This weekend’s truly awful swing against the Libs in NSW reminds us all that as bad as the Liberal politicians are at the federal level, they are close to pathetic at the state level. No core commitment to freedom. Happy to indulge in political correctness with the best of the Laborites. Addicted to being mendicants who live off the Canberra teat rather than say ‘yes’ to income tax powers that would put them in the same league as, well, every single state in the US, every single province in Canada, every Canton in Switzerland, every Lander in Germany – in short everywhere that’s not a state in Australia. No values. No guts. No willingness to appoint like-minded Liberals to big positions if those at the ABC might object. State parties dominated by self-described Liberal ‘moderates’, which to any outside observer looks to be a clear synonym for a Labor-lite adherent. As I said, if you want somehow to appreciate the Federal Liberal party room as a place where you might encounter the odd vertebrate, then you need only to look at the Libs at the state level.
I mean this as a comparative claim, not as some sort of ringing (or even muted) endorsement of Team Turnbull and the federal Liberal Party. You know there’s a problem when Mr Turnbull says he wants the Libs to govern from the ‘sensible centre’ and just about every member of the Party’s base thinks ‘well, that means they’ll have to move a long way to the right to be anywhere near the centre’. Turnbull is a creature of the ABC worldview. He probably does think he’s a centrist – so for him a half-crazy RET policy is centrist; a half-crazy NBN is centrist; only raising a few new taxes, on superannuation and maybe capital gains taxes, is centrist – heaven forbid they might ever summon up the will for any real, meaningful spending cuts, but who am I kidding; having Gillian Triggs around to tea is centrist as is hosting a big dinner for Muslim celebrity representatives during the last election campaign, and a half-hearted and enervated pseudo-attempt to repeal 18C is centrist too. Let’s be honest. Malcolm’s idea of the middle of the political spectrum and mine (and yours?) are a few orders of magnitude different.
All you can say on his behalf is that the state Libs are worse. Remember Ted Baillieu, the former premier of Victoria. Here’s a man who refused to eviscerate that State’s truly awful democracy enervating Charter of Rights, despite all of the review committee MPs from his own party recommending as much. Baillieu preferred to side with the lefties. Frankly, I’d never vote Lib in Victoria until this ‘gut the Charter of Rights or repeal it totally’ comes back on the agenda in that State. Meanwhile, in Western Australia, the Liberal party should have gone to the wall attacking the federal Coalition government for its completely disgraceful GST carve up. You see it is a disgrace and kills all incentives in this country for good State governance. Turnbull and Morrison have the power to change it without going through the Senate. They don’t. And they don’t because the WA Libs didn’t draw a line in the sand and absolutely demand it, or declare they’d campaign against their own federal party. (And by the way, that is precisely what would happen in Canada where provincial premiers and governments have income tax power and put their own province ahead of their national party.)
Anyway, the result for the Libs this past weekend was patently terrible. Only a state Liberal leader could think otherwise. So for the foreseeable future don’t listen to state Libs. Unfortunately, they’ve lost their way, by which I mean they’re even more useless than their Canberra brethren.
Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.