September 18, 2008 | Graham

LNP parcel passed to Malcolm Turnbull

What exactly is the new Liberal National Party? While according to the Queensland Parliament’s website it exists, some of its members are acting as though the merger had never happened and the National and Liberal parties still exist, at least at a federal level, in Queensland.
Barnaby Joyce, whose slogan, according to Fran Kelly, is “differentiate or disappear”, because if the National Party doesn’t offer something different to the Liberal Party he believes they will just disappear, has just become Senate Leader of the National Party.
Not bad for someone who belongs to a party that is a division of the federal Liberal Party. (Or at least will be when it is actually approved). What’s more, while the Liberal National Party’s constitution has an arcane provision where a member can be a member of another political party, if the new party means anything, the National Party has failed to differentiate itself from the Liberal Party in Queensland and has therefore ceased to exist.
And if Joyce succeeds in convincing his colleagues to work against the Liberal Party, where does that leave the LNP? Should it take disciplinary action against him? Or is it really just a sham creature, designed at great expense, to take a few wrinkles out of Queensland state politics, but leaving its federal politicians at leisure to behave as though they were members of separate parties.
The Federal Council of the Liberal Party has to sign-off on this new party to make it legal. While it would not look good in the run-up to a Queensland state election to act as spoilers by knocking the proposal back, it could look equally silly in the run-up to a federal election if it doesn’t.
Brendan Nelson didn’t handle the merger in Queensland well, but the bomb is still alive for his successor Malcolm Turnbull to handle.

Posted by Graham at 4:53 pm | Comments (3) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. Ah Graham, still pushing your Queensland Liberal factional agenda. The LNP is the Queensland Division of the Liberals and the Queensland affiliate of the Nationals. The CLP has functioned for decades and the LNP will also do so.

    Comment by George — September 18, 2008 @ 10:44 pm

  2. Apparently, the only people who take the pineapple party seriously are the Qld Libs. It doesn’t make sense to anyone else that the WA Nats could do what they’ve just done, but Barnaby Joyce has to be part of a merged party in the Senate. You can’t reasonably expect anyone to be happy about a Qld technicality dictating how the whole country should run.

    Comment by Lyn — September 19, 2008 @ 7:12 am

  3. Lyn, I don’t think that the LNP take themselves all that seriously. They still all talk about Liberals and Nationals. It’s almost as though Coles and Woolworths decided to combine their back office operations to save money, but still traded separately.
    I gather the Liberal Party Federal Council is this weekend, and that there will be an attempt made to get them to defer approving the new party indefinitely,25197,24368845-2702,00.html.

    Comment by Graham Young — September 19, 2008 @ 11:50 am

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