January 17, 2009 | Graham

NSW National Party may trial primaries

It’s about time, but one of the major Australian political parties looks like it might trial primaries to select their candidates, like the parties do in the US. According to The Australian the NSW National Party may tentatively introduce the system:

The idea was agreed to at a secret meeting on Thursday between state parliamentary leader Andrew Stoner, party chairman Christine Ferguson and state director Ben Franklin, following a lengthy written analysis about the viability of such a scheme by the party’s head office.
The proposed primary trial would be open to all voters in one state electorate about 12 months ahead of the 2011 NSW election. The seats likely to be considered for the trial are Dubbo, Tamworth and Port Macquarie.

It’s about time that someone did, as Michael Lee and I explained here 8 years ago.
Yes, the primary system has downsides – you’ll need access to money to win one – but look at the candidates we’re throwing up at the moment from all sides. All political parties are struggling in all states to point to one incumbent who has the potential to credibily succeed to the leadership should the current leader fall under a bus.
In a way the Liberal Party has already experimented with the primary process, and with some success.
Malcolm Turnbull turned the pre-selection that he won for Wentworth into as close to a primary as we have seen in this country, and just as well. Peter King the incumbent was capable and a decent guy, but he wouldn’t be the current leader of the Liberal Party, and without Turnbull, it is hard to see who would be.

Posted by Graham at 2:51 pm | Comments Off on NSW National Party may trial primaries |
Filed under: Australian Politics

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