No guts or glory at the coffee club
This article shows that reforming the Liberal Party requires strength, determination and vision that is currently lacking in that organisation. The NSW Libs now have no chance of holding their ground in the 2009/10 Federal election, let alone advancing their position. They will not win the 2011 State election either. I would have liked to see not only Iemma Labor out but also Barry O'Farrell as Premier - no chance of either now.
Selig, Vanzella and Webster should have held their ground and fought tooth and nail on the floor of State Council. A narrow win would have seen them covered in glory - a narrow loss would still have been creditable, even noble. Resigning the week before the ballot, leaving your supporters having stuck their necks out for nothing and abandoning them to the inevitable pogrom, is despicable.
Rhondda Vanzella is pretty much responsible for bringing Brendan Nelson into the Liberal Party. It was she who decided that Nelson should take on a sitting Liberal MP in her electorate on Sydney's north shore. It was she who did Nelson's numbers when he decided to run for Bradfield in earnest. She worked on Nelson's staff and smoothed over the ructions within the party from those who regarded Nelson as an interloper. She kept him going and kept him sweet with Howard during his time on the back bench. When (If?) Nelson looks at internal Liberal Party matters, he does so through the prism Vanzella has built for him. What little clout she has is now gone - so next time Nelson is called upon to step into some internal party ruckus, know that the little bastard is on his own. This is like Ainslie Gotto abandoning Gorton, it's politically fatal.
Say what you like about the "Pineapple Party" - at least the Queenslanders are having a go.
One senior Right source said they would have turned the branches into no more than "coffee clubs".
Coming from the sort of person who stacks out branches and then suspends all further meetings in order to exercise voting rights that the activity of the branch does not warrant, this is rich. Branches have always been coffee clubs, social units by which the party sustains itself between elections. A stacked branch is like a cancerous cell that endangers the host organism.
The Liberal Party is a machine for winning federal, state and local government elections. It should have a centralised membership database comprised of individuals who pay their own memberships, and be organised around federal and state electorates as well as local government areas. A reorganisation along those lines focuses party activity on winning seats, and because it lacks that focus the Liberal Party is a waste of time, effort and money.
Mr Selig will be replaced in the interim by either Scot Macdonald or Nick Campbell, both of whom are from the hard Right ... Senior factional sources said Mr Selig's style was the main reason the reforms were going to fail.
They said he failed to consult or listen but instead adopted a "my way or the highway approach" which alienated and angered people.
Yeah, like Campbell and Macdonald will be all cuddly and inclusive. Access to "sources" is all very well, but you've got to think about what you're writing.
The NSW Libs will vote against the pain of oncology and seek to turn a major party into a minor one, like Fred Nile's outfit or Fielding First. Selig and Webster have joined the ranks of empty vessels not worthy of the praise and promise that justified supporting them and their (admittedly imperfect) ideas. Not only will any future attempts at reforming the NSW Liberals be that much more difficult, but it will fairly be assumed that anyone proposing reforms will go to water and abandon those prepared to swap comfort in loserville for a realistic shot at government.