May 12, 2008 | Graham

Liberal President “dishonest” – Vice-President

Liberal Party interim president Gary Spence has been accused of dishonestly misrepresenting the views of members of the party’s state council, of fabrication and flagrant misrepresentation.
One of the mysteries of reports of last Friday’s Liberal Party State Council was that only one person was said to have voted against an amalgamation. The explanation could be that a motion to approve an amalgamation was never put. This appears to be the implication of a letter sent to Spence by Liberal Party Vice-President John Caris.
Caris, who unsuccessfully contested the presidency against Spence at the April State Council meeting, has circulated the letter widely within the Liberal Party. Here is the full text:

Dear Gary
I am writing to you today to express my extreme disappointment and dismay in what I can only describe as the dishonest manner in which you have portrayed through the media, the view of many members of State Council.
At no time at the State Council meeting on the evening of Friday, May 9th did we vote on the merits of the draft proposal you presented for amalgamation with the National Party. Any inference that we approved such an amalgamation is a fabrication and flagrant misrepresentation of mine and many others positions.
Disapproval of your public statements has been expressed to me by several Vice Presidents, FEC Chairmen and members of State Council. I ask you to immediately cease all statements that seek to misrepresent our position in this matter.

This episode shows the clear dangers of the extreme secretiveness under which the Liberal Party has been governing itself. If you expel anyone caught talking to the press, and use the resulting information monopoly to spread disinformation, sooner or later the pressure that builds up will be released explosively, and you’ll get more publicity than you could ever have dreamed of.
That’s what’s happening here. National Party members should be starting to ask themselves why they would want to buy into this mess. And Liberal members should be asking themselves just how Gary Spence got foisted onto them.
It’s not too late for both to rectify the situation. The Nats can withdraw, and the Liberals can elect Mal Brough as their new president at their convention later this month.
Brough risked expulsion to go on radio this afternoon to call the Liberal Party to order.
Whenever I talk to city types about an amalgamated party they’re in favour. Then I ask them about Mal Brough as Liberal Party President, and they are wildly enthusiastic. Of course the two are mutually exclusive propositions.
As has been noted by a number of bloggers, including Andrew Bartlett, Lawrence Springborg claims to be the future of Queensland. But in the public mind the person in the non-Labor parties who the public recognise has the most to offer the future, is Mal Brough. If the Liberal Party could settle down under Brough, and the Coalition just settle down, the election after next, Labor might really have something to worry about.
If they keep going the way they are, then their future will never arrive, and my children will never ever see a non-Labor government in Queensland again.

Posted by Graham at 11:15 pm | Comments (3) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. What Caris has said is accurate however I would blame more the media than Spence in the misrepresentation. The text of the passed motion was quite clear.

    Comment by Doug — May 13, 2008 @ 1:26 pm

  2. Graham – I accept your diagnosis of the problems they have towards the end of the post, but are you sure that Mal Brough is the answer. What makes you so confident that the public want him in charge – he did get tipped out of Longman, after all…

    Comment by Jason — May 13, 2008 @ 1:52 pm

  3. Jason, losing a seat when the swing is against you like it was is no shame. I suspect that without Mal as the member it wouldn’t have looked as safe in the first place. I find a lot of support for Mal amongst Liberal voters, partly because of the stand he took on Aboriginal intervention.
    It’s dangerous to put too much weight on one person, and I don’t think that he is the Messiah. But I do think he can bring sufficient capital to the task to make a difference, and more capital than anyone else available.

    Comment by Graham Young — May 13, 2008 @ 4:10 pm

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