Bernardi Can Kill The Liberals, Non-Labor Government, And Himself

ANY GUTLESS FOOL, knowing they can’t win a lower house seat, can “start a party” by standing in the Senate and rustling preferences to bolster single-digit support, but it takes a special kind of cowardice to do it by deserting a party that six months ago delivered up a six-year term. If Cory Bernardi leaves the Liberals to do just that, he stands to kill off the Liberal Party, the prospects for non-Labor government in Australia and, eventually, himself.

It’s a short post from me this morning: I suspect we will be returning to this theme very soon, and possibly as soon as tonight.

But the apparent putsch by Cory Bernardi to desert the Liberal Party to set up his “Australian Conservatives” party — fortified with cash from mining billionaire Gina Rinehart, if media reports are to be believed — seems set to occur very shortly, and as much as readers know I despair the inability of conservative forces in Australia to get their shit together, this is simply not the way to go about it.

(I emphasise, conservative forces: not whack-job right wing garbage almost exclusively focused on Muslim immigration, abortion, and vilifying homosexuals en route to stopping gay marriage — a measure I don’t support either).

Thanks to the endlessly updating speculation that filled large portions of yesterday’s press, we know Bernardi will likely stand alone if he walks out on the Liberals: the likeliest fellow travellers in any defection — Tasmanian Senator Eric Abetz and Queensland MP George Christensen — have both ruled out joining their colleague on the crossbenches, for now at any rate.

Anyone seeking their five minutes in the limelight can try to start a new “party” by running for a Senate berth, armed with the knowledge they could never assemble a majority in a lower house electorate, and using a strategy of preference harvesting to bolster single-digit direct support; we’ve seen it time, and time, and time again.

But it takes a special kind of cowardice to use the money, resources and manpower of another party to secure a fresh six-year Senate term, and then “start a party” by biting the hand that fed you and walking out.

Bernardi, to be clear, is a creature of the Liberal Party, whatever he suggests to the contrary: he has been the president of the SA division, a vice-president federally and, of course, a Senator in SA for some years.

And the idea that walking out on the party that gave him a profile and a career will somehow empower the millions of frustrated voters looking for genuine action on mainstream conservative policies is fatuous, to say the least.

The Liberal Party has its problems — and we have explored them at great length in this column — but nothing a change of leader, a sweeping cleanout of the ranks of its advisers, a few astute preselection changes and some backbone wouldn’t fix.

To make those changes would take great effort, hard work, the making of enemies and the termination of the careers of many vested interests; the reward, however, would be to restore the Liberal Party to its role as the mainstream conduit for conservative sentiment that I passionately believe informs the outlook of a majority of the Australian electorate.

In recent years, this connection between party and base has certainly become strained, to put it most kindly; the present occupant of the federal leadership wears a heavy share of the responsibility, but he is not alone: the risk-averse advisors, the state Liberal Parties filled with deadwood and/or factional hacks, and the perennial desire to offer all things to all people — meaning the party actually ends up pleasing nobody, with the leaching of its support the most tangible consequence — have all played a part.

I note that Bernardi, despite his position on the backbench, has remained largely mute in terms of mass communication where any cogent conservative agenda is concerned; it’s hardly a state secret to advocate for a proper slate of conservative policies in government, and the inevitable conclusion is that no such platform is in the offing.

And it is dubious as to how many of the 50,000 people he has “signed up” will follow him if he walks out on the Liberals: as I noted some time ago, I too signed up — to keep an eye on what Bernardi was up to — and no doubt a fair slab of that 50,000 bloc was doing the same thing.

However, once I published those remarks, the flow of emails from Bernardi’s Conservatives abruptly stopped: a clue, perhaps, that his will be just another maliciously vindictive cult of personality in the Clive Palmer mould, rather than a constructive force for conservatism at all. After all, as I have said repeatedly, I’m typical of the kind of voter Bernardi should be trying to convince if he’s serious.

The headline observation this morning is that with Coalition primary support already splintering off to One Nation, the ALA, the Katter crowd and many others, simply adding another breakaway to the plethora on offer will simply cause more fragmentation — and more preferences to direct to the ALP to “punish” the Liberal Party for not being “conservative enough.”

In turn, Bernardi may prove to have a low degree of support, but it might just be enough to tip the balance against his old party and stop it winning elections. The mishmash of right wing options springing up will never win an election between them, and the kind of people joining them seem determined to stop the Liberal Party from doing so too.

In other words, Bernardi can cripple the Liberal Party, kill off the prospects for non-Labor governance of Australia, and — in the medium term, when all of this proves to have been illusory and histrionic nonsense, destroy his own career as well.

It’s some price to pay for the gutlessness and inability and unwillingness to try to fix the misfiring Liberal Party from within, rather than taking the option of the coward, the cheat, the wrecker.

Let’s see what the day brings, but if anyone thinks this particular conservative advocate is remotely impressed by what Bernardi  appears determined to do, they should think again.

I will be back with more comment this evening.


14 thoughts on “Bernardi Can Kill The Liberals, Non-Labor Government, And Himself

  1. Sorry Yale:

    They sentenced me to twenty years of boredom / For trying to change the system from within / I’m coming now, I’m coming to reward them / First we take Manhattan, then we take Berlin………… I’m Your man – Leonard Cohen

    This is another episode in the saga of how the “wets” destroyed the Australian Liberal Party. They have done this by slowly marginalising genuine conservatives in the belief that they have nowhere else to go. Much as I dislike Bernardi, his actions are an attempt to demonstrate that they do have somewhere else to go. In doing so, he dooms the Liberal Party to a lengthy period in opposition (but then again, moving Lord Waffle up to the Prime Ministership has already achieved that, as have the actions of the “wet” faction in NSW).

  2. Yale, I couldn’t disagree with you more on this one. Cory in leaving is cleansing himself of the “GUTLESS FOOL” virus sweeping through the liberals. Led by the king of fools Turnbull.
    If someone like Cory who has tried many times to influence liberal party direction to a more conservative path, has been ignored and shut out then he is doing what most of the other gutless fools won’t. In doing so he is demanding his views are considered and keeping the idiots in check. I along with other conservatives will actually be getting our tax dollars to represent us a little.
    He is unlikely to side with much that Labor or the Greens want to do just to be vindictive, so if policy is liberal and conservative then no vote lost there.
    If as you say “it is dubious as to how many of the 50,000 people he has “signed up” will follow him” why the concern? I suspect he will benefit from one nation’s decline as Pauline has no plan or ambition beyond her salary and perk’s.
    Cory owes the Party nothing. Unlike Windsor and Oakeshott who after being promoted by the Nationals, lying about their conservatism, only to show their true commie colours, he remains true to conservatism and it’s the party who has lost its way and moved left toward the cesspool that is the progressive, socialist “safe space”.

  3. Under the backstabbing usurper Malcolm Turnbull the Liberal Party that I once knew is DEAD. I will give my vote to Hanson or Bernardi.

  4. I don’t think it’s a bad thing. It is for Bernadi, he may not survive it.
    However, I do agree that the answer is not another party, but the fixing of the one we have.
    It may start some people thinking – maybe.
    And, if it means the demise of Turnbull and Bishop, it will be well worth it.

  5. I do agree with you Cory Bernardi should stay within the Liberal Party. Looking at the polls last night I noticed that South Australia is the one state that is abandoning the Liberals more so than any other state. I was also reading that South Australia is still experiencing electricity blackouts.

    If South Australia is experiencing these blackout then why is Labor still ahead in the polls.

    The Liberal Party is becoming more disappointing than the Labor Party in the way how things are run.

  6. “not whack-job right wing garbage almost exclusively focused on Muslim immigration, abortion, and vilifying homosexuals en route to stopping gay marriage”

    Where can I get the “I am a whack job” T-Shirt Yale? I’ll wear the label with pride. A reversal on all three issues are crucial to saving the West from its enemies (i.e. the Left and Islam). We are in a civilisational war.

    Totally happy with Cory’s move, he’s got my vote. If Labor gain power so be it. Australian pollies will never tackle the many issues we face until we have a good recession. How better to achieve that, than a Labor government. PM Trumble and all like him must be destroyed.

  7. In some situations, the observation is that of a rat jumping a sinking ship.
    In this case, it is a ship separating itself from a swarm of stinking, sinking rats.
    It is interesting that it was Pauline that made the polite and astute observation that she and Cory sing from the same song sheet, and congratulated him on his move, even though she realises that some of the voters she has attracted will now follow Cory. That is honourable leadership.
    At the same time the shitfaced ratbags like ScoMo and Talcum Trumble have only derision for the man. They are scum. They are but turds in the Canberra septic tank. That includes every last one of those pricks you support, Yale.

    • I have been highly critical of them, karabar — and “support” is hardly a word that can accurately be used to describe my views on the present government.

      However, I simply believe it is better to fix the Liberal Party from within than to do what Bernardi has done, or to hang out the shingle of the far Right to try to catch disaffected conservative votes, as Hanson is again doing.

      These parties of the far Right may win a few seats, inflict great damage on the Coalition parties through preferences, and they may prove obstructive in their parliamentary presence, but they CANNOT win elections anywhere in Australia either on their own or in aggregate without the Liberal Party.

      Lost in all of this is any attempt to actually defend conservative values: Bernardi says he will, but the fact no MPs joined his party pretty much sums up its suitability for purpose; Hanson’s agenda is of the far Right — and its attempt to be mainstream was comprehensively debunked in this column the other day.

      I don’t disagree with you about the problem, and you know I feel very deeply about it. We merely disagree about the solution. All of those who say “Saviour X will be PM” and the like have limited comprehension of our electoral system — which is why I am so insistent the Liberal Party, whilst embodying the problem today, is also part of the solution.

      One thing is certain is that without quick and drastic action, the ALP will be gifted several terms in office as a result of all of this, and the damage of that will far outstrip anything the Liberals are accused of doing. Or not doing.

      Replacing Turnbull is the obvious starting point, but without policy change even that will be a waste of time.

      It is funny how all these people have the “courage” to walk out of the party and into structures that can and never will solve the problems bedevilling Australian conservatism, but have neither the courage nor the nous to actually implement anything before they leave. The calibre of MPs is as much a part of the problem as Turnbull running the show. Merely marching them around into “new” parties won’t change that one jot.

      • I haven’t posted here for quite a while, been following international politics mainly.
        I kind of lost interest when Turnbull took over leadership of the LNP, I could not believe the collective stupidity of these clowns moving to the left, whereas they should have been moving to the right, but Bishops UN fascination…along with Turnbulls leadership aspirations took them more or less willingly down the wrong path, and they may never recover from this, it’s impossible to calculate how many voters feel abandoned and betrayed by this move, so it’s impossible to say how well Bernadi may do in reality.

        But on another slightly different angle to all this …immigration has become the no 1 priority for an increasingly worried amount of people throughout the world, followed by abortion and to a lesser extent homosexuality.
        Personally if a homosexual is not a genderless activist and a Uni sex pusher in the education system, then closet homosexuals and non activist homosexuals don’t pose a real threat, whereas the unisex, gender less pushers do pose a real threat and need to be challenged and hopefully stopped.

        But to fully understand the plan for borderless worlds, pushed by Soros, the UN and most of the political elite, the first thing to read is the Coudenhove Kalergi plan…from 1922 and now adopted throughout most of the West…yes it sounds like science fiction, but if you research it enough (as I have you will see it’s been in action for a long time)
        There is a ton of stuff about it on the net
        Next read the naked communist 1950, or at least study the main principles outlined by the author, it reads like a blueprint of what’s happening today, its chilling really.

        Now I somewhat agree with Yale and also Karabar, but I think without first and foremost controlling immigration, all the other areas such as economic growth, bi lateral relations yada yada cannot be realised.
        There are a million reasons why, too many to go into here, but as one example the Muslim immigrants bleed welfare dry with countless wives and family and contribute nothing, further they are instructed by the Koran, Sira and so on, not to assimilate and to eventually conquer all infidels, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg.
        While our society is busy killing babies, they are breeding like flies, so abortion is a real problem in all of this, no children…no future, not to mention the horror of millions of babies being killed every year, even predatory jungle animals don’t do this.

        The Liberals will never be able to control this, they are too weak, and they are weaker now than they ever have been.
        With or without Bernadi they are dead meat, and it’s all their own doing, Bishop and Turnbull should never have been supported ever.
        I used to think the Center was the best way forward, but the world is now in the semi mature grips of the plans mentioned above and pushed by Soros, the EU, the UN and a good deal of Europes elite, and almost all the MSM.
        Its a huge ugly cult actually, and too late for any centrist politicions to combat these nation destroyers, it will take a hard push from leaders with real backbone.
        Look at what Trump is up against, yet he never backs down, thats what it takes, and it’s anyone’s guess what the outcome will be.
        Bottom line…I don’t think Bernadi is a coward, he knows he will be hated, slandered, vilified and lied about by starting his own party, and that takes some courage.
        I would repeat, the Liberals are doomed anyway…with or without him.
        Finally a link to a really observant writer about all if this…
        I posted this because wether we agree or disagree on some of this doesn’t matter that much really, but we do need to know the enemy, otherwise there is no chance of defeating them.

      • For a broad church as the Liberal party is supposed to be, the congregation is certainly not singing from the same hymn sheet – what’s the next episode from the hapless mainstream Right?

  8. I think that the self-righteous moral posturing aimed at Cory Bernardi should be called for what it is.
    Given that Bernardi is a political animal of strong beliefs and conservative inclinations. The first thing that such an animal requires is a platform from which to propound his ideas.
    Put yourself in the position of Bernardi as he watched Abbott self-destruct. (Yes coalition luvvies that is exactly what he did.) Bernardi would have known that Turnbull would be the man that the coalition party room would turn to, so what was he to do? He would have guessed that Turnbull would want his own mandate asap and Turnbull is smart enough to know that political popularity is ephemeral and honeymoons are short.
    Bernardi had to bide his time for two reasons. Firstly: Do the decent thing and give the new boy a fair go. And secondly: Keep his job and therefore his platform intact in case Turnbull turned out to be a flop.
    Come forward to the present. Bernardi has his platform and, aside from recent stirrings of a bit of mongrel from the PM, Turnbull has proved to be a flop.
    If, during the embarrassing and interminable election campaign, Bernardi had given voice to his innermost convictions he would at the very least been bumped down to an unwinnable position on the coalition senate ticket; or more likely been hounded out of the coalition party room entirely by the PC, social media thought police. And there would go his job and his platform at a stroke. Instant political oblivion.
    Now, by acting as he has he still has a job and a platform for at least five and a half years.
    If his actions stir the slumbering beast that is true conservatism within the coalition and they rise to the occasion and deliver us all from the curse of Shorten and the Greens he will be seen as a hero. And if the Shorten/Greens combo get in he will at least have a chance as an independent Senator for SA or maybe a place with one of various cross-bench senators of non-mainstream political inclinations.
    If you were Nicolo Machiavelli advising Bernardi as to his best plan of action after the Abbott execution ask yourself: What would I advise him to do?

    • Furthermore, consider how pathetically stupid the Coalition has been in its reaction.
      The entire front bench should be aware that the conservative base has gone or is going.
      In Cory’s split from the Liberals, the coalition ought to realise that it still has a sympathetic ear in the senate that is perhaps even more effective than formerly Cory was “captive” to the Coalition.
      If the front bench in general, and Trumble and and Barny in particular, were really of a Conservative bent, they would realise that they have lost nothing with Cory’s move and would congratulate him and wish him well. Instead, they fume and fuss like the jilted old women that they are, and lose even more face with the Conservative base.

  9. I have to ask how Bernardi is to perform preference harvesting with the new and improved Senate system.

    Voters now preference as they will. To have any hope of influencing preferences it is therefore critical that your voters see your HTV – i.e. campaigners on the ground on election day. But even that’s not nearly enough.

    Some examples: in SA, Family First recommended 2 CDP, 3 ALA, 4 SFF, 5 PHON, 6 LDP – and yet only 48% of FFP voters had the CDP in their top four; 40% of FFP voters had the Liberals in their top four (not even listed on the HTV) and 18% had the Greens, more than PHON or the LDP!
    Meanwhile the Liberals recommended FFP 2, LDP 3, CDP 4; more than half the Liberal voters had FFP at #2, but only 8.5% of Liberal voters continued LDP 3 and CDP 4.

    If even the Liberals can’t get a majority of their voters to follow their HTV, how can Bernardi hope to trade anything worthwhile?

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