Hey #ALP, here’s a REAL progressive political party | The Punch #Auspol

Hey Labor, here’s a REAL progressive political party | Article | The Punch.


The Democratic National Convention in North Carolina this month could teach Labor what a progressive political party actually looks like.

The Democratic Party boogie down to Barack Obama in North Carolina earlier this month… Picture: AFPThe Democratic Party boogie down to Barack Obama in North Carolina earlier this month… Picture: AFP

On key progressive causes – such as rights for same-sex couples, skewing taxes towards those that can afford it, and fair treatment of refugees – Labor doesn’t have a proud track record.

Hell, they don’t even have a consistent one.

With division over gay rights, a backdown on the mining tax, and a position on refugees which is best described as rocking back an forth in the corner with a bloodied nose – it’s hard to be clear what progressive values Labor actually stands for.

After being in North Carolina for three days of passionate speeches, standing ovations and tearful delegates, I am in no doubt what the Democratic Party stands for.

Officially the DNC is an opportunity for elected delegates from all 50 states to vote on changes to the party platform and nominate a presidential candidate. In reality, being a guest or delegate is just an excuse for a week-long party full of networking, fundraising and gift bags.

If nothing else, the DNC proves it’s entirely possible to live for five days on finger food, champagne, and gin and tonic.

The events in the convention hall itself are tightly stage-managed, even the result of each vote is pre-written into the teleprompter (which can make it a little embarrassing when things go awry). For the Democratic National Committee which runs the show, the DNC is a chance to rally the troops, control the message, and define what the party stands for.

In 2012 the Democratic Party is not backing down – not on gay rights, not on immigration reform, and not on higher taxes for millionaires. This is a party with values and a message which they’re not afraid to advocate. Leaked planning notes show a concerted effort to find people who could speak powerfully and convincingly about policies which affect them personally.

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About Darin Sullivan (1980 Articles)
Former President of the Fire Brigade Employees’ Union (2009-2018) and a professional firefighter with more than 30 years experience. I live and work on the NSW South Coast, Australia. I am a strong advocate for firefighters and emergency service workers with an interest in mental health issues and caring for those around me. I am a former Director on the NSW Fire Brigades Death and Disability Super Fund and work with charities including ‘The Movember Foundation’. As a leader and activist I have long been active in the campaign for action on climate change. I am a Station Commander in the fire and rescue service in NSW and have 30 years experience fighting fires, both rural and urban. I am passionate about highlighting the impact climate change is having on fire preparedness and fire behaviour in Australia, and the risks associated with inaction on climate change. I am also a spokesperson for the Australian Climate Media Centre.
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