A senior political insider writes:

The WA
Liberals, notorious for internal infighting, are now the subject of
scrutiny by the federal Liberal Party. A complaint has been lodged with
the Federal Director by the Western Australian Young Liberal President,
Matthew Eggleston who alleges that he was denied his vote at the recent
federal Council meeting. The vote was for the ballot for the Women’s
federal Vice President contest – the only elected position being

The ballot paper was instead claimed by WA State Vice
President Mathias Corman, an office holder with a track record of
divisive behaviour within the State organisation. Corman was not an
elected delegate to the Council meeting. Among Corman’s illustrious
achievements was his paramount role in having WA State Upper House
member, Alan Cadby dumped from his seat for no better reason than
wanting to hand the seat to one of his allies who had along the way
been caught allegedly forging membership application forms.

promptly resigned from the Liberal Party, finished his term as an
Independent and crossed the floor to give the Labor Party the numbers
to pass its one vote-one value legislation. The consequence of Corman’s
behaviour is that the Liberal Party has little or no prospect of
winning government in Western Australia for the foreseeable future.

entered the Federal Council meeting room 25 minutes before the ballot
was held, however his delegate’s position had already been given to
Corman by the WA State Director. In spite of demands by Eggleston,
prior to the election, that his ballot paper be returned, he was
refused and provided with a mouthful of abuse in substitute. Even an
intervention on his behalf by Justice Minister, Chris Ellison fell on
deaf ears. Such is the way apparently of doing business in the Western
Australian Liberal Party.

In contrast to the WA Division’s
conduct, the Victorian Young Liberal State President entered the room a
little earlier than Eggleston and was readily given his ballot paper.

subsequently complained to newly elected Federal Vice President, Helen
Kroger to whom he had previously pledged his vote and who agreed to
pass his complaint on to the Federal Director.

When this
episode found its way into the WA press, Kroger experienced first hand
how the Liberal Party in that State reacts to such scrutiny. She
received an angry and aggressive telephone call from the WA State
President, Danielle Blaine with State Director, Paul Everingham
listening in on the call. In spite of the fact that Eggleston and
Ellison both attempted to get Eggleston’s vote back prior to the
ballot, Everingham’s remarkable explanation to ABC radio was that
Eggleston was more than an hour late for the meeting.

Peter Fray

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Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey