November 07, 2005 | Graham

Queensland Liberals nervous about constitutional changes

Some Queensland Liberals are nervous at proposed changes to their party’s state constitution, and perhaps with good cause. The constitution seems to be continually under review, and frequently reviews are aimed at advantaging one group or another in the party.
The last review was in 2002 when Bob Quinn was successful in having some of his anti-rorting provisions inserted against the wishes of then state president, Michael Caltabiano.
Changes to be considered at this year’s convention, to be held coincidentally with the 30th anniversary of the constitutional crisis of the sacking of the Whitlam government also deal with preselections. In this case they give the State Council the right to vet out candidates they regard as not appropriate.
This is being seen in the context of comments made by state director Geoff Greene in June this year when he said:

At this SPC [Strategic Planning Conference] weekend, many issues were discussed and resolved, but most importantly the need for the Liberal Party to preselect the best possible quality candidates in all winnable seats was high on the agenda items. Thinking ‘outside the square’ State Council determined unanimously that the need for preselecting the best candidates in electorates may need some alteration to the processes and thinking that we have employed in the past. No longer is the Party prepared to accept candidates just because they may ‘have the numbers’ if there are better candidates available for preselection to those seats.
As part of the unanimous resolutions of the State Council, we have determined to improve and strengthen the nomination process for this next round of State preselections and also to increase the strength of our vetting committee to give it ‘real teeth’. This will ensure that State Council is provided the opportunity to assess the value of calibre of candidates before they are approved to proceed to a preselection plebiscite…”

In other words, they don’t trust the branch membership to make the right decisions.
The changes may be academic. The Liberal Party constitution lays out quite an extensive program of consultation before the party can hold a constitution convention. Strangely for an organisation so obssessed with constitutional fiddling, this consultation doesn’t appear to have been undertaken.

Posted by Graham at 10:12 am | Comments (1) |
Filed under: Australian Politics

1 Comment

  1. I don’t trust the branches to select the right candidate either. What would they know about the now very slick world of political campaigning?

    Comment by R — November 8, 2005 @ 2:34 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.