Political commentator and former ALP insider Richard Farmer writes:

Queensland National Party state members of parliament believe their
best chance of becoming state government ministers is to be united with
the Liberal Party. Abolishing the National Party by merging it with the
Liberal Party is the price they are prepared to pay to achieve high
office.

National Party members of federal parliament believe their best chance
of staying (or becoming) Government ministers is to be separate from,
but friendly with, the Liberal Party. Maintaining the separation is the
price they are prepared to pay to achieve/retain high office.

The motives of both groups of parliamentarians are identical while the chosen means are completely incompatible.

Do not expect any quick and easy formation of the New Liberal Party.
There are jobs at stake and nothing concentrates the mind of a man like
Mark Vaile more than the title of Deputy Prime Minister. No National
Party, or even one with no Queensland members, and there’s no title.

Should the unlikely event of the merger in Queensland actually occur,
the next step will be the creation of a new rural based party to
replace the Nationals. Senator Barnaby Joyce has shown Queensland
country people that a minority holding the balance of power in the
Senate has far more potential influence than members of a Cabinet.

But then – all the talk of merger has little to do with the interests of country people. It’s all about jobs for the boys.

Peter Fray

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