Posts Tagged ‘Turnbull’

The Liberal Party and Principles: FML

June 30, 2009

Janet Albrechtsen writes in today’s Oz:

THERE is nothing more disheartening or dishonourable than a party without principles. In that vein, it is time for the NSW Liberal Party to change its name to something more fitting. The Other Mob will do. Last week, under leader Barry O’Farrell, the party showed it has no commitment to core Liberal Party values.

Not only did it oppose the privatisation of lotteries in NSW, just as it voted against the privatisation of electricity last year. Now it has decided to vote against the publication of school rankings, which has long been part of the Liberal Party platform. It was a weird time to side with the far-left agenda of the Greens and the teachers unions when the Labor Party has finally seen the sense of education reforms long pursued by the federal Liberal Party to empower parents and help students.

O’Farrell has shown that under his leadership, the party’s commitment to Liberal Party values is a sham. As Andrew Clennell reported in The Sydney Morning Herald last week, when Howard was in opposition he supported the sale of the Commonwealth Bank and Qantas because it was part of the Liberal Party’s unwavering economic agenda. But O’Farrell is an altogether different creature, choosing to block the sale of the state’s electricity assets – despite the overwhelming economics – because, as he told new Liberal member Mike Baird, “It’s politics, mate.”

What makes O’Farrell’s move even more incomprehensible is that the election of a Liberal government at thenext state election is almost assured, given the disarray and incompetence of the NSW Labor government. But if O’Farrell is so cocky about winning that he is ready to abandon core Liberal Party principles, then he and his Other Mob do not deserve government.

Can any reader here find even 5 believers in, well, fundamental Liberal principles, in the Parliamentary wing of the NSW Liberal Party?

And in other cheery news, I learn on Pimpin’ for Freedom that the Liberal Party – which according to the party platform at least – is meant to be the party of states rights and federalism because, you know, decentralisation is kinda fundamental to conservative ideology,  is calling for a Federal takeover of the health system. Despite having spent it’s entire history fighting this very very policy. I’m sure Menzies is turning in his grave.

Oh – and – hahaha, get this – Turnbull also “indicated the Coalition would support an amended ETS when parliament returned from the winter recess in August“. The ETS – purely and simply – is an energy tax that will hurt all Australians. It will destroy jobs, destroy industry, and destroy lives. Itwill do nothing to address climate change, and is quite probably the most damaging piece of legislation we have seen in the last 30 years: certainly nothing under Hawke/Keating was this disasterous. And it looks like the Liberals will support it. Yay for the Liberals.

Seriously, FML.

Will Turnbull Betray Us?

February 9, 2009

Just when Turnbull has reinvigorated the Liberal Party’s base, made members think we really do stand for our values again, and generally done a great job, the following story appears. I hope and pray it is not true.

Crikey report:

The Coalition is willing to negotiate with the Government over the stimulus package and its primary concern is the Government’s $12.7b tax bonus handout, Malcolm Turnbull has said.

Turnbull this morning told the Coalition joint party room that while he was happy to take a short-term political hit, he was willing to negotiate with the Government to pass the package. Turnbull initially declared last Wednesday that the Coalition would not support the package at all. On the weekend, Turnbull called on the Prime Minister to negotiate with him.

The Coalition has consistently argued that tax cuts rather than handouts should be used to provide a short-term stimulus. Coalition MPs today debated what would yield the best multiplier effect in terms of stimulus.

However, Turnbull’s position today leaves the Coalition open to supporting the majority of the package — the $28b infrastructure component providing funding for school and housing projects. It comes a day after Newspoll revealed a slump in support for both the Coalition and Turnbull.

The tax-bonus isn’t perfect. It has a LOT of flaws – particularly the payments that go to people who don’t pay taxes. But, at the end of the day, it is returning tax dollars to people who have earned them, and as such, is easily the less odious part of Rudd’s package, and can almost be considered tax cuts. Indeed, these rebates at least let people spend their own money, whereas the alternative is the government spending your money for you. Which is what the so-called “infrastructure” spending is. So if this is true, these tax rebates would be purged, and the spending provisions – exactly the opposite of what we need, and the course of action that that exacerbated the financial crisis when it was tried in Japan etc – will be kept.

I hope, I really hope, that this is all untrue. I still have faith that the party will hold the line. But at times I worry.  I worry for the Liberal Party, but more importantly, I worry that my generation shall become the “indebted generation”.

Let us hopethere is nothing to this and Turnbull sticks to his course of calling for the tax cuts that we desperatly need to stimulate the economy!

Turnbull: Good policies, smart politics.

February 7, 2009

Malcolm Turnbull I feel has very, very cleverly positioned himself as trying to reach bipartisan consensus, and genuinely trying to work together, while Labor just wants to impose its will with no regard for others. Although my viewpoints on ‘bipartisanship’ are well known, it tends to resonate well with the electorate, and Mr. Rudd has completely blundered in his handling of this.

The longer this drags out, and the more people peer into the details of this package, the more damaging it will be for Rudd. By turning attention to future debt and our children, Turnbull has succeeded in framing the issue, and, while a dip in the polls of a few percent in the short term is expected, the longer this goes on the better for Turnbull it shall be.

Other than in the mind of Fairfax Journalists and the ABC, I think Turnbull has seized the initiative on this debate.



Good policies, smart politics.

Turnbull: Credit where Credit is Due

January 30, 2009

It is no secret that I have been rather critical of the performance of the Federal Parliamentary Liberal Party recently. However, credit where credit is due. I have been impressed somewhat with the Malcolm Turnbull in three key ways:

1)Opposing the ridiculously unjustified commercial property bailout saying it should be left to the market to decide. I think that the Liberals have a long way to go in terms of selling opposition to this undeserved, corporate-welfare bailout to labor mates with taxpayer dollars, but this is certainly a good start.

2)Calling for tax cuts:

“Our view is that Australians need encouragement. They’re entitled to get leadership from government that creates incentives to invest, to hire people, to keep employees employed and the one thing that we’ve learned over many years of experience around the world…is that permanent tax cuts provide a greater, longer lasting stimulus than one off payments.”

3)Opposing the ETS. While there is much bad (policy wise) in Turnbull’s plan, it is politically savvy, and anything that delays the ETS is a good thing.

Admittedly, these things should be viewed purely as common sense, and are rather standard Liberal philosophy, but a nice change to hear the Leader espousing them.

In the same way as David Cameron initially positined himself to the left, and then gradually moved to the right – leading to increased polling, I have some hope that this could be the first signs of the Liberal Party returning to its principles. In any event, on the new website the Liberals ask for submissions on how to creat jobs. The answer is quite simple:

1)Cut taxes (see above)
2)Cut regulation (businesses currently burdened with it – a massive cost)
3)Continue opposing ETS
4)Free up the Labor Market
5)Oppose Gillard’s Fair Work Bill – economic modeling shows it could drive unemployment up to 13%.

The Way Forward – A sad lesson from Australia

January 20, 2009

Amidst the aftermath of Obamamessiah’s Coronation Inauguration, with the specter of “change” looming over the United States, the Republican Party has been dominated by much introspective navel-gazing. Politicians and pundits cry out for the party to ‘broaden its base’, modernize, appeal to younger voters. The brand needs to be changed, they cry, not by reverting to traditional conservative beliefs, but rather by a refashioning into something ‘modern’, something ‘appealing’.

In determining the future course of the party, it is instructive to not only view the course that we as a movement have taken in the past, but also how other contemporary political parties have dealt with this challenge. Does this desire to ‘trendify’ equate to political success? I would urge as a cautionary tale that we view with sadness the state of the right in Australia, so we may avoid the pit that they have fallen into.