Nov 29, 2012

Party mole: what’s going wrong in Campbell Newman’s LNP

As the Queensland government loses another MP today, an anonymous party insider explains what's behind the Liberal-National Party turmoil and how Campbell Newman could try to fix it.

The current turmoil in Queensland’s Liberal-National Party is an amalgam of many small cracks that are making a big crater.

Here’s an insider’s perspective on the recent defection of LNP MP Ray Hopper to Katter’s Australian Party, and last night’s dramatic disendorsement of fellow MP Carl Judge — thrown out over accusations he lacked loyalty to the party. Judge was first banned from the party room, then exiled for good.

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12 thoughts on “Party mole: what’s going wrong in Campbell Newman’s LNP

  1. j.oneill

    An interesting comment but one that fails to mention what is a fundamental problem in the Queensland electoral system. At the last election the LNP polled just under 50% of the vote, yet they have 86% of the seats. There are insufficient opposition members to give proper effect to the committee system and thereby properly scrutinise government legislation. This poses a very real threat to parliamentary democracy. It is naive and simply not good enough to argue that the government will be held accountable at the next election. A lot of damage can be done in three years.

    There needs to be a fundamental change in the electoral system. Don’t expect Labor to argue for it because they hope to be beneficiaries next time around or the time after.

    The only system that meets the demands of democracy and works is a modified form on proportional representation, along the New Zealand or German models. It is interesting that at the last general election in NZ the public were given an opportunity through a referendum question, to vote for a change to their PR system that had worked tolerably well for more than two decades. They voted overwhelmingly to retain the status quo.

    It is time the Queensland public had a similar opportunity to express a view. Given the history of this state however I am not so foolish as to hold my breath.

  2. klewso

    What we need is a “Hare of the Clark”?

  3. robinw

    Living in the ACT has given me an appreciation of proportional representation and I wouldn’t change it for quids now. At least here the number of seats held by the various groupings approximates far more closely to the numbers of votes actually received by them.

    For once in my life I feel that I have representation whereas previously for over 45 years of voting I had none. In other words I have felt disenfranchised within my country for that time. I would vote for this to be Australia wide if given the opportunity.

  4. beachcomber

    The article is a very kind description of the worst Government Austrlaia has ever endured.

    Maybe if Newman had not sacked all the Senior Public Servants, and filled these spots with LNP hacks, and filled the Ministers offices with LNP children, the Ministers would not be operating in such a vacuum.

    The suggestion that Newman was a good though dictatorial Mayor defies history, as he left the place with an enormous debt and failed projects.

    But to address the proposed cures to the LNPs woes:
    1 “What they need to do is keep delivering their legislative agenda” What legislative agenda? Apart from mass sackings, it’s all crisis management.
    2 “keep a tight rein on their media spin”. Newman is all spin and no substance, which is one reason why there’s a big problem.
    3 “they need to manage their backbenchers well, break them into teams”. One of the problems the LNP has is that there are too many teams, or factions, warring with each other.
    4 “give them mentors, bring in some ex-ministers to help, do something to appease them” Basket weaving classes perhaps.

    The real solution is simpler. Newman has to go.

    An Army life was not ideal training for a politician. Giving orders, and ignoring dissent and the opinions of others, are not qualities you need in a Premier. This caused him problems on Council (he expelled one of his own LNP Councillors and pushed on with failed projects).

    He got away with it on the Council as it is largely ignored by the media and the community. A Premier as to listen, and has to negotiate. He does not have those skills. He did not learn them on Council, and he won’t learn them as Premier. Newman has to be replaced before the next State election. The Federal Liberal Party may decide he has to be replaced before the next Federal election.

  5. Limited News

    I guess to qualify as a “World City” you need at least one multi-billion-dollar white elephant toll road or tunnel. Cando got that done alright.

  6. zut alors

    Agree with j.o’neill and beachcomber’s analyses.

    Today Clive Palmer is doing a good job of tenderising Soup. Stay tuned for his next press conference.

  7. Liz45

    Couldn’t happen to a more deserving b*****d! Hope he goes soon, and takes his Party with him – before he does any more damage to that State!

  8. Ben Joseph

    What agenda? – There are no policies. 8 months after the election, the MOG has not been completed. The QLD public service has little direction, no leadership and spend most of their time contemplating their future and polishing their resumes. There is no governing – just political infighting and spin.

  9. Karen

    Agree with comments above. The Labor governments had more to do with dragging Qld, and Brisbane out of the Bjelke Petersen dark ages and making Brisbane into a ‘world class’ city. To suggest that Newman created a world class city given his dealings as Lord Mayor is plain crazy.

    Now that Queensland has a dictatorial, rigid leader in Newman who has a military-style penchant for driving out or expelling people, a directionless, morale-wrecked and diminished public service, jobs for talentless stooges and their children, Queensland risks descending back to the institutionalised corruption of its previous political history.
    Back to the future.

    And as for Clive Palmer, perhaps he should throw his considerable weight behind resurrecting Labor who, ironically, has done more for him than any LNP government.

  10. sottile6

    Carl Judge had no hope of retaining the seat of Yeerongpilly as an LNP member and the characterization of an ex policeman as intelligent and educated would bring a smile to many lips, but perhaps the author is comparing him to other LNP politicians. Carl Judge has received little positive feedback on the government’s performance since he was elected. He hopes to mimic the success of another Liberal renegade, now an independent, in the council who has beeen bullied and villified by Campbell Newman during his time as mayor. This will not happen. Yeerongpilly does not include the Liberal areas necessary.Judge was always a one term politician and he must have worked this out by now.

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