The Western Australian Liberal Party’s State conference this weekend will be a test of whether the Party understands and is prepared to do something about its standing and reputation by dumping its Senior Vice President, Mathias Corman. Corman is principally responsible for handing the government its one-vote one-value legislation which has all but wrecked any chance of the Liberal Party winning government in Western Australia in the foreseeable future.

Corman was the architect of having sitting Liberal Upper House member, Alan Cadby dumped from parliament and replaced with Corman’s acolyte, one Mr Peter Collier. Cadby, an able and first term member, promptly resigned from the Liberal Party and in the last month of his term used his deciding vote to support Labor’s one vote one value legislation. The consequence of the new electoral boundaries has put State government beyond the reach of the Liberal Party.

The Party, Corman and Collier in particular, were aware prior to Cadby’s dumping that he was sympathetic to one vote one value legislation but as a member of the Liberal Party he had bound himself to Party policy. As an independent his vote would be crucial to its passage. Deputy parliamentary leader, Dan Sullivan went so far as to write to both Corman and Collier to warn them of the consequence of their intended machinations.

Apparently not satisfied with the carnage left by the dumping of Cadby, Mr Corman in a bizarre frenzy of political madness was also party to an attempt to dump both Deputy Leader Sullivan and the Liberal Leader in the Upper House from their seats.

Just months ago, Ms Lorraine Allchurch, a highly respected former long serving senior office bearer who had chaired both Sir Charles and Richard Court’s State electorate campaigns, appeared on an ABC current affairs program to recount her dealings with Mr Peter Collier, a former State Executive member whom she publicly accused of involvement in forged membership application forms in his bid to obtain parliamentary preselection.

In a lunacy which seems rational only to some senior office bearers of the Liberal Party, Collier, having for selfish personal ambition cost the Party any prospect of winning the next election, has been subsequently nominated for a high award honour for services to the Party.

At the time Collier and Corman were destroying the Liberal Party’s electoral prospects, not to mention the careers of a number of country members whose seats are to be abolished, Corman was State Senior Vice President of the WA Party; a position he presently holds and is again contesting this weekend. As if to demonstrate that the Corman experience is no aberration there are those within the Party plotting to have him re-elected.

For Mathias Corman, his contribution to the Liberal Party is a work in progress. He presently stalks a Senate position. The ballot on Sunday for Senior Vice President of the Western Australian Liberal Party will tell the public nothing about Mathias Corman but everything about the Party.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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