Monday, 30 September 2013

Post-Federal Election 2013: Liberal Party turns on its own 'faceless men'

the faceless men are running the Labor Party [Then Opposition Leader Tony Abbott quoted in The Australian 23 February 2012]

We will get productivity up because we are not run by faceless men—the same faceless men who dictate the policy of this government when it comes to workplace relations. [Then Opposition Leader Tony Abbott in House of Representatives Hansard, 27 February 2012]

From 2006 onwards Tony Abbott made repeated reference, both in and outside of the Australian Parliament, to faceless men in the Labor Party and held his own party up as being free from the taint of such men.

Now the Liberal Party itself is publicly coming clean about the antics of its own ‘faceless men’ in New South Wales and revealing examples of the party’s undemocratic pre-selection processes.

Prime Minister Abbott may be about to lose control of the post-election political message again, as media attention was triggered by his own apparent pursuit of payback for what he sees as NSW factional bosses costing him the 2010 federal election as well a losing him an expected ‘landslide’ victory in 2013.

ABC 7.30 25 September 2013:

Today, two party activists emailed 10,000 members urging them to support broadening a ban on party officials being lobbyists. The ban was announced by the Prime Minister last week.

And senior Liberals have called for an end to branch stacking by NSW factional bosses. They blame the practice for hampering the party's efforts to pick up seats in Western Sydney in the election....

ROSS CAMERON [former Liberal MP for Parramatta]: Same thing happened in Parramatta. The Liberal Party's constitution rewarded branch stacking. Martin Zaiter took the opportunity that it presented. We stacked in 100 Maronite Lebanese into two branches. It meant the preselection was a stitch up and it was a weak - it produced a weak outcome.... 

ROSS CAMERON: The extraordinary thing is that you can become a branch member in Parramatta, as I was, and not have the opportunity to vote for your candidate. You know, you only get to vote for the delegate who's gonna vote for the candidate, and it's that concentration of the franchise that empowers the factional boss....

But today in an email to nearly 10,000 state members, party activists John Ruddick and Walter Villatora have called for the changes to go further. "... our party is now at a crossroad," they've written. The, "NSW Liberal Party is unique ... our lobbyists (have) until now not only been influencing lawmakers ... they've been installing many lawmakers."....

ROSS CAMERON: Labor are going to steal a march on us here. And if we want to be competitive, we have to be putting forward the cream of each generation as the candidates representing ordinary Australians through the Liberal Party. And the only way we will attract them to our cause is to broaden the franchise and give them a feeling they've got a real chance....

ROSS CAMERON: You've got to take the power which is currently concentrated in the hands of a few factional leaders and you've got to push it out to the rank-and-file members.

1 comment:

John Fraser said...

No doubt there are many people in Australia who would consider Mark Bethwaite one of the Liberal parties "faceless men".

Because he was formerly the Treasurer of the Federal Liberal party between 2006 and 2008.

He is currently being investigated by the Australian Federal Police in relation to bribery charges.