November 29, 2007 | Graham

More Flegg furphies

It’s a laugh a minute on the Flegg Punch and Judy show in Queensland.
CM journalists appear ready to accept any assertion by the Nicholls camp. Here are a few, dot-point style, with some more informed comment.

  • There is a convention in leadership ballots that the leader not use their casting vote. Bit hard to work out where they got this one from. The only time I can remember a leader being in a position of needing his casting vote was John Gorton in 1971. Gorton refused to use his casting vote, and was widely derided at the time. I don’t think it creates a precedent, but if it does, Nicholls ought to be wary, because the successful challenger was Billy McMahon, arguably Australia’s worst Prime Minister
  • The Liberal Party State Council can change the party’s constitution to give the Party President a casting vote in a tied parliamentary leadership ballot. Only state conventions can change the constitution, and there is a process that needs to be gone through first, including consultation and notice provisions. It would be a huge philosophical change for the party organisation to be able to dictate to the parliamentary wing, raising the spectre of the “bad old days” in the ALP when Arthur Calwell and Gough Whitlam had to wait outside their party’s executive for their instructions. “Never in our party” has always been the Liberals’ response to that.
  • Bruce Flegg will be unable to vote in any State Council ballot becase of his “conflict of interest”. This would indeed be a breach of precedent if Flegg was prevented from voting on this matter. If this were taken seriously, then Warwick Parer should also be excluded because he obviously has a conflict of interest too, because this is about expanding his power.

You’ve got to give the Santoro faction full marks for front. But journalists should be well aware of this and be careful not to take their assertions at face value.

Posted by Graham at 6:43 am | Comments (3) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. This is just getting foolish. There needs to be some sought of federal intervention, similar to the intervention in the state ALP in the 80’s. Having just listened to Flegg on 612 I’m continually convinced that a merger of the conservative parties in QLD is the only hope of ever getting back into government. How a disgraced minister and a failed state mp can have so much control over the state party is mystifying.

    Comment by marklugg - brizzie expat — November 29, 2007 @ 9:18 am

  2. Not a merger, a takeover; the libs are in serious trouble in Qld. Any chance they could defer all decisions to Campbell Newman?

    Comment by matt — November 29, 2007 @ 4:36 pm

  3. Mark, there was federal intervention, but you can chalk that up on the deficit side of Howard’s ledger. It won’t happen again, unless they can be shown to be bankrupt, in which case the federal party can step in again.

    Comment by Graham Young — November 29, 2007 @ 8:23 pm

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