May 30, 2008 | Graham

A constitution that makes some sense

I’m still ploughing through the proposed Liberal National constitution, and I’m not sure that the National Party know what they’re letting themselves in for. A number of the features that make the Liberals prone to branch stacking are present, albeit as variations of the way they appear in the Liberal Party’s constitution.
So it’s interesting to look at the changes proposed to the NSW Liberal Party constitution, reported in the SMH.
The most important one is probably proportional representation. That’s a proposal that I advanced as a solution to some of the Queensland Liberal Party’s problems years ago.
The NSW Liberals are taking the hard decisions, and as a result may well return to government at the next election. The Queensland Liberals and Nationals are involved in a rushed marriage which suits particular power brokers, but it will bring them no closer to winning the next election, or probably the one after that as well, because the new arrangements are designed to sustain the power of those who have brought the parties to their current state of disarray.

Posted by Graham at 7:36 am | Comments (3) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. So what gems have you found so far? Can you elaborate with a few examples?

    Comment by Joe — May 30, 2008 @ 9:38 am

  2. My reading of the draft constitution suggest it would not benefit branch stackers or produce factions. I too would like the ambit gambit to elaborate.

    Comment by Lionheart — May 30, 2008 @ 12:12 pm

  3. Lionheart, I’d be interested to know how you could draft a constitution that wouldn’t produce factions or branch stackers.
    As for features that encourage this. One is the plebiscite for preselections. Another is that you can be a member of a branch in one area but vote in preselections in another as long as you are on the roll in the area where the plebiscite is being held. The gerrymander in the SEC representation at State Council. There’s plenty of encouragement in all of this to keep numbers down in particular SECs to help sitting members while propping-up other SECs so that they can send delegates to State Convention.
    Added to this the management structure is so loose that branches, SECs and FECs only have to meet twice a year leading to power migrating to the centre, where the state director gets to decide who is or isn’t eligible to vote in most meetings of the party.
    And furthermore, anyone who criticises anything about the party to the media, on or off the record, presumably even members of parliament, is liable to expulsion, so how will the rorts be exposed?

    Comment by Graham Young — May 30, 2008 @ 1:52 pm

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