The Liberal Party - How long?

Gough

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I know that it's very popular to write off partys after huge election defeats like the one we've just seen in Victoria and the one is inevitably coming at federal level but there seems to be a real existential crisis within the Libs at the moment with both factions refusing to concede any ground in the fight for the soul of the Party. If this infighting can be only barely disguised in government heaven only knows what the dispiriting nature of facing a sizeable majority in opposition might bring out. There's a distinct possibility that the Coalition could fracture if the in fighting becomes such that the Nationals feel they're better off going it alone, or the far right of the Libs take control of the Party and they feel that being in coalition no longer represents the best interests of their voters. This would in itself leave the Libs with a sizeable problem retaining power in itself but also if the far right do gain control of the party it would seem that a split by moderates would be a real possibility and vice versa. Whatever happens the post election wash up in the Liberal Party will be fascinating, if they've learned from Labor and let's face it most of us thought they might have learned from R/G/R master class in how not to govern, but no, they will quietly regroup and focus on regaining government. I suspect egos may not allow this and we could see blood letting unseen in this country since the ALP split of 1955.
 

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Baltimore Jack

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They have to work out if they are a centralist party as defined by Menzies or if they are a hard right party as defined by Howard
Until they do that, they have an identity crisis (the media call in "their brand") and they will struggle to attract a constituency.

People can bemoan Labor, but at least they are absolutely clear in what they stand for and that makes it very easy for voters
 

Elroo

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There have been a few write ups on the AFR in regards to the Liberals soul searching in the wake of the Vic Election defeat -

https://www.afr.com/opinion/editorials/the-coalition-got-a-lesson-will-it-listen-20181125-h18bft

The Coalition got a lesson. Will it listen?

David Rowe

The parties of the Coalition may be on the verge of being pulled apart by the increasing polarisation of Australian politics.

In a gathering wave against the Coalition foreshadowed by exclusive polling in The Australian Financial Review on Friday, Labor under Premier Daniel Andrews on Saturday demolished Matthew Guy and the Coalition in the Victorian state election, turning its bare one-seat majority into a possible 17-seat margin and reducing the Coalition to a rump of fewer than 30. A backlash-sized swing against of almost 7 per cent, when you are not even the government, is a terrible rebuke to a political party.

The Coalition is paying the price of dumping prime minister Malcolm Turnbull four months ago. The Liberals read too much into their failure to take the marginal working-class Brisbane fringe seat of Longman on Super Saturday, after fielding a poor candidate and then failing to manage expectations well enough before the poll.

The result was a panicky coup to remove Malcolm Turnbull and his climate and energy policy, and then move sharply to the right to shore up battleground seats in Queensland that the party believed would cost the 2019 election.

But the weekend's state election debacle in the more moderate and diverse Victorian electorate has left that strategy in ruins, with five or six Liberal federal seats in Victoria now put into play. The job of retaining federal government is now demonstrably even harder.

Although the pragmatist Scott Morrison emerged as leader from the August coup, ousting Turnbull cost the party his inner-city, middle-class Sydney seat of Wentworth. Playing the conservative hobby horse of shifting Australia's embassy in Israel to Jerusalem was hardly compensation for the lack of any climate policy.
https://www.afr.com/news/politics/v...the-liberal-partys-right-wing-20181125-h18bf7

Victorian state election: Voters repudiate the Liberal party's right wing

In the past month, Liberal voters in the federal seat of Wentworth and in parts of Victoria have repudiated right-wing politics.

Apart from revenge for the 2015 leadership coup, the right wing of the Liberal Party moved against Malcolm Turnbull because he did not resonate with conservative voters in Queensland which has a swathe of Coalition-held marginal seats. They mobilised after One Nation took 19 per cent of the vote in the Longman byelection.

But the catastrophe that befell the Liberal Party in Victoria on Saturday shows that what may supposedly work north of the Tweed did not translate south of the Murray.

The first warning came on October 20 when Wentworth voters, who had voted conservative for 117 years, vented their anger at Turnbull's ouster in the form of a official record 19-percentage point primary swing against the government and elected centre-right independent Kerryn Phelps.

Rather than heed the lessons of Wentworth and dial it back a bit, the government disparaged these loyal voters as disgruntled, well-heeled freaks who flew helicopters to work and didn't understand the common man. Climate change and renewable energy were boutique concerns.

On Saturday, their fellow travellers in Melbourne also vented.

Honest brokers from both sides estimate federal factors contributed between one and two points towards the six-point primary against the Liberals on swing on Saturday.

Otherwise Daniel Andrews ran a good campaign and delivered, especially on infrastructure.

Matthew Guy tried hard but ran on divisive and, ultimately, the wrong issues. And, alarmingly for the federal Liberals, the party's machine in Victoria was dysfunctional.
"What [Tony] Abbott and his friends call the base are not the great bulk of our electoral base. The great bulk sent us a warning," said one senior federal Liberal.


"Young people hate us, women hate us."
 

Bunk Moreland

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Yep, very fair question. The obvious extension is for the moderates to form their own party that might actually connect with people, but there’s two questions there -

- what would they stand for? Would they just be Labor Lite? Because the ALPs popularity has grown beyond unions, even though they still wield tremendous power in the party.

- would they ever be a hope of forming government? At the very least you’d think they’d need a coalition with the Nats to get some sort of numbers, but would moderate Libs and country folk be compatible in terms of policy?
 

Seeds

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They have to work out if they are a centralist party as defined by Menzies or if they are a hard right party as defined by Howard
Until they do that, they have an identity crisis (the media call in "their brand") and they will struggle to attract a constituency.

People can bemoan Labor, but at least they are absolutely clear in what they stand for and that makes it very easy for voters
As much as I hate howard. Howard was anti guns, anti nazi and pro trade. He wasnt alt right.
 

Seeds

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Yep, very fair question. The obvious extension is for the moderates to form their own party that might actually connect with people, but there’s two questions there -

- what would they stand for? Would they just be Labor Lite? Because the ALPs popularity has grown beyond unions, even though they still wield tremendous power in the party.

- would they ever be a hope of forming government? At the very least you’d think they’d need a coalition with the Nats to get some sort of numbers, but would moderate Libs and country folk be compatible in terms of policy?
They would stand for progressive social movements, free markets and low taxes. The latter two is very different from labour
 

Badesumofu

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Dee Madigan on Sky the other night said something very insightful. Said something like: 'people don't vote Labor because they decide the Liberal party isn't far enough to the right'. You might think that's more obvious than insightful, and you'd be right, except that as far as I can see there actually are a large number of people within the Liberal party who genuinely believe their problem is that they aren't far enough to the right. They toss out platitudes like that the people who'd prefer Malcolm Turnbull to Dutton would never actually vote Liberal anyway.


They are collectively fleeing the centre because they think the centre is electoral poison. How have they convinced themselves of this? I have no fukin' clue. But if it continues they won't continue to be a major party for too much longer.
 
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Dee Madigan on Sky the other night said something very insightful. Said something like: 'people don't vote Labor because they decide the Liberal party isn't far enough to the right'. You might think that's more obvious than insightful, and you'd be right, except that as far as I can see there actually are a large number of people within the Liberal party who genuinely believe their problem is that they aren't far enough to the right. They toss out platitudes like that the people who'd prefer Malcolm Turnbull to Dutton would never actually vote Liberal anyway.


They are collectively fleeing the centre because they think the centre is electoral poison. How have they convinced themselves of this? I have no fukin' clue. But if it continues they won't continue to be a major party for too much longer.
They are addicted to the wedge and it has consumed them like any drug of dependency. Incapable of any policy setting which isn't a wedge
 

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Bunk Moreland

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They would stand for progressive social movements, free markets and low taxes. The latter two is very different from labour
These days? It’s not the 70s. Labor isn’t going for tariffs and they’re not going to hike company tax etc. I don’t know if there’s enough room there for two parties. Things have changed.
 

Gough

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Really though, how long ago was this being written about labor. Not that long
Labor didn't have the huge gap in ideology that the Libs currently have and their recent woes were more about bad politics, ie letting the personal enmity between Rudd and Gillard play itself out in Causcus.
 

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These days? It’s not the 70s. Labor isn’t going for tariffs and they’re not going to hike company tax etc. I don’t know if there’s enough room there for two parties. Things have changed.
Just a couple of years ago labour ran a scare campaign advocating for maintaining massive subsidies for the motor vehicle industry to protect them against imports. This is anti free trade policy. Labour is much less open to multlateral free trade agreements then the libs and certainly disagree with giving multinational corporates more power over governments. I.e. see the difference between how labour and the libs approached the smoking lobby on cigarette taxes and packaging.

2 years ago Labour wanted to increase the marginal tax rate for high wage workers. The only reason it has taken if off the table for now is because of the turnaround in the budget but it will come back once labour is in power and costs blow out again. Labour wants to mean tests all support payments. Labour doesnt want to reduce company tax rates to the degree the small l libs do. Labour wants to keep penalty rates and 100 percent free gp visits. Labour wants a lot more money in schools and health and less in defence. There are massive massive differences here between labour and the small l libs. In fact the far right are more like labour on many of these economic issues then the small l libs.
 
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Labor didn't have the huge gap in ideology that the Libs currently have and their recent woes were more about bad politics, ie letting the personal enmity between Rudd and Gillard play itself out in Causcus.
Yeah I think the narrative was they were being squeezed by the greens and liberal, and that maybe the original reason 'to be' fighting for workers rights, was won and irrelevant

Along comes uber-casual workforce.

Dan took ground from both the libs and the greens
 
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Just a couple of years ago labour ran a scare campaign advocating for maintaining massive subsidies for the motor vehicle industry to protect them against imports. This is anti free trade policy. Labour is much less open to multlateral free trade agreements then the libs and certainly disagree with giving multinational corporates more power over governments. I.e. see the difference between how labour and the libs approached the smoking lobby on cigarette taxes and packaging.

2 years ago Labour wanted to increase the marginal tax rate for high wage workers. The only reason is it has taken if off the table for now is cause of the turnaround in the budget but it will come back once labour is in power and costs blow out again. Labour wants to mean tests all support payments. Labour doesnt want to reduce company tax rates to the degree the small l libs do. Labour wants to keep penalty rates and 100 percent free gp visits. Labour wants a lot more money in schools and health and less in defence. There are massive massive differences here between labour and the small l libs. In fact the far right are more like labour on many of these economic issues then the small l libs.
Time to stop describing the libs how you want them to be, it'll only dissappoint you
 

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Dee Madigan on Sky the other night said something very insightful. Said something like: 'people don't vote Labor because they decide the Liberal party isn't far enough to the right'. You might think that's more obvious than insightful, and you'd be right, except that as far as I can see there actually are a large number of people within the Liberal party who genuinely believe their problem is that they aren't far enough to the right. They toss out platitudes like that the people who'd prefer Malcolm Turnbull to Dutton would never actually vote Liberal anyway.


They are collectively fleeing the centre because they think the centre is electoral poison. How have they convinced themselves of this? I have no fukin' clue. But if it continues they won't continue to be a major party for too much longer.
I genuinely think they are looking to what’s occurred in the US and imagining that some mysterious alchemy will kick in here and that we end up the same way.
 

CheapCharlie

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Liberals are out of touch and moving more towards the style of Trump politics, which doesn't play as well in Australia.
Those at the top of the Libs power tree aren't going to climb down willingly.

Party will survive okay
 

Maggie5

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Just a couple of years ago labour ran a scare campaign advocating for maintaining massive subsidies for the motor vehicle industry to protect them against imports. This is anti free trade policy. Labour is much less open to multlateral free trade agreements then the libs and certainly disagree with giving multinational corporates more power over governments. I.e. see the difference between how labour and the libs approached the smoking lobby on cigarette taxes and packaging.

2 years ago Labour wanted to increase the marginal tax rate for high wage workers. The only reason is it has taken if off the table for now is cause of the turnaround in the budget but it will come back once labour is in power and costs blow out again. Labour wants to mean tests all support payments. Labour doesnt want to reduce company tax rates to the degree the small l libs do. Labour wants to keep penalty rates and 100 percent free gp visits. Labour wants a lot more money in schools and health and less in defence. There are massive massive differences here between labour and the small l libs. In fact the far right are more like labour on many of these economic issues then the small l libs.
Labor's supposed scare campaign on Medicare wasn't far off the mark. The Libs have been slowly and sneakily reducing benefits without much publicity.

The latest no rebate for over 50's for a number of MRI's referred by GP's, referral by specialist receives rebate.
 

SBD Gonzalez

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#23
I suspect egos may not allow this and we could see blood letting unseen in this country since the ALP split of 1955.
Tony Abbott frequently cites Bob Santamaria as a huge formative influence on his younger self.

Santamaria kept the ALP out of power federally for a generation.

In perhaps the greatest act of political homage we’ve seen in Australia, Tony Abbott may well have done the same to the Coalition, his own party.
 
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Badesumofu

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I genuinely think they are looking to what’s occurred in the US and imagining that some mysterious alchemy will kick in here and that we end up the same way.
They are very stupid then. Trump was able to convince working people in that country that he would fight for them and that the Dems had given up on them. I don't see how the Libs could replicate that in Australia. Mysterious alchemy is correct because they don't seem to have any policy positions designed to give Australians a pay rise.
 

Run n Spread

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I know that it's very popular to write off partys after huge election defeats like the one we've just seen in Victoria and the one is inevitably coming at federal level but there seems to be a real existential crisis within the Libs at the moment with both
Don't think it is inevitable at all. If they could find a way to somehow be returned in 2016 they could easily do it again.

The weirdest thing about them since Howard is they have taken all of Labors historical social policies and Labor have taken some of theres. Economically they have always been Free Trade and pro individual. Where they have stuffed it is subsidies for the mates, market manipulation there to keep certain prices a float and become extremely hard right which is unpopular. (This lets just stick everyone in jail campaign they ran with wasn't as popular in public as in their party room)

Labor on the other hand at least at State Level have gone back to their roots. Raise taxes build necessary infrastructure and not sell everything off. This has resonated as people are actually willing to wear the pain of reform (and it has been unbearable at times) if they see future benefit.

Federally they are stuck with Shorten who seems to have peaked. His problem was when the government was going so badly and seen as terminal he was seen as Defacto leader (PM in waiting) and in a perverse way copping heat when things went wrong. (What are you going to do about it? etc etc)
Now the ScoMo show is in he is enjoying a honeymoon and out campaigning him. If he puts together a solid few months could easily knock out a tired Shorten.
 
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