About the Democratic Labour Party

The Democratic Labour Party (DLP) stands for traditional values and a better deal for working families. The DLP is neither ‘Left’ nor ‘Right’ as people usually understand those words in Australian politics. Unlike the ALP, it is not dictated to by unions and unlike the Liberal Party, it does not seek to serve the interests of big business.

The DLP believes in the rights and responsibilities of individuals, families and local communities.

The Democratic Labour Party formally began in 1955 when the founders were unlawfully expelled from the ALP, in the immediately-preceding crisis that became known as “the Split”. The majority of ALP members and ALP branches in Victoria, where the Split began, joined with the expelled anti-communists.

They knew what was at stake. Labour movement traditions of democracy, justice and fairness had been subverted. The rule book had effectively been torn up. The policies of the ALP – the alternative government – were beginning to reflect the views of the extremist union bosses with reckless economic agendas and allegiances to hostile communist regimes. Australian democracy was in danger. National security was threatened. Social justice priorities for the families of Australian workers were at risk.

The expelled anti-communists formed the Australian Labor Party (Anti-Communist). In 1957 it became the Australian Democratic Labor Party, then the Democratic Labor Party of Australia, and in 2013 it became the Democratic Labour Party.

Democratic Labour Party logo

No other political party in Australia can boast that its parliamentary founders (51 in total, including 14 ministers and a State Premier), were prepared to sacrifice promising political careers to uphold a principle: in their case, anti-communism.

All were to lose their seats in elections following the Split. This was the outcome of a media campaign orchestrated by the communists and the pro-communist left to undermine public sympathy and to impute a sectarian motivation for the DLP stand.

Between the ‘split’ of 1955 and 1974, the DLP held the balance of power in the Senate, scrutinising and approving vital legislation before it could be passed into law.

The Democratic Labour Party offered a distinct alternative to the other political parties. It was an alternative based on two essential ends: bolstering the family and defending the nation.

A basic element of DLP philosophy is that the interests of Australians may be best served by preserving, protecting and building on the family. It is a fundamental policy of the DLP to support a responsible elected government that will promote social and economic justice, a fair and decent society for families and a sense of national direction that will help to make Australia prosperous, self-reliant and secure.

The DLP represents and upholds the traditional values and principles of the labour movement, which supports families, workers and communities as the foundations of our society and the basis of all sound economic principle.

Further reading: The DLP: an Authentic Labour Party

Principles of the DLP

(from Articles 11 – 13 of the DLP Constitution)

11. The Democratic Labour Party shall uphold principles of DEMOCRACY intended to maintain –

  1. responsible government, representative parliaments, the fundamental liberties of conscience, equality, justice and the rule of law;
  2. a decent and secure livelihood for all, through wage justice, fair rewards for enterprise, adequate social security and equity in the determination of prices, interest rates and the level of taxation;
  3. limits upon centralism in government and upon the concentrations of power in corporate business, financial institutions, trade unions and the communications media;
  4. protection of the constitutional sovereignty of the people of the Commonwealth, and of each State of the Commonwealth against outside political interference, economic coercion or external aggression;
  5. resistance to the spread of totalitarian, supranationalist and other anti-democratic ideologies, and cautious realism in dealings with the regimes, movements and fronts that derive from them.

12. The Democratic Labour Party shall uphold principles of LIBERTY intended to affirm –

  1. orthodox values and traditions and the ethic of civic responsibility as the foundation for genuine human freedoms and the common good;
  2. the sacredness of human life, from conception until natural death, as the fundamental basis for all human rights;
  3. the historical indispensability of the family as the primary guardian of personal freedoms vis-a-vis the state;
  4. the authority of just law as paramount in the protection of community interests against exploitation, violence or threat from self-serving, coercive-ideological and lawless agents or groups;
  5. distributive democracy as the means to advance the welfare, status and development of the people and support basic freedoms and rights.

13. The Democratic Labour Party shall uphold principles of PEACE intended to promote –

  1. personal security, harmony and trust within families, mutual tolerance and respect among all peoples and communities and the right to lawful national self-determination;
  2. development of co-operative links between nations in matters of mutual interest, including foreign aid, migration and refugees, scientific and cultural exchanges, trade and essential defence alliances;
  3. preparedness for legitimate self-defence against external aggression or threat to the nation and its regional or global interests, through the maintenance of a flexible and effective deterrent capability;
  4. multilateral armaments reduction which is balanced, verifiable and progressive;
  5. vigilance against unilateralism, pacifism and appeasement and the strategic instabilities they abet.

(Information provided from https://dlp.org.au/about/)