Chris Bowen says Labor should never make deals with other parties to secure power
July 12, 2013
Federal Treasurer Chris Bowen has declared Labor should never again strike a deal with another party to secure office.
Labor secured power with the support of the Greens and two of the independents after the 2010 election delivered a hung parliament.
The major trade-off resulted in the introduction of the carbon tax, despite then prime minister Julia Gillard vowing before the election that she would not introduce one.
Earlier this year, the Greens declared that their agreement with Labor was effectively over, citing a string of government policies including its refusal to redesign the mining tax.
Mr Bowen told 7.30 that Labor should govern alone in future and never strike such a deal again.
"This is not a criticism of the decision to go into alliance with the Greens," he said.
"It is a reflection of my views, having been considered, that the Labor Party - when it puts a view to the Australian people and campaigns in an election campaign for office - that we should govern alone and that we should not enter into formal deals with other political parties.
"My contribution to the debate is that the Labor Party stands best by its policies and that we have a lot to offer with our policies and we shouldn't need the policies of the Greens.
"We believe in things that the Greens party fundamentally disagrees with and that we have a separate existence and that in future we should govern alone."
Bowen calls for organisational reform
Mr Bowen has backed Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's proposal for Labor members to have a say in choosing the ALP leader.
Under the new rules, the party's leader would be elected jointly, with votes from party members and the elected Labor Caucus each given an equal 50 per cent weighting.
Mr Bowen supports that reform but says further changes could be made.
"We're focused on policy and the election at the moment, but we do have to embrace organisational reform to grow, as do I think all political parties," he told 7.30.
"I do suggest ... we remove the requirement in the rules, which is usually not actually implemented, but is still in the rules, that if you are eligible to join a trade union then you join the trade union to be a member of the Labor Party.
"I do suggest moving away from that rule in the book. That's my contribution to the debate, which the Labor Party will have in the coming years."