Talk:Communist Party of Australia

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Talk:Communist Party of Australia/arvhive1

Picture in the wrong Communist Party article.[edit]

The picture showing members of the Communist Party of Australia was taken in 2007. But these are members of the new Communist Party. This article is about the old CPA. The picture taken in May 2007 should be in the article about the new CPA. -- (talk) 12:59, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

This article is for the Communist Party, new and old, in Australia. Image is relevant. Timeshift (talk) 20:46, 7 January 2008 (UTC)
For someone so adament about keeping the new and old pages seperate, they don't seem too interested in moving the image to the new CPA page, simply removing it from the old one. So much for wanting to improve wikipedia eh. Timeshift (talk) 21:19, 7 January 2008 (UTC)

Some Edits[edit]

I have added an intro and put what was acting as an intro into the history where it belongs.

I have changed the following comment:

Against these achievements must be set the party's long history as an apologist for Stalin's regime in the Soviet Union. It was revulsion against this which led most of the party's best members to leave sooner or later.

1. Because it isn't neutral.

2. Because it is counterfactual.

(a) Stalin was condemned in 1956.
(b) The members didn't suddenly discover the party's 'long history' and leave.

I hope these edits are considered reasonable.--Jack Upland 01:37, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

I have no problems with the edits you have made, and it is good to see someone taking an intelligent interest in this article, unlike the previous idiots whose unhelpful propaganda I have now archived. I must however disagree with your comment that "members didn't suddenly discover the party's 'long history' and leave." In fact that's exactly what happened for many members. The Khrushchev Secret Speech gave many members "permission" for the first time to examine the history of both the USSR and the CPA, and many did indeed resign as a result, or were expelled for demanding that the party debate the issues arising from the Speech. Adam 02:29, 19 November 2005 (UTC)

Yes, a lot of members left in 1956, but that doesn't fit the original statement.--Jack Upland 03:45, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

I am willig to concede that the original sentence wasn't very NPOV, which was I didn't object to you removing it. It is however perfectly true, which is a different matter. Adam 06:46, 23 November 2005 (UTC)

At the risk of labouring the point, the offending statement wasn't 'perfectly true' because:

  • It implied that it was only Stalin that members objected to, rather than many issues with the Soviet Union. For example, many people left in 1956 over the Hungary Invasion, which happened after Stalin's death. Members left continuously up till the last gasp.
  • It said that members were revolted by the party's role as an 'apologist', whereas surely Soviet misdeeds themselves were more significant.
  • It implied that the 'party's long history' was something that members discovered (with revulsion) - but there's no such thing as a secret apologist.
  • It then contradicted itself by saying 'sooner or later' i.e. not in 1956 or only in the Stalin era.--Jack Upland 02:54, 25 November 2005 (UTC)


The comments at the end of the article violate the Wikipedia policies on NPOV and verifiability. In particular:

"But the party never succeeded in persuading many people that Communism was the answer to these problems." - This statement implies that the CPA was trying to persuade people that Communism was the answer to issues of civil rights, etc. I doubt that this is the case, and it is not supported by any source that I know of.

"Against these achievements must be set the party's long history as an apologist for the Soviet Union." - The word "apologist" is highly pejorative, and has no place in an encyclopedia article. For example, the article on the Liberal Party does not describe them as an apologist for the United States. In addition, the CPA appears to have been critical of the Soviet Union starting in 1968 (23 years before its dissolution). It would be reasonable to state that the CPA long supported the Soviet Union, but this would be misleading without mentioning that the party was later critical of the Soviet Union.

"Disenchantment with the Soviet Union led most of the party's members to leave over time." - There were many factors leading to declining membership, and some people even left due to the CPA's criticism of the Soviet Union. Although it is likely that disenchantment with the Soviet Union was the primary cause, this statement should be more specific and supported by a source.

Giving positive and negative POV is different to NPOV. The article should present facts without passing moral judgement. On its own, listing the issues that the CPA campaigned on is not POV, because it does not pass moral judgement on whether these were good or bad (although the wording does tend to present these campaigns as positive). However, using the wording "Against these achievements must be set" turns the paragraph into an argument on the merits of the CPA, with the campaigns presented as something positive and support for the Soviet Union presented as something negative. If this material is included, it should be given in a separate paragraph and give a factual account of the CPA's history of support and criticism of the Soviet Union. --rinlojm 01:34, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

I wrote this article three years ago, early in my career at Wikipedia. Were I writing it now, I would write it rather differently and provide more citations and fewer unsupported comments than this version contains. I agree that the last paragraph has problems of verifiability. It's a pity that Volume II of Macintyre's History isn't out yet. I don't regard Davidson as very reliable, but I don't have other sources for the period to hand, although I read a lot of CPA materials when I was researching my thesis. I might have another go at this article when I get time. Adam 02:39, 19 November 2006 (UTC)

Would you have any objection to the following wording? "But the party never succeeded in garnering significant support for Communism. The party supported the Soviet Union for many years (although it became critical of the Soviet Union from the late 1960s). Disenchantment with the Soviet Union was a leading cause of the loss of membership." It isn't perfect, but I think it would do for the moment. rinlojm 06:33, 25 November 2006 (UTC)

"In Media"[edit]

Could we add a media section in which on an episode of 'Sliders' in an alternate history where Australia was split into a North and South with the Communist party having control over the north?


The IWW and the Communist Party-- something's either wrong or missing here[edit]

From its annual convention in 1908, the Industrial Workers of the World were constitutionally prohibited from joining in an alliance with any political party. The 1908 IWW Constitution states,

Political Parties and Discipline. "Whereas, The primary object of the Industrial Workers of the World is to unite the workers on the industrial battlefield; and

"Whereas, Organization, in any sense, implies discipline through the subordination of parts to the whole, and of the individual member to the body of which he is a part; therefore be it

"Resolved, That to the end of promoting industrial unity and of securing necessary discipline within the organization, the I. W. W. refuses all alliances, direct or indirect, with existing political parties or anti-political sects, and disclaims responsibility for any individual opinion or act which may be at variance with the purposes herein expressed." (emphasis added)

This language has never been absent from the IWW constitution since 1908. So either the history of the IWW's role recorded here is somehow erroneous, or perhaps the Australian IWW (possibly because they had been declared illegal) considered that there was some special circumstance that would make it permissible for them to violate this clause. Please be aware that there was a major dispute with the Socialist Labor Party that continued from 1908 at least through 1915, and the SLP went so far as to set up a rival IWW. That memory would have been very fresh, even in Australia, i expect.

I don't know the history of the Australian IWW very well. I don't know, for example, if they somehow considered themselves autonomous, and therefore not bound by the constitution. (Or did they have a constitution of their own? I've never heard of that...) It would be great to have this article reflect, even briefly, the IWW's true historical role in this regard. thanks, Richard Myers 22:38, 23 June 2007 (UTC)

Move to Communist Party of Australia?[edit]

Currently Communist Party of Australia redirects here so is there any need for a disambiguation tag? Timrollpickering (talk) 09:35, 8 February 2009 (UTC)

My reversions[edit]

I just reverted Communist Party of Australia to the last "clean" version before a communist IP and another Communist found it. They object to the article mentioning that the modern Australian socialist and communist parties are politically insignificant, even though a cursory look at Federal election stats indicates that overt socialist parties get less than 4 percent of the overall vote. Paul Benjamin Austin (talk) 09:58, 27 October 2017 (UTC)

Although I don't disagree, I think the wording could be improved - I don't love us broadly stating that they are of "no political significance" because that's kind of a value judgement. It would be more accurate to say they are tiny and unregistered, and rarely contest elections. But I also don't much like the "maintains the communist tradition in Australia" wording - do they really? So I would prefer that the whole sentence be removed, and replaced with something to the effect of "The renamed Communist Party of Australia has never been registered to contest federal or state (?) elections" - or if there's something citable about how tiny their numbers must be, that would be good too.
(Also - the legacy section is kind of an uncited mess, right? It's clearly making an argument - not one I necessarily disagree with, but also not one that Wikipedia should in any sense be making. A legacy section is not a bad idea but it needs to reflect published sources - I would suggest the current section be removed until someone can write something better.) Frickeg (talk) 13:00, 27 October 2017 (UTC)
User: Adam Carr who wrote the basis of this article has noted in the past that it's a magnet for Communists who want to sanitise and peacock the reality of Communism in Australia. This includes pretending that one to two percent of the vote in federal elections means that Australian communism is significant today. Adam Carr called such people, only half-jokingly, "The Communist Party of Wikipedia". Paul Benjamin Austin (talk) 01:51, 28 October 2017 (UTC)
... So? Do you agree or disagree with my proposals above? I don't disagree with what you've said (except that if communists really did get one or two percent in federal elections, I might agree with them that they were in some sense significant), but it doesn't respond to my comments at all. Frickeg (talk) 02:36, 28 October 2017 (UTC)
I agree with your proposals. Looking at actual results for the current CPA, they get less than one percent in recent elections so i was wrong about the one to two percent (but am right about that also being politically insignificant). Communist partisans should not be able to pt WP:PEACOCK and outright lies into Communist-related articles. I just had to fix the current CPA's article. Paul Benjamin Austin (talk) 03:17, 28 October 2017 (UTC)

I have reverted the inclusion of the commentary on separate organisations, the Communist Party established in 1971, and Trotskyist groups. It is not relevant to the Communist Party established in 1930 and dissolved in 1991, and without any citation is not NPOV. The Communist Party of Australia established in 1930 and dissolved in 1991 are not a barometer of Communism in Australia let alone financially and legally separate organisations claiming a similar mantle.--Darrelljon (talk) 10:02, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Darrelljon it is misleading to not mention the post 1989 reality of Communism in Australia when discussing what was the main communist party in this country for decades. It gives the false impression to the reader that Communism still has a fair amount of support in Australia when it doesn't. Paul Benjamin Austin (talk) 10:06, 24 August 2018 (UTC)
But the Communist Party of Australia established in 1930 has dissolved in 1991, it has zero financial assets and zero members and zero support garnering zero votes. It has no support whatsoever, it is giving it too much credit, to say imply it has small amount of support in separate organisations.--Darrelljon (talk) 10:16, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Proposal to move to "Communist Party of Australia (historical)"[edit]

I'd like to suggest that this party gets moved to the "Communist Party of Australia (historical)" and the "Communist Party of Australia" page becomes a disambiguation page. There's a surprising amount of mixups where people think the current party is the same as the old party. The naming scheme used is (very ironically now that I look at it) inspired by Democratic Labor Party (historical). Catiline52 (talk) 08:11, 31 May 2019 (UTC)

I support this. It is inherently confusing as it is. There is also a disambiguation page for the Socialist Party of Australia.--Jack Upland (talk) 08:56, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
Support -- makes sense. Rjensen (talk) 09:13, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. The current party is a microparty that doesn't even field candidates and draws zero media attention. The historical party had a significant influence on Australian politics over several decades and has had multiple books written about it. The DLP is a bad example to follow as Wikipedia is the only source that treats the "historical" and "current" parties as separate entities. A better comparison would be the historically significant United Australia Party and the flash-in-the-pan United Australia Party (2013). Ivar the Boneful (talk) 10:03, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose for the same reasons as Ivar the Boneful, especially given the recent further splintering of the new "CPA" to form the "ACP". It's ridiculous to treat the real CPA and the post-1991 microparty CPA on the same level.Locochoko (talk) 10:57, 31 May 2019 (UTC)
The current CPA is actually a continuation of the Socialist Party of Australia, which was founded in 1971. It is not "post-1991" or "new". While small, the SPA attracted historically significant figures such as Pat Clancy, Freda Brown, and Judah Waten. And of course The Australian was obsessed with it because Lee Rhiannon was once a member. The existing article about the current CPA is woefully inadequate and misrepresents it. We are not proposing to treat the parties on the same level. We are proposing that Wikipedia helps people tell the difference between the two. Making snide remarks about electoral performance is unhelpful to the task of building an encyclopedia.--Jack Upland (talk) 10:03, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Jack Upland's point above is worth considering - the current CPA was not always the utter nonentity it is today - but also actually underlines a strong reason for not making this move: the current CPA, when it was most prominent, was most prominent under a different name (SPA), when it was operating as a split from the original CPA. "Communist Party of Australia", in the literature, overwhelmingly refers to the original CPA. There probably is an argument for moving the current CPA to "Socialist Party of Australia", given that I don't believe it has ever been registered under its current name. (Incidentally I have long felt the two DLP articles should be merged.) Frickeg (talk) 22:06, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
I think changing this article to "SPA" would be even more confusing. However, I would support redirecting "SPA" to here. This party is the one known as the "SPA". The Socialist Party (Militant) have never been called the "SPA", and the third party mentioned on the disambiguation page is a real, real non-entity.--Jack Upland (talk) 23:24, 1 June 2019 (UTC)
Fair enough. The redirect does seem to be a no-brainer. Frickeg (talk) 01:37, 2 June 2019 (UTC)
I support this change over changing the more notable Communist Party page. I also agree that the current page for the SPA-CPA is lacking. However, what date should be used for the splinter party? The SPA was founded around 1971, but they weren't the CPA until 1996. Would Communist Party of Australia (1996) be more appropriate, as it differentiates it from the party which dissolved in 1991? Catiline52 (talk) 00:03, 15 December 2019 (UTC)
I don't think so. The SPA is more notable than the current CPA. I would prefer something like Communist Party of Australia (formerly Socialist Party).--Jack Upland (talk) 01:38, 15 December 2019 (UTC)

Socialist wings of ALP and Greens?[edit]

I have removed this from the "Legacy" section:

The Australian Labor Party and the Australian Greens continue to have socialist wings as part of their parties in the 21st century.

There are factions of the ALP which call themselves socialist, but there always have been. I know there have been socialists in the Greens, but I'm not sure that there is a "socialist wing". In any case, how is this a legacy of the CPA?--Jack Upland (talk) 08:38, 15 December 2019 (UTC)

Move discussion in progress[edit]

There is a move discussion in progress on Talk:Australian Communist Party (2019) which affects this page. Please participate on that page and not in this talk page section. Thank you. —RMCD bot 10:19, 15 December 2019 (UTC)

Disambiguation page[edit]

Sorry my talk ended up on the wrong talk page, oops. Anyway I was changing the disambiguation box for clarification, otherwise it looks like there were two concurrent CPAs. Cheers. Locochoko (talk) 00:09, 16 January 2020 (UTC)