Julia Gillard and Simon Crean have both had good things to say about factions in the ALP lately. As Gillard observes, it’s no longer factions but fractions.
This would be a good time for Gillard in particular to put her arguments into practice by proposing the dissolution of the Left faction in the Parliamentary party and, failing that, withdrawing from the group. It’s been at least a decade since the “Left” has had any distinct policy position, and unlike the Right, the faction doesn’t justify its existence by delivering the top jobs to its members. Far from providing effective opposition to the Right machine, the Left justifies the existence of the Right.
If, say, 40 per cent of the Parliamentary Party were independent of any faction, and agreed to vote against candidates generated by intra-party factions, it wouldn’t be hard to peel off enough members of the Right to bring the whole corrupt system to an end at the Parliamentary level. And if the Parliamentary leadership was anti-factional, their votes would control the National Executive and permit intervention to break the factions in the state branches.