May 27, 2008 | Graham

My footnote in history

I’ve only just started to plough through the proposed Liberal National Party constitution, but there is already one remarkable thing about it. It bans a very small number of us from membership of the new party.
Under the definitions “Member” is defined as:

Member means a financial Member of the Party and includes any person who was a financial member of the Liberal Party of Australia (Queensland Division) or the National Party of Australian (sic) (Queensland) as at 27 July 2008 but does not include any person who prior to 26 July 2008 had been declined membership of or expelled or suspended from membership of the Liberal Party of Asutralia (Queensland Division) or the National party of Australian (sic) (Queensland)

This very small category arguably includes me, as well as Clive Palmer, the billionaire who is a main driver behind the amalgamation push. He was expelled from the Liberal Party back in the 70s, while they think they expelled me just the other day.
It is a curious provision, because later the document provides that people expelled for campaigning against the party can re-apply for membership after 3 years (Clause D.9) and while it disbars people from membership convicted of an electoral offence, they can re-apply for membership after 10 years (Clause D.15).
Only those of us who have been expelled, or purported to have been expelled, prior to the amalgamation are disbarred from ever being members of the new entity.
I must have really upset some people. Who drafted this definition?

Posted by Graham at 10:35 pm | Comments (9) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. Graham:
    That’s hilarious.
    There is a crying need to purge the new party of all the congenital idiots and other assorted boofheads who made both the Liberals and the Nationals either detested or ridiculed – and some of the nong-nongs consistently did both.
    If the new party is going to have any usefulness and electroral success, it has to purge itself of :
    [1]. the NECROMANCERS. Sorry chaps and chapesses, neither Sir Robert Menzies nor Sir Johannes Bjelke-Petersen are going to walk among us again this side of Judgement Day.
    [2]. the HATERS. All the Aussie-bashers, all the union-bashers, all the boong-bashers. If they hurry, they’ll be able to catch a lift with Dr Who who is taking his “Tardis” back to the 19th Century right now. Think of all the fun they can have there: no popery, women firmly in their place, free cholera and typhus, none of this equality-before-the-law rubbish either.
    [3]. the BRAWLERS. Those who imagine that filling a colleague’s back with cutlery is a fine substitute for presenting vote-winning policies; the ones who know nothing but taking an adversarial stand on anything and everything. Don’t you think the public might be well and truly fed up with their unproductive grating tantrums?
    [4]. the IDIOTS. The erosion makers, those too thick-and-stupid to make some provision for drought and for market collapse, the ones who think their family background and/or their “creative accountancy” entitles them to suck on the public tit forever and a day.
    A thorough-going purge is sorely needed.
    Now what was this inconsequential matter you mentioned of spoilt kiddies expelling people from parties?
    Didn’t their daddies tell them that if they kept on doing that sort of thing they would get hairs on the palms of their hands? “10 years” – what a load of nonsense!
    How can they have the cheek to call themselves a “new” party when they allow that sort of silliness to happen? 🙂

    Comment by Graham Bell — May 27, 2008 @ 11:44 pm

  2. Why do you want to stay with this mob? Come and join the LDP.

    Comment by John Humphreys — May 27, 2008 @ 11:48 pm

  3. Good luck with your party John. It’s just been pointed out to me that there are a few other Liberals affected by this definition, including Margaret Krause who was suspended. I’m not sure whether they’ve allowed Marion Ferris back in, but if she’s still suspended when this comes into effect she’ll be a victim too.
    Of course, there are people who were expelled years ago, but I can’t see Keith Livingstone, for =rexample, wanting to be part of this new organisation.

    Comment by Graham Young — May 28, 2008 @ 10:02 am

  4. Graham – you should think about the ALP – all they demand is that you aren’t a member of any “communist or fascist organisation”. The Pineapples seem to want to exclude people who have been involved in their own predecessors.
    But seriously, yeah, you’ve really upset someone. Care to nominate some suspects? 😉

    Comment by Jason — May 28, 2008 @ 12:54 pm

  5. Well it was the same people who drafted the constitution of course! Obviously, the provision is intended to cover the anomaly that may arise if the parties merge and then banned members try to join the new party.
    Cannot an organisation ban members and decide who is entitled to join its ranks. This is a private body.
    On the merger date if successful there will be a mass migration of the two parties’ memberships to the new entity so certain kinds of members must be precluded from that automatic migration.
    There is nothing preventing a fresh application for membership.
    It largely seems to be a rehash of the old Liberal Constitution.

    Comment by Doug — May 28, 2008 @ 4:04 pm

  6. Of course they can decide to ban people, but to embody a condition in the definitions section which means that someone who has been expelled or suspended at the date of amalgamation can never be a member, when you give more lenient treatment to people who are expelled or suspended by the new entity is odd, to say the least!

    Comment by Graham Young — May 28, 2008 @ 4:40 pm

  7. Graham Young and Doug:
    This looks even sillier than it did at first glance.
    You have a group of people supposedly trying to form a “new[??]” organization to work – and perhaps even succeed – in the rough-&-tumble hurly-burly world of politics …. but the first thing they do is cripple the new organization by excluding the sort of people who worried enough about the false directions the old parties were taking that they spoke up – and for that, they were expelled or suspended or “sent to Coventry” by the numb-nuts in the old parties who toddled off in those same false directions; that is, by the very people who made a new party so necessary.
    Sorry …. it is so hard to type in a throroughly elegant comment and roar laughing at the same time.
    So this is the “new[??]” party that is hell bent on becoming the Eternal Opposition, is it? Yeah, right. L+O+L. 😀

    Comment by Graham Bell — May 28, 2008 @ 11:47 pm

  8. Graham, the new constitution was written by people who can’t write (there’s a greengrocer’s apostrophe among other year-6 level errors), but some of the criticism (including yours)is being made by people who can’t read. The definition of “member” clearly spells out who will automatically *become * members on formation of the Party. This is reinforced by rule W.6 in the transitional provisions. There is nothing that I could find to say that someone who has been expelled is permanently ineligible – compare the rules in D.9 (d) and D.15 which impose fixed terms of excommunication – you just do not become a foundation member of the new party. You are free to apply to join under rule D.1 (though why you would want to is beyond me) – your problem is that under D.4 the Commissariat can refuse you without reason. You *are* stuffed, but not for the reason that you thought. Some of the other whinges that I’ve been reading reveal a similar inability to comprehend plain (although clumsy) English – but I can’t really be bothered explaining any longer. Learn to read, learn to write, “Liberals”!

    Comment by Jack Aranda — May 31, 2008 @ 8:42 pm

  9. Jack, it may well be clumsy drafting, but I can read a bit better than you obviously can. If a member is defined as having certain qualifications, then you can’t be a member if you don’t have them. By definition I’m excluded because I don’t meet the qualifications set-out in the definition. W.6 reiterates the position, but it doesn’t modify it. You’ll need to find a better reason to sneer at this “liberal”.

    Comment by Graham Young — May 31, 2008 @ 9:44 pm

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