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Factions are poisoning the Liberal Party

‘Factions are poisoning the Liberal Party’

Senator Jim Molan writes in today’s Australian about the Liberal Party factions. It beggars belief that the present faction bosses can be so brain dead as exhibited by their treatment of Senator Molan. A vote below the line could solve matters!

There has been plenty of commentary about the Liberal Party being in crisis. There can be no doubt the party faces huge challenges. Since the 2013 election we have lost more than a million votes. Recent elections in Sydney’s Wentworth and in Victoria have seen us lose seats thought impregnable. Although many commentato­rs claim the party no longer reflects conservative opinions, or that it has a particular problem with women, there is a much simpler explanation for at least part of the problem — the poisonous influence of factions.

Source: News Corp

Nowhere is this more evident than in NSW. If you want a friend in politics, get a dog. If you want a friend in the NSW division of the Liberal Party, get a faction. The NSW Liberals are a faction-ridden organisation in which factional interests always prevail over those of members, the constitution is a stitch-up, the whatever-it-takes philosophy dominates and can­didate selectio­n occurs through a deeply distorted process.

Factions do nothing to advance the interests of the party, much less the country. And while other state divisions have moved towards democratisation, NSW remains unreformed. Too many condone this. They shrug and say it’s just politics. But we should not be so willing to ­accept this when it is of such importan­ce to all Australia­ns.

Factionalism is a deeply distorting influence that undermines ideas, principles and good policy. As a moderate-faction power­broker recently admitted: “We don’t stand for anything philosophically.”

Their entire game is about power and influence. What does this say about those who rise to the top of such a system? When such attitudes prevail, are we honestly surprised that Australians are becomi­ng disgusted with politics?

Some will claim that I am havin­g a whinge after failing to be preselected to a winnable position on the Senate ticket. But I have been a consistent opponent of these malignant forces since well before entering the Senate last year. I first encountered the distorted processes of the NSW division in my 2016 preselection, when every immoral, unethical ruse was used in an efforts to defeat me as a “cleanskin” candidate.

The preselection process itself was a foregone conclusion: one faction had already determined what the result would be. Yet many good rural Libs still had to spend $1000 for a weekend in Sydne­y, for no good reason. All the domin­ant faction had to do was work hard on the day to achieve its decided objective, including last-minute stacking by faction bosses, influencing voters on the floor, repetiti­ve voting, even sending voters home to achieve the desired result, then ­reversing the decision once the preselection was over.

That is not “just politics”, it is an appalling system. I did not accept it then and I do not accept it now. Going by the volume of corres­pondence I have received since my recent preselection woes, there are many others, including many former and wavering Libera­l members and supporters, who feel the same way.

Last year a majority of NSW Liberal members voted for a reformed, democratic constitution. But this vote was rejected in a ­clever way by the factionalised state council last February. The reforms introduced there give the appearance of democracy but factions, not members, still control candidate selection, perhaps even more so in view of a new voting system. Most state and federal preselections in NSW remain predetermined affairs. Sometimes the situation is so bad that the party leader must intervene.

The factional bosses need to operate covertly because they know the public will never accept unelected, unaccountable figures playing such games. As the consequences of factionalism gain greater public attention, more of our supporters drift away.

The NSW division needs true reform, and quickly. Who will man booths in the coming state and federal elections? In 2013, we had about 14,000 people supporting our election campaign statewide. In 2016, the total dropped to about 8000. Can anyone guess how we will go next year?

There may be many ways to refor­m but the one I favour is to make the executive of the NSW division subject to the same principles that govern corporate law, with its members acting as company directors. The Australian Electoral Commission should run our internal elections, because we cannot be trusted to do so.

The factions are asking reform­ers to defer action because elections are so close. This is the usual defence of a distorted system. They said that in 2016, then reneged. We should have reformed in February, but instea­d a patina of democracy was applied and a few overthrew the wishes of the membership.

This nation desperately needs a thriving right-of-centre party full of right-of-centre ideas. We can win with Scott Morrison as Prime Minister, given his experience and ability, but we must in­spir­e. We must inspire our mem­bers and supporters, not just those who benefit from the factions, and bring those million voters back.

Jim Molan is a senator for NSW.

{ 19 comments… add one }
  • luk1955 06/12/2018, 6:42 am

    Wrong Jim it’s not factions that are the problem. It is that the Liberal party attracted the more intelligent voters who voted on issues, not personalities or previous history like labor party voters. The Libs used to differ from the greens and labor on issues but since turncoat took over started to eliminate the differentiation between the libs and the other communists. But now there is no distinction between libs and the other 2 major parties and we just don’t like the donkey’s ass any more. And so we more intelligent voters have taken our votes elsewhere. The major unitary party has effectively destroyed this country and the voters have failed to see this, except all of us here at MM, by selling out to the international bankers.

  • Penguinite 06/12/2018, 6:43 am

    Tony Abbott wrote something very similar several months ago and attempted to do something about it but his bete-noir still breathes and manipulates. While we might agree with Molan the problem is how to fix it. Unless and until voters realise they are being taken for a ride and fight for the right to “per-select” a representative nothing will change! This, of course, applies to Labor too! It is Unions that pre-select Labor governments! In both cases all would be polies know they have to “toe the line” or not get selected.

    • DT 06/12/2018, 7:15 am

      I understand that a majority voted at a Liberal Party Conference to return preselection to electorate branch membership during 2017, and that ever since the Black Hand controlled headquarters has resisted.

      Mr.Mansion defeated sitting Liberal MP Peter King by stacking Liberal branches in Wentworth.

      • Bwana Neusi 06/12/2018, 12:29 pm

        When your allegiance is to the faction and not to the party, the party disintegrates and that is exactly what has happened to the liberals.

    • Neville 06/12/2018, 10:32 pm

      And another thing … what’s with all this shit about “pre” selecting a candidate?
      The group, whatever it is, SELECTS a candidate to stand in the upcoming election .. etc blah bla ..
      There’s nothing PRE about it – someone is either “selected”, or they bloody AIN’T “selected”. Where did this imbecilic ‘pre’ crap come from?
      It’s on a par with a “sub” committee; again, there’s a “committee”, or there bloody ain’t!
      Drop the mike.

  • DT 06/12/2018, 7:12 am

    During the late 1990s a renewed membership Liberal who had returned from living overseas told me how disappointed he was with the lack of focus within the NSW Liberal Party. And that it was controlled by people he could not trust.

    However, it is important to note that Union Labor is also a party in which factional wars are conducted and control is from the Union Movement. Union trained executives have replaced Labor MPs in many safe seats.

    Considering that the political favourite side of Mr.Mansion is Union Labor Green, and the timing of the “takeovers” on what was different sides of politics, the formation of the Cooperative of Politicians was not a coincidence.

    • nev 06/12/2018, 11:00 am

      Of course the unions control the outcomes of factional wars in the labor party HD.
      They are the labor party but structured as three separate entities, labor, unions and their ABC media arm. That’s the clever bit, when it suites they operate as two parties getting double air time. One party is like the communist party, it takes funds compulsorily from the workers and at the same time plays loud and clear in the political spectrum under the guise of a union fighting for it’s workers’ rights and to beat up on any other political issue with the biased ear of mainstream media also in support.
      It’s a lovely situation with two separate entities plus the greens spruiking the same agenda against an often divided singular voice of the coalition. Then in overture comes the backing, promotion and clapping of hands from their taxpayer funded ABC and the sympathetic leftwing MSM.
      When the time comes they morph back to their administrative roll, promoting the anointed to safe seats while the other hand digs into the everflowing rivers of TAX FREE revenue, the cash cow for winning elections.
      To make thing even fairer, each candidate achieving the 4% FP vote get tax free electoral funding as well………………Nah our system aint broke!
      I have said in unison with many to the point of ad nauseam. The Union and labor executive must be subject the same legal and taxation laws that apply to Australian corporate law.
      Senator Jim Molan also asserts that the Australian Electoral Commission should run our internal elections, because we cannot be trusted to do so. I’ve never thought of that but it doesn’t sound like a bad idea either.

      • nev 06/12/2018, 5:39 pm

        DT my apology I meant this reply to you mate, Not HD maybe I was absentmindedly thinking of other consequences of labor governments, like HD = Huge Debt!

  • DT 06/12/2018, 7:17 am

    If there was a government and real opposition the Constitution would be upheld.

  • Aktosplatz 06/12/2018, 7:59 am

    Scrap the Liberal Party and start again. Indeed the voters are doing that already.

    I simply don’t trust the Liberals anymore – I hope the conservative voters walk away from them, it’s what they deserve.

    • Neville 06/12/2018, 10:35 pm


  • Lorraine 06/12/2018, 8:34 am

    it is very clear these so called Liberals want safe seats. They care not to win any election outright, just their mates will have some seats , this gives them an income for life. its I am alright mate pity about you. THE YOU is the Australian voter…… Power and control of a nothing, is still a nothing

  • Cliff 06/12/2018, 8:39 am

    … but … but… didn’t Melvin Mansion assure us, in that dulcet, oh so carefully modulated tone he affects to impress the blue rinse set, that here are no factions in the Liberal Party?

    I never believed I could detest a politician more than I did Kevin Rudd and Julia Gillard, but sorry Kevni and Jools, you’ve been toppled from that podium by someone even more despicable – in my estimation at least.

    And boy oh boy, Melvin, that’s quite a feat, up there with your spectacular success in orchestrating the destruction of the Liberal Party.

  • Botswana O'Hooligan 06/12/2018, 9:56 am

    Senator Molan is probably part right but this is how I see it approaching 80 years of age. I have always voted for a conservative party be it Liberal or National depending on where I have lived, and I have voted for them not because they are exactly right with their policies all the time, but because in general their policies are better than those of any other parties. Now there isn’t a discernible difference between Liberal/National policies and those of Labor/Greens and until the Liberal/National party change their policies to be back in line with those we conservatives hold dear, they have lost my vote and support.

    • Lorraine 06/12/2018, 10:57 am

      exactly , this is also how I have voted until Turnbull knifed TA. since then Federal and State AC and PHON when they are on the ticket.

    • Ex ADF 06/12/2018, 8:04 pm

      So true. Molan appears to be a decent sort of a bloke, however he is off course with his argument re factions. The LNP has lost touch with its supporters over the last few years. The backstabbing of Abbott was the major catalyst. Despite his perceived faults Abbott was a true Liberal. They must get back to real conservative values and policies, and take on Labor and the Greens with a bit of fire in the belly. No bending to appease any more.

  • Albert 06/12/2018, 11:53 am

    The party faces huge challenges? Is that right? The only challenges that I can see facing the Liberals are those brought on by their own self-serving narcissistic conduct. That along with allowing Turnbull to take over and now refusing to expel him as he charges headlong into the destruction of the Liberals just to justify his mentally disturbed retaliation and revenge. We must not forget the lying, conniving and cheating that resulted in utter disrespect for the citizens of this nation as still does.
    Scott Moronson is not the answer; in fact he is a dyed in the wool Turnbull bum boy who cant be trusted when it comes to rejecting the inroads the UN has engineered into the destruction of our sovereignty. Another cold hard fact is that the Liberals do not have anybody, apart from Jim Molan, in its parliamentary wing that is fit to sit in our parliament and the sooner we see the arse end of the whole lot of them the better.

    • Aktosplatz 06/12/2018, 12:35 pm

      I certainly remember the picture of Morrison with his arm around Turnbull and pointing him as to say ‘He is the boss’.

      This was not long after Tony Abbott was back-stabbed. In other words, Morrison was an accomplice.

  • Bob Warn 22/05/2019, 10:46 pm

    Nothing has changed in NSW Libs. Jim has had to campaign for a below the line vote in the NSW Senate vote. Results not in yet, but it’s a big ask by Jim of the mainly not engaged Oz. punters who just follow the how to vote cards. Poor Tony Abbott has been knocked off by a disgustingly personal hate-filled attack from combined and coordinated forces of the evil subversive GetUp, the toxic Greens, and Labour. NO other party preferenced Tony, with even the rotten Anning candidate preferenced above him. So Tony had to win on first preferences alone. A hard task. But the swing against him was a prodigous – the high teens percent. Very sad for a great guy and former PM.

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