It’s tempting to say that the current fracas besetting the Victorian branch of the Liberal Party is a state-centric issue that should be quietly resolved behind closed Melburnian doors. But on the eve of the first federal Labor budget in 13 years, a week that will test the mettle not only of the key players in the Rudd government but also the wit and footwork of Brendan Nelson and Malcolm Turnbull, we wonder if there may not be a deeper malaise of entrenched head-in-the-sand factionalism that needs to be addressed.
The context for this is simple and clear: the ranking elected representative of the Australian Liberal Party is the Lord Mayor of Brisbane. In Western Australia the party is headed by a grotesque caricature, in NSW by a man who seems torn on the idea of energy privatisation, in Victoria by an unfortunate patsy who this weekend became the collateral damage in an internal fight over federal pre-selection. Someone should pretty quickly get some Liberal eyes back on the ball.