@barbarian said in Aussie Politics:
What it means broadly is the best local candidate is often overlooked in favour of local stackers. This impacts the supply chain of future leaders, as you want the backbench to be a breeding ground of talented people rather than a cesspool of local hacks.
How do you fix it? Tighter rules around membership, perhaps. More central oversight in candidates maybe. But there is no easy answer as both of those things can have unintended consequences.
The line pretty clearly is if the member is aware they hold membership and pay the fee themselves - then it's fair game.
It's not exactly clear why rigorous membership checks haven't been put in place if there is a genuine effort to stamp this out - particularly around preselection - when the two major parties have ~50,000 members each in 150 federal divisions. It's pretty obvious cash membership payment should be out with unique bank account or credit card required.
If anything the Liberal system with the higher membership fees and state executive having a hand in things is weighted too much to the 'best candidate' - I would argue some returns in the blue-ribbon seats where Howard ministers retired have been pretty safe and underwhelming, particularly out of NSW.
The Labor system obviously is clearly worse with each faction 'owning' various seats and the gender targets - but they probably still get as much of their top talent in the door despite the hackery.