The Victorian Labor is in the throngs of a crisis by the allegations of massive branch stacking following revelations by The Age and 60 Minutes. Three state Labor ministers have left their positions over the scandal that has engulfed the party.

Neos Kosmos asked the following question: How much does branch stacking deform the real will of the people?

Nick Economou

The branch stacking issue is an internal matter for the Australian Labor Party. It affects election to internal party committees. It might affect preselection decisions. It has almost no bearing on policy debates. It has no impact on “the real will of the people” (whatever that means) at all beyond how the controversy might influence their future voting behaviour (that is, they might vote for the other party). In the short-term, the party will launch some sort of organisational reform. What form this takes is anyone’s guess. I dare say that, in the long term future, branch stacking will return.

Dr Nick Economou, a PhD graduate from the University of Melbourne, is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Political and Social Inquiry at Monash University.

READ MORE: Understanding Labor’s branch stacking, and why it is a problem for the whole party

Dr Nicholas Economou

Nick Hagiliassis

A disappointment and a concern. It undermines our confidence in our political system, and is a blight on democracy. The will of the people must always be expressed in genuine elections – branch stacking skews and erodes this. Our trust in politics is dampened, political stereotypes are reinforced.

Dr Nick Hagiliassis is an Honorary Professor of Social And Political Sciences at the University of Melbourne.

Dr Nick Hagiliassis