May 15, 2008 | Graham

Flegg labels McArdle plan undemocratic

Queensland Shadow Treasurer Bruce Flegg weighed into the merger debated this morning sending this letter out to members of the Liberal Party. This is a significant split in the parliamentary party, and an indication of just how fraught attempts to railroad Liberal Party members into the amalgamation deal could be. This amalgamation proposal could create three parties rather than just one, with a rump National and Liberal Party continuing in existence.
Here is the letter. If you’re a Liberal Party member and not on Flegg’s distribution list you will have a special interest in reading it.

Yesterday a letter from the Leader and the Deputy Leader of the parliamentary wing of the Liberal Party was circulated to Party members.
This letter called on State Council to yet again postpone the Party’s convention.
Firstly, I want to make it plain that, despite being a member of the parliamentary team, I was not consulted about the decision to write the letter nor was I even informed that it had been circulated, being left to find out from Party members who had received it.
Secondly and most importantly, the Liberal Party is a Party of principle and a long held principle of this Party is the separation between the elected members of the parliamentary wing and the organisation of the Party.
This latest attempt by some members of the parliamentary wing to manipulate Party members and the organisation is wrong and flouts very important traditions of our Party.
Members were denied their annual opportunity to choose their organisational leadership with the cancellation of the 2007 convention altogether.
The proposition being put that convention should again be cancelled from the set date and moved to a later date, would again rob Party members of one of their most important rights and obligations. The Party is at an important turning point and the membership is being denied the choice of leadership they believe would be best to move that process forward.
It is even more vital at such a critical juncture in the Party that the membership is given their constitutional right to choose the best organisational face and the best leadership in their eyes. Members should have a say about who they believe will act in the best interest of the party and the best interest of Queenslanders.
I do not believe that right should be taken from them yet again.
Over recent days despite events within the party that I find very disturbing, I have refrained from public and media comment. I have concentrated on very big issues in my electorate of Moggill and my portfolio of Shadow Treasury.
I only write on this occasion reluctantly because I feel duty bound to correct the misleading impression created by the letter circulated by the party leadership that somehow the party room or the members of the party endorse their action. I do not.
The issue raised about potential costs of attending a subsequent State constitutional convention is spurious at best. Proper process sometimes has a cost.
In my view state councillors should consider the principles of this Party and its constitution and the rights of membership to choose at a convention. Members have a right to choose the best leadership in their view to take this matter forward. To do otherwise and deny them that right for the second time would, in my view, be a great breach of faith. One of State Council’s most important roles is to protect the rights of members under the constitution.
I am disappointed that I found it necessary to write under these circumstances but the party and its integrity are important to me and I felt compelled to write.

Posted by Graham at 10:57 am | Comments (2) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. Old-fashioned guy. I hear people usually do this kind of thing on blogs nowadays 😉

    Comment by Jason — May 15, 2008 @ 11:58 am

  2. Bruce Flegg was probably the worst State leader the Liberals have ever had and that is saying something. Publicly breaking ranks with the other elected members reaks of sour graps. This is an organisation matter now and the paid staff should butt out. Peope with some understanding of practice politics should come forward. Where is Bob Tucker? Now he is a professional.

    Comment by Sam Tecon — May 18, 2008 @ 9:29 pm

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