One vote, one value. It’s a strange idea to the Western Australian
Libs. They are used to cowering before factional masters, like kulaks
awaiting the knout. Democracy. What does it mean?

The end of the West’s electoral malapportionment means that six seats
will be going from the country, while eight will be added to the city.
Instead of racing to stack out the new electorates before they have
even been drawn on the map, the local Liberals have descended into
infighting notable even by WA standards. Rather than dealing with
anything unfamiliar like democracy, they’ve decided to stick with doing
what they do best – brawling. They’re fighting last February’s election
– internally – once more before going on anything new.

The local edition of Stateline moved very quickly – and went to town on the issue last Friday night. “This week on Stateline WA,
allegations of forgery and deception within the Liberal Party… The
success of the government’s one vote, one value electoral reforms has
unleashed a torrent of bloodletting. Faced with the prospect of a third
term in opposition, furious members say they wouldn’t be in this
position if allegations of corruption had been properly examined. Some
members are so angry, they’ve chosen to speak publicly for the first
time… Some party hardheads have been watching what appears to be the
stitching up of their leader, Matt Birney, over one vote, one value and
his gaff over the Pope with concern…”

The Stateline transcripts are here.
What, however, may be more interesting, is the response from within the
local Liberal Party. It’s been huge. Huge. Pages and pages of lurid
emails are doing the rounds. We hope we can bring you some of them
later in the week, subscribers, once the Budget is out of the way – and if
there’s anything left once we’ve removed all the bits that are
defamatory.

Peter Fray

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