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This is a cross-post of a link I posted on Facebook, because it’s such a novel idea that its worth preserving.

Is it possible for the Labor Party to disappear, never to return? The Labor machine has produced successive governments which leak constantly, are unable to announce controversial policies and lack the political courage necessary to govern effectively.

This is the story of the ‘Progressive Conservatives’ in Canada who fell from having169 seats and a hundred year history to between 2 and 20 seats, never to recover

For the record, I think the argument is overstated. The Greens do not form a viable third party and their achievements are overrated. Look at the Victorian election where they achieved a middling 11% of the vote and won no lower house seats. They are on track to earn the same 10-13% vote in NSW tomorrow.

I just wanted to state that there is a very modern precedent in a very similar democratic country for a party to disappear without trace.

For a more comprehensive argument for why the Labor Party might be on the decline, see Peter Hartcher’s article.

Personally, I just don’t see it happening. There are maybe five inner city seats that can be stolen by the Greens in each State election (and 2-3 in each city at most during Federal elections). It reduces the probability of a Labor victory in each election, but not by much. Most elections are won by a larger margin of seats.

As I said, the greater damage is coming from the factionalism and the poll-driven nature of the Labor Party. That is what is causing the leaks, backflips and backroom deals that demonstrate to the public (regardless of belief in the ideology or policies of the ALP) that the Labor Party is less fit to govern.

I would also note that (without knowing any history) the Progressive Conservatives was swept out of power by the Bloc Quebecois and the centre-right Reform Party. The Bloc is highly popular in Quebec, one of the largest provinces and one with many seats. The Reform Party, unlike the Greens is a centrist party that a broad church of people might vote for.


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