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Thursday, July 30, 2009

ALP back in town, quiet time expected

National Library of Australia

The Australian Labor Party National Conference - the first since the election of the Rudd Government in 2007 - gets underway in Sydney today.It's expected to be a sedate affair, as is the way of these things when the party is in office. Chapter 11 "New ways of governing for a stronger democracy" (page 127) of the Draft National Platform includes plenty of rhetoric about its commitment to a strong democracy and transparent and accountable government. And an update, but nothing new, on elements of reforms such as Freedom of Information and privacy, journalist shield laws, whistleblower protection, etc, all still stuck somewhere in the system. But nothing to gladden Harry Evans' spirits after his shot that our parliament is as weak as they get in democratic societies as a result of rigid party and executive government control of the people's house. And $7500 would buy your way into the Business program including a brief meeting with a minister. Questioning or criticism of the fine detail of the Platform or when most of the"new ways" will come to pass are probably regarded as an impertinence.

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