“It seems clear that the 'professional' tag refers not to the political skills and popularity of the leaders, or to the relative efficacy of the parties’ policies or ideologies, but to the capabilities of the rival parties’ organisations, particularly in the context of elections. ‘Professional’ describes, with positive and negative connotations, both the Liberal Party and the ALP, in government and in opposition. But what is a professional party organisation? And who within in might be characterised as a professional? How and why has that organisation, or the individuals within it, become professional? And what impact does this professionalisation process have on the parties’ campaign activities, their structures and their overall role in the political system?”
This is an excerpt from ‘Parties and Campaigns’, chapter 10 of Contemporary Australian Political Party Organisations, edited by Narelle Miragliotta, Anika Gauja and Rodney Smith. To be published by Monash University Press later in 2015 ...
... this is the first book dedicated to Australian political parties in nearly a decade, and brings together most of the leading scholars of Australian politics in a searching examination of the party organisations.
See http://www.publishing.monash.edu/books/cappo-9781922235824.html for more details.