The rather bizarre conniptions over the pink vote in the Young Nats reached new heights of absurdity over the weekend. Big Brother housemate and aspiring Queensland pollie David Graham was elected Federal Membership Officer at the Young Nats’ shindig in Canberra. At the same conference, a resolution in favour of equal rights for same-s-x couples was carried.

This followed last week’s Western Australian “mock parliament” (where members of the youth wings of the parties play pollie for a day). Sources from Perth revealed that the Young Nats had not only proposed the civil unions motion, but also supported native title. One member even crossed the floor to oppose WorkChoices.

The Queensland Young Nats aren’t happy campers at the Federal progressive love-in. State President Damien Tessman is threatening to “do a Joh”.

He told the Brisbane Sunday Mail:

“Homos-xuality is something that should not be normalised or promoted in any way.”

Tessman, who lives next to the Bjelke-Petersen property Bethany in Kingaroy, decried the resolution as an insult to Joh’s memory (as well as the “sacred institution of marriage”). He threatened to emulate the Joh for Canberra campaign in 1987 and split from the Federal Nats.

Mark Vaile probably isn’t quaking in his RM Williams boots.

But the Young Nats’ social liberal turn is interesting at a time when the NSW Young Libs have been taken over by forces allegedly aligned with Opus Dei and other Christian conservatives. Whatever else it portends, it does suggest that politics in a decade or so’s time could be very interesting indeed. That’s if the National Party lasts that long.

In the short term, maybe Graham should be looking to go West for a seat.

Peter Fray

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