|membership = 53 930
|membership_year = 2014
|international = Progressive Alliance
|seats1_title = House of Representatives
|seats2_title = Senate
|country = Australia
The Australian Labor Party (ALP, also Labor, was Labour before 1912) is a political party in Australia. The party has been in opposition at federal level since the 2013 election. Bill Shorten has been the party's federal parliamentary leader since 13 October 2013. The party is a federal party with branches in each state and territory. Labor is in government in the states of Victoria, Queensland, South Australia, and in the Australian Capital Territory. The party competes against the Liberal/National Coalition for political office at the federal and state (and sometimes local) levels.
Labor's constitution states: "The Australian Labor Party is a democratic socialist party and has the objective of the democratic socialisation of industry, production, distribution and exchange, to the extent necessary to eliminate exploitation and other anti-social features in these fields".〔(Australian Labor Party National Platform ). Retrieved 11 December 2014〕 This "socialist objective" was introduced in 1921, but has since been qualified by two further objectives: "maintenance of and support for a competitive non-monopolistic private sector" and "the right to own private property". Labor governments have not attempted the "democratic socialisation" of any industry since the 1940s, when the Chifley government failed to nationalise the private banks, and in fact have privatised several industries such as aviation and banking. Labor's current National Platform describes the party as "a modern social democratic party", "the party of opportunity and security for working people" and "a party of active government".〔
The ALP was not founded as a federal party until after the first sitting of the Australian Parliament in 1901. Nevertheless it is regarded as descended from labour parties founded in the various Australian colonies by the emerging labour movement in Australia, formally beginning in 1892. Labor is thus the country's oldest political party. Colonial labour parties contested seats from 1891, and federal seats following Federation at the 1901 federal election. Labor was the first party in Australia to win a majority in either house of the Australian Parliament, at the 1910 federal election. The ALP pre-dates both the British Labour Party and the New Zealand Labour Party in party formation, government, and policy implementation. Internationally, the ALP is a member of the Progressive Alliance network of social-democratic parties,〔(【引用サイトリンク】title=Participants )〕 having previously been a member of the Socialist International.
(詳細はTree of Knowledge") in Barcaldine, Queensland in 1891. The Balmain, New South Wales branch of the party claims to be the oldest in Australia. Labour as a parliamentary party dates from 1891 in New South Wales and South Australia, 1893 in Queensland, and later in the other colonies.
The first election contested by Labour candidates was the 1891 New South Wales election, when Labour candidates (then called the Labor Electoral League of New South Wales) won 35 of 141 seats. The major parties were the Protectionist and Free Trade parties and Labour held the balance of power. It offered parliamentary support in exchange for policy concessions.〔''So Monstrous a Travesty'', Ross McMullen. Scribe Publications 2004. p.4.〕 The United Labor Party (ULP) of South Australia was founded in 1891, and three candidates were that year elected to the South Australian Legislative Council. The first successful South Australian House of Assembly candidate was John McPherson at the 1892 East Adelaide by-election. Richard Hooper however was elected as an Independent Labor candidate at the 1891 Wallaroo by-election, while he was the first Labor member of the House of Assembly he was not a member of the newly formed ULP.
At the 1893 South Australian elections the ULP was immediately elevated to balance of power status with 10 of 54 lower house seats. The liberal government of Charles Kingston was formed with the support of the ULP, ousting the conservative government of John Downer. So successful, less than a decade later at the 1905 election, Thomas Price would form the world's first stable Labor government. John Verran led Labor to form the state's first of many majority governments at the 1910 election.
In 1899, Anderson Dawson formed a minority Labour government in Queensland, the first in the world, which lasted one week while the conservatives regrouped after a split.
The colonial Labour parties and the trade unions were mixed in their support for the Federation of Australia. Some Labour representatives argued against the proposed constitution, claiming that the Senate as proposed was too powerful, similar to the anti-reformist colonial upper houses and the British House of Lords. They feared that federation would further entrench the power of the conservative forces. The first Labour leader and Prime Minister, Chris Watson, however, was a supporter of federation.
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