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Beating up the Uglies of the Liberal Party of Australia

When Malcolm Turnbull was dumped as Liberal Party leader and thus as Prime Minister, he took the opportunity to exact his revenge by resigning his seat. The incoming Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, is significantly more conservative than the more liberal Turnbull, as whilst the latter was struggling in the polls due to an inability to implement policies, let alone have much consideration, that helped the financial straits that many find themselves in, the delusion of the conservative wing of the Liberal Party is that they are somehow representative of a "silent majority", despite their evident inability to shut up and learn something about anything.

The Wentworth by-election could not have happened at a worse time for Morrison's government; it was a train-wreck of a fortnight, starting off with stumbling over whether schools should have the privilege of expelling gay students, then voting for a neo-Nazi slogan in the Senate before claiming that was an "administrative error". Then the spectre of the bumbling former Deputy Prime Minister, Barnaby Joyce, rose for the past with the threat of a potential return to the leadership of the junior partner. As Australia's gross abuse of human rights reared its head with a health crisis in Nauru, several Liberal MPs broke ranks against the hardline, inhumane policy.

By this stage opinion polls in Wentworth were suggesting that the Liberals might actually lose, so Morrison proposed that the Australian embassy be moved to Jerusalem; after all, Wentworth is 12.5% Jewish, the largest proportion of a Representative seat in the country. Never mind that the Jewish people themselves are hardly united over such a position, or the fact that its not something that has great recognition in the international community. It certainly managed to annoy Indonesia which, as the world's largest Muslim country, pointed out that such a decision may not be so good for Australian-Indonesian trade. In another epic move in the foreign relations field, environment minister Melissa Price managed to insult all the Pacific Island states. Speaking of which, the Liberal candidate, Dave Sharma, was a legal adviser to former foreign affairs minister Alexander Downer - whilst Australia was conducting an illegal spying operation on Timor-Leste for private commercial interests.

With all this considered, the Tories were smashed in Wentworth, suffering swing of around 20% and in the process losing one of their safest seats in the country, and one which the Liberal party (or their predecessors) have continuously won since the inaugural 1901 election. It is a very well-to-do area, it is well-educated, a classic "small-l" liberal seat. Whilst it was very unlikely that they would cross the class boundary and elect a Labor person, an independent liberal was certainly a way to register protest against a government which they felt no longer represented their political orientation. Given the choice of voting for the Uglies (i.e., the conservative hard right of the Liberal Party) or an independent Wet (social liberal), they have clearly chosen the latter.

Thus is a problem for the Liberal Party everywhere. In the next election we will see the Liberals lose inner-urban seats to independents and Greens. In outer-surburban seats they're going to lose to Labor. In regional seats they'll lose to independents or Labor. Basically people don't want any of the austerity economics or their social conservativism. Again, it's the delusion of the conservatives in Australia that they are normal. In reality, "middle Australia" reels in disgust from both their economic and social agenda.

The Liberal Party, when founded by Robert Menzies was a broad-tent alliance between wet (social) liberals, and dry (economic rationalist) liberals, with the uglies (conservatives) having nowhere else to go. That was the genius of Menzie, but of course it ran a particular risk; it has now been taken over by the uglies. Rather like the Republican party of the U.S., the worst faction within the respective parties have taken over. Their chance of returning to sanity? Perhaps after the next election when they lose 25+ seats. Only then will they perhaps come to their senses.

Commenting on this Blog entry will be automatically closed on December 22, 2018.


When it gets this bad...

State Liberal advocate an early Federal election to lose.

... is both bourgeois to the core, once declaring that bulk billing is dead and was a recipient of the "Bent Spoon" award for embracing "alternative medicine"