Australian Labor Party
The Australian Labor Party (ALP) is a political party in Australia, formed in 1891. The ALP's major competitor is the Liberal Party of Australia, who are often in a political Coalition with the National Party of Australia.
The ALP forms government in approximately half of the Australian states and territories. At the Federal level, after coming to within a hair's breadth of losing office at the 21 August 2010 federal elections, it currently forms a minority government with the assistance of independent and Greens MPs led by Prime Minister Julia Gillard (Australia's first female Prime Minister).
 Political stance
The constitution of the ALP states that it is a 'democratic socialist party' that is committed to the 'socialisation of the means of production, distribution and exchange'. As with most mass-based social democratic parties around the world, this clause is basically meaningless in the modern ALP. A former senior ALP politician noted that while the party was once made up of the cream of the working class, it is now made up of the dregs of the middle class.  As a result, Labor's policy positions are normally determined in reference to the major party factions:
- The Labor Left, which believes the party should focus on losing elections; and
- The Labor Right, which believes the party's main objective should be betraying its support base.
No prizes for guessing which of the two groups normally ends up getting its way, although it should be noted that in recent times a number of leaders have managed to successfully do both. 
Despite styling itself as a progressive alternative to the Liberal party the ALP has always relied on support from an uneasy bond between relatively conservative trade unions and a growing left-wing, progressive, distinctly green electorate. Conflicts in the party often arise around related issues such as:
- Regulation of heavy industries which please progressive elements of the party but naturally upsets the trade unionists who are employed in those industries;
- Legalising same-sex marriage which upsets the strong catholic base within the trade unions; and
- Refugees seeking asylum which, depending on the electorate you ask, are here to 'terk er jerbs!' or just to escape persecution in their home countries.
Unsurprisingly the Labor party has pandered to the conservative element of it's base by consistently watering down taxation and regulation on heavily unionised industries, avoiding dealing with equality issues such as same-sex marriage wherever possible and actually being more harsh on refugees than the Liberal party. This has effectively removed the only reason that people still voted for Labor: that they are not quite as bad as the Liberals and they are staring down the gun of a landslide loss in the next election.
 Stance on spelling
They are wrong.
|Australian Political Parties|
|Australian Greens - Christian Democrat Party (The Fred Nile Group) - Liberal Party of Australia - National Party of Australia - One Nation - Shooters and Fishers Party - Socialist Alliance -|