to roll Ms Gillard.
Maybe I'm reading it wrongly, but that suggests to me that most of the ALP support gay marriage, so conscience vote could be close if they can get some Libs across the aisle. Maybe? Or am I being too optimistic?

I can't find any good analysis of this yet, and would be interested to hear thoughts.
posted by Georgina at 11:02 PM on December 2, 2011


Ahh, no, I get it now: the Libs haven't agreed to a conscience vote. So if it goes up, it'll lose.
posted by Georgina at 11:15 PM on December 2, 2011


Jimbob, it was the Faulkner/Bracks/Carr report and almost all of its recommendations were rejected by the Right in the Rules Debate yesterday afternoon. In NSW we're going to some open primaries in some held seats (though what this actually will mean is debatable---do we get to roll sitting members? Will it be for marginal seats, safe seats, or just the ones we'll never win?) and there's a proposal to do it nationally.

On marriage equality, one of my comrades yesterday made the point that even if we'd voted to bind, and assuming the votes of Wilkie and Bandt, we'd still need a conscience vote in the Coalition or few of the Libs to come across the aisle anyway. In this Parliament it was always going to come down to Tony Abbott.
posted by Fiasco da Gama at 3:27 PM on December 3, 2011


Lots of "comrades" being thrown about quite openly.
posted by vidur at 5:17 PM on December 3, 2011 [1 favorite]


most of the ALP support gay marriage, so conscience vote could be close if they can get some Libs across the aisle. Maybe? Or am I being too optimistic?

Radio National was reporting this morning that a private member's bill would be raised soon, so I guess we'll see how the numbers pan out. Can't say I'm too optimistic about the Coalition not voting as a bloc. Greens can be expected to support the bill.

The Greens leader, Bob Brown, said Julia Gillard had backed John Howard's policy "on four vital issues which will figure prominently in the 2013 federal election" - same-sex marriage, uranium sales to India, Tasmanian forests, and offshore processing of asylum seekers. In the civil war for the progressive vote, the Greens won again.
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:15 PM on December 4, 2011


So, I hop into the car at 7:45 this morning, turn up the radio and hear that fantastic 7:45am bulletin ABC news theme.

And the top story? Pakistan's high commissioner is asking for us to sell uranium to them too.

* insert smug told-you-so face here *
posted by Jimbob at 2:30 PM on December 4, 2011


If countries made foreign policy decisions based on logic circuits, Pakistan would have a case. As it happens, they don't, and Pakistan doesn't.
posted by vidur at 3:20 PM on December 4, 2011


Jimbob: "And the top story? Pakistan's high commissioner is asking for us to sell uranium to them too.

* insert smug told-you-so face here *
"

Huh? Didn't this story already play out 4-5 years ago under the Howard government? IIRC, Downer's response to Pakistan was basically "sorry, no."
posted by vanar sena at 6:46 AM on December 5, 2011


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