March 26, 2008 | Graham

Parer resignation means Santoro short on numbers

Warwick Parer’s premature resignation as Queensland Liberal Party President is a sure sign that the Santoro forces don’t have the numbers at State Convention.
Parer is reported by the ABC:

Mr Parer says he had intended to retire last year, but agreed to stay on for the Federal and Brisbane City Council elections.
The former federal minister says the time is right to hand over the presidency.

That will be a surprise to the delegates who voted for him at the last Liberal Party convention. It is even more extraordinary given that the his term would have expired in only a couple of months on the 1st of June at the conclusion of the next Liberal Party State Conference.
Parer is resigning now so that he can use his numbers on the State Council to install a successor who will then have the inside running at State Convention. (I notice some of the news organisations running with the line that the State Council is the “governing body” of the Queensland Liberals. It is only that between State Conventions, which are the supreme governing body of the party, and the organ that ought to choose presidents, as they involve delegates elected proportionately by all the branches in the state).
This gambit may backfire. Mal Brough has been strongly supported by a number of members to be the next president, but Brough is overseas, driving a camper van around Europe at his own expense relaxing after 11 years in government. It will be difficult for him to run on Sunday, when State Council meets. This means that John Caris is likely to be the ABS (anyone but Santo) consensus candidate.
A ballot at State Council may therefore look like an each way bet to Santoro and Parer. They might get their candidate up, or they might get Caris, but they won’t get Brough, who they apparently see as some sort of omni-nemesis.
In which case, they had better be sure that Caris runs, and that he wins, because Brough would be unlikely to run against him.
If he loses Queensland Liberals look like they are sick of the Santoro manipulation, so a vengeful and refreshed Brough could well catapult off this manouver, rallying worn-out party members against it.
In fact, if I was the ABS coalition, I’d be pushing for one of the Vice-Presidents to fill the position on the condition that they agree to resign at State Convention. Policy-Vice President Dave Elson would be the obvious candidate to fill the position, pro tem.
That way the decision could be deferred to where it properly should be made – State Council.

Posted by Graham at 9:45 pm | Comments (4) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. The thought of either John Caris or Dave Elson in charge makes me cringe.
    To suggest that there is presently any sort of organised factions in the Divison is laughable.
    Given both of these VP’s past factional activity Brough is the best choice whether he is in the State at the moment or not.

    Comment by Doug — March 27, 2008 @ 12:34 am

  2. Graham Young:
    Maybe Warwick Parer and Mal Brough both know something we don’t and have made wise choices accordingly.
    No doubt you have done your utmost to keep things going but even superhuman efforts cannot keep the Liberals – nor the Nationals – afloat for much longer. I think the public is heartily fed up with both the rigid overcontrol of parliamentarians and with all the silly purposeless factional brawling.
    There was a possibility of a broad-based alternative to Labor emerging from the ashes of the Howard folly but now even that glimmer of hope has been snuffed out.
    That almost guarantees that the public will keep on voting Labor then take enough interest in party affairs to support one flavour or another within the Labor Party. That would be a situation similar to that of the P.A.P. in Singapore where almost all political action takes place within the P.A.P. – with all the remaining parties [such as they are]left crying in the wilderness.

    Comment by Graham Bell — March 28, 2008 @ 11:16 pm

  3. Dave;
    Mal Brough certainly has leadership qualities [which then makes me wonder why he is still hanging around with a shambles far more interested in personal squabbling than in politics].
    Lawrence Springborg is certainly the most improved politician in Queensland.
    I’m not suggesting they would make an excellent combination – like Nicklin and Hiley – but for a single party. Anything would be better than the present and ongoing dog’s breakfast.

    Comment by Graham Bell — March 30, 2008 @ 9:37 am

  4. I thought that the whole Liberal Party might fall apart once Howard went, but it appears to be more resilient than that. There are plenty of things that the party can do to get on top of the factionalism and get itself back into government. It won’t be a simple process, and I don’t think it will involve the National Party trying to force a new party on the Liberals.
    Without a Liberal amalgamation it is hard to see the “new conservative party” as other than a rebranded Nationals, so it will fail.
    Perhaps the person, or people, who will fashion the next non-Labor party are not prominent in the old non-Labor parties at the moment.

    Comment by Graham Young — March 30, 2008 @ 11:59 am

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