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128 responses to “Turnbull to found a new party?”

  1. crankynick

    Yeah, and then one day someone would put a GST proposal in front of them and then….

    Haven’t we seen that idea somewhere before? (Minus Malcolm’s millions, obviously).

  2. chris

    There is a real potential he could do a “chip” and at the very least get elected to the senate at the next election. Ironic if he had the balance of power.

  3. Guido

    New party as an offshoot from the Liberals? A social and economically liberal party? What a novel idea! Maybe they could call it ‘The Australian Democrats’;)

  4. Guido

    Snap crankynick and chris!

  5. john thornton

    No it will be a libertarian party without the Liberal’s legacies. A libertarian party that is unashamedly committed to combating climate change and advocating a republic. It would provide a genuine choice to current Liberal voters. Hard work, yes, but impossible–no. If one man can do it, it is Malcolm Bligh Turnbull.

  6. John Humphreys

    The Australian democrats where not economically liberal. For that matter, the Liberals aren’t very economically liberal either. Economic liberal means a preference for low tax, low spending and free markets.

  7. Peter Kemp

    Nah Guido, the “Anti-Howard Party” :-)

  8. Mark

    What will be interesting, given that I gather this story is going to have a few legs later in the day, is what form of words Turnbull uses to deny it…

  9. joe2

    Yer, well, Mal has no particular reason not to use such a possibily as a threat in garnering support to keep the top job.

  10. nicki

    The current “Liberal Party” is, or soon will be, dead on its feet. So it’s not a matter of if a new party (or parties) will rise up, but when.

    And so the question then becomes, is now the time to do it and is Turnbull the person to lead it?

  11. tssk

    As I said in one of the other threads…Turnbull and Hockey should keep to their convictions and start a new party. We’ll see by tomorrow if Hockey sells his soul or his secure job.

  12. FDB

    Not sure about the name Australian Republican Party – bit too GOP for recent memory to tolerate – but a good idea still.

    The potential for not just the Coalition but the ALP to lose votes to such a party is clear.

  13. Ricky

    The LDP (Liberal Democratic Party) is a socially and economically liberal party (i.e., libertarian). But even they don’t support the ETS!


  14. Sam

    I think the Democratic Liberal Party has a nice ring to it, and a certain historical symmetry as well.

    One could suggest a core philosophy and detailed platform, but two words will suffice: doctor’s wives.

    Which lower house seats could it win? Pretty much all the Liberal seats that voted yes in the republican referendum, or seats like them: Wentworth, North Sydney, Higgins, Goldstein, Kooyong, Ryan and maybe even one or two in affluent Perth, though this is less likely.

    Senate: one seat in NSW, Victoria and the ACT.

  15. Fran Barlow

    As to party names, what about The Not a Monster Raving Loony Party?

    That could be fun.

  16. Tim Dymond

    Surely the most obvious historical parallel would be businessman Gordon Barton founding the ‘Australia Party’.


    There is little detail about the AP on the web, however it was essentially a small ‘l’ liberal party that opposed the Liberal Party over that great moral issue of the time, the Vietnam War.

  17. Howard Cunningham

    If any new “moderate” party includes a large, or even mid-level, focus on Australia becoming a Republic, then I won’t be joining it. Time to start doing other things on polling day then.

    I just don’t trust Turnbull to create a party where the party’s platform doesn’t 100% fulfill his own personal platform. He’ll try to create “the Turnbull Party”. And that will include more wastage on the Republic issue.

  18. Zorronsky

    john thornton’s Malcolm Bligh Turnbull has Menzien megalomania but who’s Mr Christian?

  19. Fine

    I don’t think such a party would win seats in the House of Reps. The Senate, yes. But look at the Dems, Greens, Australia Party. It’s extraordinarily hard to break the two party system. And Turnbull would still have same character flaws. He might be a leader, but is he good at looking after his follwoers?

  20. Mr Denmore

    So Australia needs a centrist progressive liberal party that combines the best ideas of market economic liberalism (the pragmatic end, not the looney let-it-rip Ayn Rand brand) with progressive social policies and support for a republic.

    Isn’t that what the ALP does these days?

  21. patrickg

    his prospect is being taken seriously, I’m informed by a number of sources this morning.

    Awwww Mark, you can’t drop that without giving us at least some clue to your enigmatic ‘sources’??

    Anyone with a passing familiarity of Australia’s electoral system would surely not take this seriously, unless Truffles is gunning for a senate seat – in which case it would still be _seriously_ iffy given the remnant libs wouldn’t touch him with a preference barge pole and bipartisan preferences would be vital for a seat in almost any state. Reps isn’t even worth discussing.

    Politically this is the hill Malcolm has chosen to fight – and possibly die – on, and I think he’s made the right choice, both for himself, the party, and Australia in general. A fourth party trying to capture some kind of ephemeral group to the right of neo-lib labor and the left of reactionary liberal is a tiny sliver indeed.

  22. Guido

    @John Humpreys:

    Economic liberal means a preference for low tax, low spending and free markets.

    Therefore by definition they would be anti-Unions.

  23. Brendon

    Turnbull will lose and avoid leading the libs into the next unwinnable election.

    Then watch the knives come out.

    Turnbull can’t lose if he remains resolute. If he gets kicked out he gets to plan on the backbench and avoid a sure-thing loss at the next elections. If he wins (unlikely) he will have a licence to cut a swathe through his opponents and go to the polls as a strong leader with a good chance to pick up some seats and really close the margin. Hocking or someone else will get routed.

    Hockey: “I’m standing against Malcolm because I believe in global warming.”

  24. Steve

    I think they’ll call it the LNP

  25. Brendon

    Of all the players in the lib party the only one that looks like he hasn’t a care is MT. Whatever he has planned seems to be going his way. If he goes down tomorrow and still has that air about him, I’ll think it was an acceptable outcome for him.

  26. Lefty E

    Yes, Talcum may be sick of the motley collection of wingnuts, backstabbers and outright dills he inherited from Howard. He’s a heady mixture of egomania and insouciance at play its his latest gambles.

  27. joe2

    There you go. The Insouciant Dandy Party of Australia.

  28. Fine

    I’d vote for them in a New York second joe. On the condition that they all dress up as Beau Brummell.

  29. David Irving (no relation)

    I was going to make the same suggestion, Tim @ 16. From the little I remember about Barton’s politics it would’ve suited Turnbull to a T.

  30. Jane

    Would he be bothered? I know he’s an egomaniac, so I suppose at a pinch he could call it Party of One.

  31. hannah's dad

    So presuming a new party gets formed, whatever is the name of the rose,from where does it get within the space of months the vast infrastructure necessary to mount a grass roots local campaign in most of or all of 150 electorates comprising thousands of booths requiring thousands of booth ‘foot soldiers, pamphleteers et al?

  32. Paul Burns

    One of the New South Wales Corp instrumental in overthrowing Governer Bligh was named Minchin. Seriously.
    But .. maybe I’m old-fashioned but once a Liberal always a Liberal. Malcolm, unfortunately, is not to be trusted.

  33. Mark

    Update: Bernard Keane in today’s Crikey:

    What will Malcolm Turnbull do if he loses tomorrow, as seems likely?

    The conventional wisdom is he’d pull the pin, resigning from Parliament and exiting politics. The ensuing by-election would be extremely difficult for a divided and disrupted Liberal Party to win. Wentworth voters would see the Liberals as the climate denialists who forced their bloke out.

    You can bet Labor would definitely stand a candidate this time.

    But not so fast.

    Yesterday Christopher Joye offered an intriguing take on the Turnbull leadership and his problems. This morning, Joye floated a fascinating thought bubble on what Turnbull might do: establish his own political party, freed from the encumbrance and historic problems of the Liberal Party.

    The idea has apparently occurred to others. David Speers tweeted this morning that the idea of Turnbull establishing a new party was being discussed amongst Liberal MPs. It is not coming from Turnbull or his camp. You can bet Turnbull is focused entirely on the challenge of defeating Nick Minchin and whatever candidate the conservatives throw at him.

    New parties have not had a great track record in Australia of late. Putting aside the death of the Democrats, One Nation, Meg Lees’s Australian Progressive Alliance and Family First are (with apologies to our friends at the Australian S-x Party) the most significant new parties in the last decade. One National flamed out, Meg Lees’s cranky reaction to being turfed from the Democrat leadership never got off the ground, and Steve Fielding, who regularly shames the Senate with his asinine and offensive comments, is only there because of Stephen Conroy’s lunatic preference deals.

    But Turnbull has several things going for him that others don’t have. He has a huge profile, he has the financial resources to start things rolling, and a capacity to tap into the business sector for financial support.

    A Turnbull party – possibly the Australian Republican Party – would be committed to action on climate change, an Australian republic, a low-tax, small-government economic philosophy and a progressive social policy. “Warm and dry”, to use Nick Greiner’s classic self-description.

    The target would clearly be the moderate wing of the Liberal Party. The first task would be to retain Wentworth next year. His main opponent there would be Labor, not his Liberal successor, but he would pick up preferences from both and if he outpolled the Liberal candidate would have a strong chance of getting over the line on preferences, keeping the seat he spent so much treasure on snatching from Peter King six years ago.

    Labor might even run dead to keep him in Parliament, making life difficult for the Liberals.

    The next challenge would be to build a membership base. The goal would be to lure moderate Liberal members, hostile to the Minchin-led party’s climate change denialism and Tony Abbott’s monarchism – wealthy and leafy suburban seats.

    The biggest problem would be perceptions that the party was entirely a vehicle for Turnbull’s ego and fury at his former party. He would need to recruit substantial figures to provide a counterweight to the image of it being all about Malcolm. The business community would be first port of call. With Joe Hockey as Nick Minchin’s puppet leading the Liberal Party, business might not be as enthusiastic about donating to the Liberals as they are under Turnbull.

    Turnbull is not a dyed-in-the-wool Liberal, although he married into the Hughes clan. He flirted with joining Labor. In truth, he does not entirely belong in either party. And while we know Turnbull is politically-motivated by his own ego, he is also genuinely committed to public life, and passionately wants to change and improve his country. His record on the republic demonstrates that. Setting up a new party, without the baggage and conservative deadweight of the Liberals, could yet allow him to make a major contribution.

    Becoming Prime Minister is the highest achievement in Australian politics. But successfully establishing a new party? Who has really done that since Robert Menzies? That’s a challenge big enough to intrigue Turnbull.

  34. joe2

    Money speaks, hannah’s dad, and Mal has plenty*.

    *some from chopping down islanders trees.

  35. Fine

    I’m with Hannah’s Dad here. It takes a lot more than a giant ego, some good ideas and contacts at the big end of town.

  36. joe2

    What we really need here are the options, open for a new party, according to Walkley Award journalist Paul Kelly so we can eliminate them as a possibility.

  37. Jane

    The Liberals, in opposition have historically behaved like fools. They become powered obsessed and clamber over each other like rats trying to fulfill their own agendas. This Turnbull saga illustrates the gross level of immaturity that drives party politics. It is an atrocious in shortcoming in people generally let alone in the ones who carry the responsibilities that these peoplehave. The ALP will be thinking they are frightfully clever for stirring this hornet’s nest whilst ignoring the fact that they are fails too and possibly destined for a very similar fate given their own internal machinations and constituency.

    If, by some miracle Malcolm survives, he must get rid of the Howard-esque Liberal Right ghouls. They are cretinous, malicious, and largely politcally irrelevant, especially with respect to their climate change denialist rhetoric. If he loses, he should continue on in this new maverick capacity and just be a real thorn in the side of their regime. Their voice of conscience in some way. This would only serve to raise his public support and he could either wait to reclaim the party or find/found another.

    I hope he does found another party, whatever its called. The Australian public need another choice.

  38. Paul Burns

    Mark @ 33,
    Excellent analysis, but …
    With the caveat the Greens appeal to different interest groups to the ones you outlined, surely, if any small party is capable of winning seats in the lower house, it probably would’ve happened by now. Theoretically, animosity toward Howard and disillusion with the ALP should have been enough to do it.
    Similarly at their peak, the AD should also have been able to win lowewr house Federal seats, but thewy never did.
    If the Libs really, truly self-destruct, (hard to tell if they will. One hopes … the picture could be different.
    After all, obvious CC is a whole new ball-game. With that as an issue we all know we really truly are voting for our kids’ future .. Its such a wild card in future elections its at this point in time almost unpredictable.

  39. Patricia WA

    Have to agree with Brendon @ 24 and Lefty E @ 25. He really does seem care free and not careless, as has been suggested re his comments on Nick Minchin. It’s asking saint-like restraint to suggest that he should not speak his mind about Minchin (one of the most “respected” senior members of the Liberal party???) who has been brazenly undermining the party line on the ETS throughout negotiations and in the party room debate.

    Nor does his demeanor suggest bravado. This is a man who has made up his mind and it’s a great relief to be speaking it. We’ve seen how haggard he can look under pressure in the house of reps. Well he’s not under pressure any more, at least not from a bunch of no-hopers and backstabbers. All that disappointment so many felt about Turnbull marching in step with his party rather than leading from the front is in the past. They can cheer him on now as he leaves those losers behind and strides off into whatever the future holds waving the environmental flag!

    It has all the makings of a musical, even an opera!

  40. Sir Henry Casingbroke

    Mmmm, just the idea that Mal would start a political party must be scaring the bejesus out of the rank and file. It is the last thing the Lib lattesipper MPs need up their clacker as they sit staring at a snap election. But wait, there’s more… what if the US and China climb aboard big time post-Copenhagen and Australian wool, meat and wine exporters find themselves on the other side of the Waxman-Markey dingo fence – an amendment to the bill would tax goods that the U.S. imports from countries that do not adopt carbon-reducing measures. Someone should tell Nick Minchin of South Australia and Alby Schultz of Goulburn (Big Merino country).

  41. hannah's dad

    Donating funding of millions of dollars for a federal publicity campaign, TV/print ads etc and the like within an existing party infrastructure is one thing, but organizing and funding 150 [or at least as many as possible] electoral branches involving thousands of persons willing to do all the hard yacka of building up a currently non existent membership and publicity machine is altogether another ball of wax logistically.

    150 offices to be found, staffed and resourced by non-existent persons, some of whom would require wages/salaries, plus state/federal executives, policies and programmes to be developed from scratch.
    All the stuff that is already in existence for the three major parties [if one ignores the Nats] has to mushroom into existence within a short time frame before it has any popular impact at all.
    All of you who have been a part of the daily/weekly grind of existing party machines that operate currently, usually in the background and heavily reliant on existing volunteer ‘foot soldiers’ within a semi and fully professional structure that springs into frenetic overdrive months before an election [which in this case is less than a year away] know the enormous amount of time energy and resources, only one of which is money, such requires.
    None of this exists.
    With no federal funding having not contested an election previously.

    For what purpose?

    To satisfy the ego of one person plus a few hangers on?
    So that all conservative seats will inevitably have to see 2 way contests Lib versus ‘The Roses” so that the conservative vote will be split 2 ways [remember the ALP/DLP?]. Or 3 way if the Nats want to contest also?

    When the major issue that this new party is presumably to be based on already has a party representing the centre/conservative line [the ALP] and the progressive/left line [the Greens]? And I suppose you can chuck in republicanism and what else that will appeal….?

    Bring it on.

  42. Lefty E

    That’s right Sir Henry – the climate change denialism is a deadset economic loser as well. Those days are ending, people. If those economic klutzes in the coalition think the worlds major economies AREN’T going to protect their new investments in carbon-reduced technology and trade, then they are even thicker than they appear.

    Let’s break this down very clearly for them:

    Q: When the US and China act on climate change, will they allow trade competitors to undercut them by doing less on CO2 emissions?
    A: Of course not, stupid.

  43. Blue Dog Patriot
  44. Sir Henry Casingbroke

    Whaaat? Pundits wrong again? Hockey acts on Mr Howard’s advice NOT to run? The Mad Monk goes it alone? Nature seems dead, and wicked dreams abuse.

  45. Katz

    How about the Relaxed and Comfortable Party?

    It may not be an accurate title, but it may be sufficiently provocative to give Howard a stroke. In that way the party could begin with a success.

  46. carbonsink

    Fielding tried to gate crash the remnants of the Turnbull presser, wanting a Royal Commission into the science of climate change chaired by Ross Garnaut and Ian Plimer. Most of the press left, some chuckling.

  47. Francis

    Malcolm and the Malcontents?

    Tell you what, you could call it the Blogger’s Party, everyone in the blogosphere seems to be absolutely fawning over the idea! Although include me in that. Who knows, maybe he could recruit some high-profile journos from the ABC or SBS – I bet Tony Jones or Mary Kostakidis would vote for Mal – and run against Tanya or Anthony in Sydney or Grayndler? Pick up the ‘sensible uni student’ and ‘affluent-but-progressive balmain’ vote? Could cause a major rift in the currently united-behind-the-Greens inner west pub scene.

  48. Fran Barlow

    Quite Right Lefty E

    Under WTO rules announced in June this year, those juriasdiuctions putting a price on CO2e emissions via a cap and trade system will be able to deem these emissions for local purposes. It was long the case under GATT rules that one could impose restraints on imports inter alia to protect the local environment or in pursuit of adherence to an international treaty.

    Doubtless, it would be this latter provision that would be used in the event of a general agreement at Copenhagen to reduce emissions and inpose a carbon price on production.

    China has promised to reduce CO2 intensity by 40%, and now India has responded that it too will propose “ambitious” targets. In that context, the hoary old beggar-thy-neighbour opposition to a price on CO2 meissions is simply untenable.

  49. Sir Henry Casingbroke

    To be PM or not to be, that is the question:
    Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    jibes one is Minchin’s butt monkey
    Or take arms against a sea of winguts
    And by opposing end them? To die: to sleep,
    No more and by a sleep to say we end
    The illusion and the thousand tweets that
    Hock was heir to Ming’s old party, no consummation then…
    Devoutly tho twas to be wished; To die, to sleep
    To sleep perchance to dream: ay there’s the Robb
    He started it; for that sleep of death what dreams may come
    When we have shuffled away from an immoral call from JHW
    It gave us pause: there’s the respect
    That makes calamity for such long political life;
    For who would bear the whips and scorns of time
    from Tony Jones on Lateline, Albo’s contumely
    The pangs of disprized love, the law’s delay,
    The insolence of office and the spurns
    That patient merit of the unworthy takes,
    When he himself might his quietus make
    With Abbot’s bodkin? who would far deals bear
    to grunt in opposition’s life for next 16 years
    But that dread of something after a political death
    The undiscovered country from whose bourn
    No burnt politician returns, puzzles the will
    And makes us rather bear those ills we have
    Than fly to others we know not, or perchance Big Coal?
    Thus conscience doth make cowards of us all;
    And thus the native hue of resolution
    Is sicklier over with the pale cast of thought
    And enterprises of great filth and carbon.
    With this regard Minchin’s currents turn awry
    And lose the name of action.

  50. feral sparrowhawk

    I think there would be a huge burst of enthusiasm for such a party, which might well carry through to the election. Turnbull would have a real shot of either holding Wentworth or winning a Seante seat, whichever he chose to run for. Where candidates with some profile could be matched to suitable seats there might be a chance as well.

    However, post election (or if they’re unlucky beforehand) the problems would set in. Lots of people would discover that actually they don’t have a lot in common with other members of the party – their definition of economically liberal for example, would turn out to be rather different.

    This was the core problem for the Democrats. They recruited many, many good people over the years, but couldn’t hold onto a lot of them once they had to spend time with people they either disagreed with, or had contempt for. The timing is better than for the Dems – far fewer rusted on voters – but its not clear where Turnbull would get people with the capacity to organise, or to provide alternative faces that Spindler, Haines, Powell, Siddons, Evans, Mason etc offered Chipp.

  51. jo

    Well, they can’t draft Peter King back after giving him ten years for running against Talc in 04. Fiona, wife (and Ian Sinclair’s daughter) got five years. It was interesting that both had ‘connected’ wives who had political careers themselves.

    The local Liberals have only got over the split of 04, where in the end, King didn’t make Number 2, and the pref’s ran back to Malcolm. King also popped up in 07, giving it to Malcolm on the front page of the Wentworth Courier.

    I can only imagine the tri-split loyalties with Malcolm and some other Wentworth endorsed Liberal and King in the background, all going at it.

    Malcolm’s already pushing up hill to hold the seat with 3% in 07, and now against a surging ALP Govt??.. (I’m busting btw. to find out who the ALP is going to run against him – it was 3% just with George Newhouse of the ‘semitic good looks’ – thanks Caroline not)…so I would put a quid or two on Malcolm being either the endorsed Liberal candidate in Wentworth, or not on the ballot at all.

  52. j_p_z

    I should think the “Turnbull Moose Party” would be the obvious choice for a name.

    [runs away]

  53. Andrew Bartlett

    It would be nice for the electorate to have more diversity and choice in an election year, but I really can’t see a new party being likely out of all this.

    More likely is a Liberal Party with more rigid ideological divides – perhaps like the Libs have been in South Australia for the last 40 years or so. South Australia was the state that did see a genuine split in the Liberals, with the Liberal Movement (later new Liberal Movement, before melding into the other components which established Australian Democrats, including the Australia Party and others) running and winning a few state seats and a Senate seat. This wasn’t just Steele Hall (who later went back to the Libs, reputedly in part because the LM/NLM was deep in debt and it provided an avenue for the debts to addresed), but also people like Robin Millhouse and Janine Haines.

    I can’t see Turnbull prevailing tomorrow, and if he doesn’t he will either resign from Parliament straight away or sit on the backbench while the seemingly inevitable election trainwreck happens, and be well positioned for the Libs to turn back to Turnbull as the only path to modernisation.

    I know he’s renowned for not having much patience, but waiting around on the backbench for a year (at most) shouldn’t be too hard – as long as he can avoid looking too smug/Costello-like while he’s waiting. It’s not a good look to enjoy watching your own party crash and burn.

  54. David_h

    I bet there will be few extra parties in the Labor camp after tomorrow as well.

  55. Nick Caldwell

    It’s not a good look to enjoy watching your own party crash and burn.

    Hey, the Germans didn’t call it “shameful joy” for nothing, you know.

  56. Francis

    Andrew, sure you’re not just a bit annoyed you might have signed up for the Greens a little too soon? But good luck :)

  57. Fran Barlow

    Andrew Bartlett said:

    I know he’s renowned for not having much patience, but waiting around on the backbench for a year (at most) shouldn’t be too hard – as long as he can avoid looking too smug/Costello-like while he’s waiting. It’s not a good look to enjoy watching your own party crash and burn.

    I couldn’t work out why he allowed his name to be put forward to lead — unless of course this (destroying the Howardistas and other assorted fruitcakes) was his cunning plan all along. He could not have believed that the Liberals were going to be the exception to the at least two terms for a defeated opposition rule this time around.

    Plainly, this is in large part sport for him. He’s in Australia’s top 200 richest people so he isn’t doing it for the perks. In those circumstances, he can finish the job after he has been rolled by being the go to man for journalists on what is wrong with the shadow cabinet. He could do visionary speeches about big picture motherhood stuff, while playing martyr to the true liberal tradition.

    And when the election comes around he can run in Wentworth and cause them even more trouble by sucking even more oxygen out of the room with his own campaign style. He might even win, which would be sweet revenge if those who rolled him got stomped on.

  58. Steve at the Pub

    I disagree with most of what is written above. It is my belief that most all commenters to this site have read the situation wrong.
    Nobody here has an objective view of what is happening in the Liberal Party.
    The Liberal Party is not, nor does it intend to be, a clone of the ALP or Greens.

  59. David Irving (no relation)

    I think it’s just idle speculation for the most part, SATP, with a large side-serve of Schadenfreude. It’s pretty obvious the Libs have no intention of being anything but a hard-right, ideologically driven but incoherent, frothing-at-the-mouth kind of party until the current crop of members all die.

  60. Sir Henry Casingbroke

    Do you have an objective view of the party, Steve at the Pub?

  61. jo

    Actually, it’s not *impossible* of course for Mal to hold Wentworth on his pat, looking at 07, assuming he takes 50% of the Liberal vote and pinches just 10% of Labor firsts and then picks up the Liberal two’s, and other assorted preferences esp. Green which have flowed 90% ALP.

    His standing would be greater than King’s, who really only took 9-10% off the Liberals, his other 8%, flowed back to the ALP…but 50%.

    So much depends on the quality of the ALP candidate.

    Anyway, enough conjecturing…tomorrow is soon enough.

  62. amused

    “A fourth party trying to capture some kind of ephemeral group to the right of neo-lib labor and the left of reactionary liberal is a tiny sliver indeed.”

    is there any room between the two at all? Maybe .00000000001% of voters would fill what gap there is.

    Jane @37

    not only in opposition.. lokk at the Post holt shenanigans involving Gorton and McMahon.

  63. Craig Mc

    I think he’s an idiot, but I don’t think he’s pathetic enough to waste his declining years fighting in the hills of Wentworth like Hiroo Onoda.

  64. Sam

    “The Liberal Party is not, nor does it intend to be, a clone of the ALP or Greens.”

    It’s like being transported back in time and place to Great Britain in the early 1980s. The Labour Party was hijacked by Trotskyists who imposed on it a kind of ideological purity rarely seen in major parties in modern democratic countries.

    The result? At the election of 1983 Labour got 27.6% of the vote. It was the landslide that entrenched Thatcher and Thatcherism and it took Labour another 14 years to regain government.

    The 1983 UK Labour election manifesto was said to be longest suicide note in history. The Liberals may be about to surpass them.

  65. FDB

    Articulate your vision, SATP! For it is clear that you see (clearly!) the “intentions” of the Liberal Party. Don’t hold out on us mate.

    And while you’re at it, there’s a number of folks in Canberra who’d probably benefit from your wisdom too.

    Don’t hold back, seriously. It seems only you know what the fuck is going on.

  66. jo

    wow, dumping Mal, conscience vote on the ETS. Hockey leader.

  67. Leinad

    The farce is complete.

  68. Katz

    Nicholas Minchen
    Presides over a lynchin’
    In order to be jockey
    Of that donkey Joe Hockey.

  69. David_h

    Leinad @67

    The farce is complete.

    perhaps given the news on PM that the ETS looks likely to pass and Hockey gets the job BUT it hasn’t happened yet!

  70. Sir Henry Casingbroke

    All this may be more true, Katz, as it is being rumoured that Minchin may direct his senators to pass the ETS as long as Turnbull goes…

  71. joe2

    How can this be? I thought the main aim of all this was to stop Kevin looking smug in Copenhagen.

  72. jo

    Or maybe not a conscience vote now….farrrk.

  73. Sir Henry Casingbroke

    Nah, Minchin has just scotched those rumours. But another rumour is that Joe is asking for a “conscience” vote on the ETS which could mean 7 senators may vote with the govt. [email protected] please explain. You are right, I am now totally baffled as to the motives of the Liberal Party of Australia. (Or am I hallucinating on a couple of glasses some treacherous sauvignon blanc from the Adelaide Hills?)

  74. grace pettigrew

    [email protected]: See Minchin run (ABC TV News 7 pm). Along the corridors of power in Parliament House. Clip of the day. Minchin is now running for his political life. A decade after rigging the Republic Referendum and killing Turnbull’s dream, he is not going to get away with it again. Let the ETS through? Why of course, it was always only about best policy…spin me another.

  75. Elise

    Patricia WA @39, I suspect you are absolutely correct!

    “Nor does his demeanor suggest bravado. This is a man who has made up his mind and it’s a great relief to be speaking it. We’ve seen how haggard he can look under pressure in the house of reps. Well he’s not under pressure any more, at least not from a bunch of no-hopers and backstabbers. All that disappointment so many felt about Turnbull marching in step with his party rather than leading from the front is in the past. They can cheer him on now as he leaves those losers behind and strides off into whatever the future holds…”

    You could see it in his face when answering Kerry O’Brien on the 7:30 Report. He meant every word. You could see it in his face today, answering the media questions about “…et tu, Brutus?” from Hockey.

    His conscience is obviously clear, and he is speaking his mind. In the teeth of a storm of treachery.

    We are finally seeing what this man is made of…gutsy and determined, intelligent and principled. Unusual in a politician. We should be so lucky to have that level of talent in Canberra, amongst all the B-team players. They are mad to throw him overboard.

  76. CMMC

    So Tony Abbott was only a month ago explaining away Wilson Tuckey as the “mad uncle” every family has to deal with.

    Now he reveals the extent of the family madness.

  77. Labor Outsider

    My two cents is that if such a party were to come into existence, they would have reasonable prospects as a balance of power party in the Senate, but gaining Lower House seats would be more complicated. Those here trying to understand what such a party would represent along a single left-right dimension are missing the point. Currently, there is no political home for those that are both SOCIALLY liberal and ECONOMICALLY liberal (and by this, I don’t mean libertarian). The democrats were socially liberal but had not been economically liberal for quite some time. Such a party would not be trying to secure a tiny sliver of the vote between the Liberals and Labor, but instead, trying to secure the first preference of those whose views are not served by either, but are forced to pick between them. People such as myself. If such a party were to be led well, and broadened so as not to be an MT ego trip, I don’t think it is unreasonable for such a party to aim at between 5 and 10% of the vote and pick up a few Senate seats in time. In the Lower House, seats like Wentworth, North Sydney, Higgins, Kooyong, Sturt, Boothby, etc could also be potentially vulnerable to such a party if there were strong, high profile, local candidates and the current Liberal party maintained its existing stances.

    The example in the UK was apt because it created room for the Liberal Democrats that Labor had vacted and could also appeal to Tories that thought Thatcher had gone too far.

  78. Sir Henry Casingbroke

    Just when you thought… OK, the Mad Monk is now running against Hockey in a three-cornered contest. This is great!

  79. _RAAF_Stupot

    I was young when the Democrats came into existence – but I know they established themselves as a ‘centrist’ party between the Libs and the ALP.

    So where could a Turnbull ‘splinter party’ place itself now. The ALP seems to have positioned itself on the political spectrum where the Libs used to be 30 years ago – while the Libs meanwhile have moved further to the right.

    The Greens have established themselves as the de facto ‘Left Party’.

    So, whereto for the ‘splinter party’. Do they substitute for the Democrats?

    Do we have to add a new ‘environmental axis’ – with the the splinter party on a level with the Libs economically, but level with the Greens (well ALP, at least) environmentally?

  80. Labor Outsider

    You need three axes….social, economic, environmental…a new party could be socially more liberal than Labor (to the left), economically more liberal (to the right), and have a similar outlook on the environment….The party would be well to the left of the current Libs socially and environmentally, but not economically (though its social liberalism would mean a greater emphasis on equality of opportunity). In all areas I would hope that it was less beholden to interest groups than either of the main parties.

  81. Lefty E

    Well, in the midst of this madness, allow me to retrospectively enstrocchify my call. You (sorta) heard it here first (ish): http://larvatusprodeo.net/2009/11/29/hockey-the-new-costello-howard-has-lunch-andrews-deals-himself-back-in/#comment-840337

  82. Ambigulous

    RAAF – likely it’s not a one-dimensional “x-axis”.
    Isn’t now, never really was.

    On 7.30 Report, Ian McFarlane the most level-headed, calm. “What if the Senate passes the amended ETS, but Malcolm loses?”

    “Well, Kerry politics isn’t fair, neither is life.”

    They reported Joe Hockey’s condition for running is that Senators be allowed a free vote on the ETS; Minchin put out a press release opposing this; Abbott said he would run because he too opposes a free vote. The plot thickens.

    Is Hockey really Minchin’s puppet?


    nice poetry, Sir Henry!

  83. Ginja

    Wonderful mischief, Mark. I’ve had disagreements with Mark in the past, but he really is posting interesting stuff lately.

    Gerard Henderson wrote the other day saying that the party was unlikely to split. Yet the party has already split twice in the last 32 years – in a way. Once with the Democrats on one side and then with One Nation on the other.

  84. _RAAF_Stupot

    Whatever this new party’s political position may be, I bet one member may be happy with this name:

    The Malcolm Party.

  85. Zorronsky

    Listening to all of this with George Costanza breaking up a marriage in the background…double comedy, it doesn’t get any better than this.

  86. Labor Outsider

    Hockey isn’t Minchin’s puppet…He is someone that is trying to find an outcome that both sides can live with….He seems to be finding out that he is in a terrbile position…Not take on the leadership and be decried for lacking courage and abandoning the party in its hour of need. Take it on, and almost certainly get thumped at the next election. Pass the legislation and get carpetted by the denialists. Offer a free vote and still get carpetted. Dealy and then ultimately reject and look like a puppet or at the very least someone without principles. He should stay out of tomorrow’s ballet and let Turnbull and Abbott duke it out. If Turnbull loses he should resign from the party and start his own. Hockey should jump on board with him (but wouldn’t). The splitters should say that that it needs to last only until the rest of the party recovers its senses and shows that it cares about being a moderate party once again.

  87. Sir Henry Casingbroke

    Kev will fly in and like the Pope, kiss the tarmac.

  88. Kiashu

    Mate… Hockey, Abbott, or Turnbull. What a choice! Clown, head-kicking traitor, or the status quo.

    The sane way to go for the Lib MPs would be for the status quo. Therefore they will probably choose the clown.

    What must the Nats be thinking? “We’re already sinking, do you have to scuttle your own ship so we run out of lifeboats”?

    Tragic stuff.

  89. Ambigulous


    Yes, you could see the cares of office lift from his shoulders. Malcolm Turnbull is a fighter, dextrous and articulate. Some senior Liberals apparently hate his fighting THEM in public.

    The gloves are off, the barrister now finally fights his own battle, not the client’s case.

    Elise, I think his previous demeanour may have been due to his feeling he constantly needed to tiptoe around vying sub-groups, many of which have now spilled out into the public gaze. He couldn’t “unify” them.

    So, will they still look like a rabble in February? Malcolm on the backbench typing his memoirs a la Tip, would be entertaining: but would Armidale run out of *popcorn* for Paul Burns? This is the burning question for 30th Nov 2009.

  90. carbonsink

    Hockey isn’t Minchin’s puppet

    Apparently not. Joe has surprised me for one.

    The free vote is a good idea — it makes the denialists look bad if they try to stop it. Won’t play well with the punters.

  91. joe2

    An ugly thing is min chin, [email protected]

    Bronny wasn’t about to stay out of the action. Another cameo performance.
    She wants her partee back from that nasty nouveau riche interloper Turnbuckle.

  92. Ginja

    Labor Outsider: when people say “socially liberal” they mean just straight libertarian in the US sense.

    It’s been pointed out by various commentators in the US that you can be an Ayn Rand cultist on economic policy, but if you’re pro-abortion or pro-gay marriage that magically makes you a moderate or socially liberal, and that 30 or 40 years ago there is no way that such people would have been described as anything other than fruity far-Right. Malcolm Turnbull is supposedly a moderate, but to me anyone who goes around quoting laissez-faire economists in the face of the biggest economic crisis since the big D is no moderate. He’s a dangerous radical. And his alleged social moderation didn’t stop him pandering to the Hansonites on boat people. So much for social moderates.

    When will people realize that right-wing views are all of a piece? You can’t have neo-liberalism without Hansonism and all the other ugly Tory prejudices.

    And I’m not sure how you have a politics that’s not beholden to interest groups (whatever that means….I’m guessing unions). Politics would quickly become meaningless – not to say boring. A parliament of Nick Xenophons…..I think I’ll pass.

  93. Martin B

    He could not have believed that the Liberals were going to be the exception to the at least two terms for a defeated opposition rule this time around.

    There are two things Aus politics has not seen for at least 60 years: a first-term government be defeated, and the Liberal Party allow a leader to take them to the next election after a loss.

    It’s mildly surprising that anyone would enthusiastically think that at least one of these could be overturned. That we have 3 or 4 aspirants so far to have done so is extraordinary.

  94. Ambigulous


    Yes! The Newspoll figures from last Sept. showed clear majorities (both city and rural) in favour of “action” on climate change. Whatever one’s view of this ETS, I suspect the public regards it as the main action on offer, apart from individuals and families reducing their own emissions.

    So I agree, there’ll be a list of very unpopular Senators, who oppose the amended Bill. They will be known and named. No secret ballot in the Senate. Some may abstain: they too will be known. The ALP election ads are being written by amateurs* right before our eyes.


    * generally serving Senators and Members, Coalition and Family First

  95. Peter Kemp

    Re Abbott’s decision to stand regardless due to Hockey’s insistence now on a conscience vote.

    What a cesspit.
    Tony sez:

    But I also think on an issue as important as this, which is a policy issue, not a conscience issue, it’s just not possible for a credible party to have a free vote.

    Shorter Abbott: Abortion is where people fuck and get rid of the problem: conscience. ETS is where Nick and I fuck Malcolm and get rid of the problem: policy.

  96. Mervyn Langford

    I reckon the Turnbuckle wouldn’t try forming another political party.
    Kev will give him a job trying to get clean coal up and running – joining the other luminaries that are licking their chops over this. It’ll become such a bottomless pit for scooping and gouging the public purse, how could anyone of this ilk not want to get their snout into such a trough.
    And what an opportunity to line up your own investments! Investment Bankers are so last century – just like the LP.

  97. Mervyn Langford

    “I reckon the Turnbuckle wouldn’t try forming another political party.”
    Should read: I reckon the Turnbuckle would try forming another political party.

  98. grace pettigrew

    [email protected]: ahhh, Bronny. I was once on a plane with Minister Bishop when she was told to stop using her mobile phone. And inevitably, beehive rampant, nostrils flaring, and black eyes squinting, the immortal line emerged (since ascribed to that other ball-kicking termagant Belinda): “Don’t you know who I am?” Flight attendant, unfazed: “Just turn it off, madam”. Memories…

  99. Jack Strocchi

    Nick Minchin will go down in history as the man who drove the final nail in the coffin of the LP. What an epitaph for a man who talks proudly of his “30 years of full time work for the Liberal Party”.

  100. joe2

    She’s a class act, Grace. Good story.

  101. Sacha

    Hannah’s dad makes some good points against the likelihood of a new party being set up due to the shear practical difficulties involved. There is a huge amount of resource ((volunteer) labour, materials, money) and organisation involved in elections for many seats – and then there’s the wider campaign. The number of people needed can be huge.

    While setting up a new party that has a real chance of winning seats is possible, there could be significant difficulties in doing so. Having said that, it could happen if there’s a lot of enthusiasm for it.

  102. Bernice


    Sorry, what was the question?

    If it does end up as a three way vote in the morning, Abbott is firming if the moderate vote splits. If Hockey doesn’t stand, it may not be Turnbull who serves up our very own Ayn Randia, but Abbott finally getting to play AB Santamaria and giving us the DLP Mark II. Mind you, it would help if Abbott and Minchin could manage to find the same hymn sheet, let alone sing from it. By Abbott’s reckoning, its only ever been about the ETS; Minchin now seems to suggesting the ETS can pass as long as Turnbull steps down. Splitters and wreckers – oh it’s just like student politics circa 1976.


    hey check this out kevin=gilligan the weather global asshole crisis
    kevin=the millionaire and his wife who by the way made her money from a private contract [and started a job placement agency] with the queen when the ces was dismantled
    kevin= the movie star wolverine front page of the sun
    the professor of bullshit
    and julia guilotine opps mary annetoinette
    no luxuries= depopulation and feudelism
    is this cynisism or astute obsevation hmm
    go viral LOL lets go mainstream LOL
    but jokes aside bob pork paul cheating malcom framed ya john coward krud malcom spinshit tunbull abbott and costello and not to mention peter hitch your star to my wagging the dogs tale on nein nazi no news kerry obrien with the egyptian hook and whip secretly hidden in the seven thirty logo tony jonesing[hanging out for a fix] peter witchell eyewitness news opps i mean sewn in minds not north south east west
    eye on news ya zion news with mal walden and helen the hatting your mind waldens a three and walden wrote a poem in the woods which is lucifers tree of life [kabbalistic] and kapalos is a 3 make 666 [there all on in melb]live at five or hyf at fyfe lewis caroll phantasmagoria. new movie byjames cameron bout it out soon in3D. or if you prefer HIVE at five . dont forget the weather girl livinia electra theres much more political satanic ponerology in plain sight these hidden things i speak of are just the tip of the ice berg like in the titanic unsinkable or unthinkable any way look up the gugenheims. frater[nising with children] brown the jesuit gave the order from his superiors to tell the captain of the titanic to speed up the ship and make it to new york in record time full well knowing they would hit icebergs, oh yeah the zcar of russia was on board too they were going there to save america finacial status but were the sworn enemies of the frothchilds
    as you know the crown coporation owns our money supply too crown corp owns my quarrie and the land its the city of london private county pays no tax but you might already know this any ways
    the stuff about the melb news raders is all political ponerology and the idea behind it is children through the media and primary schools these days are being intoduce into luciferarian satanic occult witchcraft and when their old enough and been possed enough by the demons the do hitch their star[in luciferian doctrine in the book of the dead it is stated behold thy soul is a living star same as your jesus and mary chains]they blend their spirit with yours and visible white light comes out of your heart you might even be a satan i mean saint lol jehovah is beelzebub and mary is lilith jesus is the grim reaper, mars god of war ]
    dont mention it i like to awaken your eyes for some ignorance for others
    after you hitch your star to their the newsreaders sewing seeds in your mind the pyramid satanic victimisation persecution and then rescue process begins the rescue is usually in the form of death and destruction as enemies are presented by the establishment in freemasonry and they all are most ignorant having being lied to about the agenda its first the muslims then the christians followed by the jews
    all these people are to be destroyed for lucifers secular society even at the cost of all humanity.. ooops its been hapopening for a long timecrusades with burning withches i mean women who lived on thier own the hoholocaust notice the war on error
    any ways i digress
    they media ruse was obsevered by careful analysis by me
    this is the world you live in tell everyone and we can expose them
    spread this message

  104. mitchell porter

    Let us all remember that there is already a Climate Sceptics Party, “the world’s first up-front political party representing climate sceptics”:


  105. Nabakov

    Well yes quite, A STRAY ALIEN. I don’t think anyone’s going to be arguing with you there.

    However and perhaps more importantly, do you accept the official version of 9/11? Because if you don’t, I’d like to introduce you to a thread where I believe you can make a valuable contribution.


    first a song about it Nbakov
    its all there enjoy

  107. Ambigulous


    Apologies if this is pedantic: yes, the ‘moderate vote’ may well be split on the first round, but unless Msgr Abbott receives a majority in that first round (in which case the splitting itself probably hasn’t affected the outcome), the candidate with the lowest vote would be eliminated.

    Then a run-off second round. At that point, whether the Monsignor had received the largest number of votes in round 1 or not, the ‘moderates’ could re-group to support whomever had not been eliminated.

    The above is based on the assumption that the Lib party room vote eliminates candidates one by one until a candidate has a majority. (I think that’s how the ALP would conduct the ballot).

    I hope we won’t all need to rush out Pell mell and enrol in
    *Jesuit Casuistry I*
    after the ballot….

    Bernice, if this is like student politics circa 1976, then who – pray tell – are akin to Trots, Maoists, DLP clubs, ALP, CPA, etc? I can’t see the analogies. I CAN see hysteria, double-crossing and ‘sh*t sheets’, but.

  108. David_h

    When Turnbull hopes that the things that unite a party are greater than the things that divide it, he has more character than any Liberal I know. Style and panache according to Graham Morris…does he another Lazarus in him?

  109. Howard Cunningham

    I think the most interesting (and terrifying) question is what happens if Hockey runs and wins.

    Minchin et al have already shown they’ll stop at nothing to stop the CPRS legislation. With Hockey allowing a free vote, and with the Government needing only seven senators, what will Ho Chi Minchin do to stop this happening? Is he almost out of options. This could go nuclear.

  110. Bernice

    Ambiguous #107 – I appreciate the run-off process but it’s the Right’s unknown response to a Turnbull victory that I’m speculating on.

    As to who is whom? I’ll come back and play with that after the vote – at the moment the buggers keep changing their positions.

  111. Ambigulous

    Yes, Bernice.

    The right may go ballistic (again). At least with a secret ballot in the party room, retribution may be limited??

    But there’s secrecy and secrecy: thinking of stories that ALP faction chieftains require their loyal followers to hand their ballot paper to the chieftain before it goes to the Whip for counting… just to ensure no silly errors have been made….

  112. Paul Burns


  113. Paul

    The Australian Democrats are not dead. They are actually running a candidate in the Higgins Byelection -David Collyer.


    labor party = rob all party backwards liberal party = lies be real party
    hmm coincidence i think not

  115. FDB

    A STRAY ALIEN = As a ranty lie


    http://www.cecaust.com.au/ check these guys out


    na ausralian fdb

  118. FDB

    I might have known.

    Fractional reserve lizards from mars are stealing your babies to bring on an ice age! RRRRUUUUUNNNN!!!!!

  119. FDB

    *backs away, avoiding sudden moves*


    thats right young jedi release your hate

  121. Pelican in Pyjamas

    FDB is a lying tax-eating f***ing commo c*nt who thinks the Pharaonic Egyptian communists really built the pyramids, and who doesn’t realise that carbon dioxide is a good thing because it’s going to progress the Earth’s transformation into a gas giant like Jupiter. FDB, I’m going to kick you in the legs and give you a hematoma.

  122. It was the carbon nano-rods what made me do it guv, honest!

    That and the Velonovians, at any rate.


    opps typo i meant australian lol

  124. Liam


    We report, you retort.


    australian i just said that show some finesse it not a game


    cause you proport

  127. It was the carbon nano-rods what made me do it guv, honest!

    So, it’s okay for you to dig for deeper meaning in the names of people and organisations, but not for anyone else?

    Methinks this ALIEN fellow has something to hide…


    i thought the relay satan was quite clever did u see the ritual at the 20/20 summit
    or mayby you need to check your vision ps. i dont recall saying not for anyone else
    ask and you shall recieve