Alannah MacTiernan isn't the only Labor politician moving alarmingly to the green left. There are clearly others in WA Labor who've been afflicted with this tendency, including the leader Mark McGowan. His endorsement of medical marijuana is a case in point.

I have no strong feelings about this proposed policy. If it helps people who are suffering, great. But he should remember that a big chunk of the population have a strong emotional reaction when it comes to the issue of drugs. It doesn't matter what the reason is, they are threatened by the concept of a presently illegal drug made legal, even in a highly restricted way.

Cannabis is hardly the worst of these, of course. But in the public imagination it is strongly associated with an obnoxious rejection of their values, as well as general laziness. It also brings to mind organized crime syndicates led by bikies. So pushing for its medicinal use will reinforce in their minds the idea that Labor is no longer interested in mainstream society and its values. It's a tactical error, basically.

Do McGowan and his advisers not realize this? The big challenge for the party on both state and federal levels is to reconnect with mainstream, conventional voters and win their confidence back. Surely that's more important than appeasing hippies, greenies and others on the far left ...

These alternative lifestylers are few in number and insignificant in the grand scheme of things. Yet like a busted shopping trolley Labor keeps veering towards them. It's completely baffling and truly sad.

I will never vote for Labor again, but I think a strong, rational mainstream party is good for democracy. And Labor certainly don't deserve to be called that at the moment.