I Left the Liberals? No, the Party Left Me, by Christopher Carr. The Liberals now sound like the Labor Party:
I was a very active member, but that was then, when branches represented democracy in microcosm. Today’s party is beyond redemption, infested with apparatchiks, sycophants and those of no known principle nor competence. …
The olden days of the Liberal Party:
In those days party members had serious debates about policy. What we did not have, at least in my area, were factional heavies breathing down our necks. I was involved in the preselection contest for the seat in which I lived way back in 1973. It was an open contest with a large number of candidates. Before the day of the vote, a number of us on the preselection committee submitted questions to all the candidates. Their written replies were circulated, studied and weighed. On the great day when we voted, all the candidates gave speeches. We then held exhaustive ballots until only two candidates were left.
Truly, merit won out.
What does the Liberal Party stand for … now that its bosses not merely spurn rank-and-file democracy but actively and brazenly scorn it? … Were I still a paid-up Liberal, I would be ashamed to be a member of what is now the desiccated husk of a once-great party. I suspect that the Liberal Party will stagger to the next election like the walking dead.
The next few years:
As for Australia, we can be certain of only two things. One, Bill Shorten will win, but he will have no genuine mandate, the basis and core of his appeal being that he is not a Liberal. Whatever his majority in the House of Representatives, we may be sure that the ideologues in his cabinet will quickly alienate the majority of Australians. An unjustified moral superiority plus unlimited access to taxpayers’ money always brings that arrogant result.
The second thing of which we can be certain is that the non-Labor side will go through a painful period of reconstruction. Pauline Hanson’s One Nation and Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives become the wild cards in the pack. This pair of outsiders overlap, particularly in terms of their perception of the cultural and civilisational challenges, but differ markedly on matters economic. For my money, if one were to place a premium on intellectual coherence, the bet would be on Cory Bernardi as the chief driver of the conservative reconstruction. On the other hand, Pauline Hanson gives voice to the often contradictory impulses of conservative working-class voters. We will see.
Best of all, the factional heavies in the Liberal Party will be history.