Following the decisive defeat of the Liberal Party at last Saturday’s Australian federal election, Liberal Party “power broker” (whatever that means),Michael Kroger, was quoted in today’s The Australian offering his “solution” to the problems of the Liberal Party.
The Liberal Party of Australia, founded by Robert Menzies during World War II, to fight against Collectivism and to promote individualism, enterprise, and prosperity should, according to Michael Kroger, surrender its founding values, and it should do so quickly – even boldly!
Sir Robert Menzies would be turning in his grave
Former Victorian Liberal Party president Michael Kroger, on Sky News Agenda, on how to rejuvenate conservatives
LET’S not mince words here: we are in the worst position we have ever been in since R.G. Menzies founded the Liberal Party (in 1944). We’re in Opposition in every state and federally.
ShouldMichael Kroger take any responsibility for this abysmal state of affairs? Even a teeny-weeny bit?
He is, after all, a celebratedLiberal Party “power broker.”A mover and shaker. A head-kicker. A man of action. Someone who has this (unofficial, undefined, not-accountable-to-anyone) authority, power, prestigeof some sort within the Party.
The word is: “Don’t ever cross Kroger!”
Robert Menzies would turn in his grave if he saw the position his beloved party is in today, and it needs some quick, decisive, firm action in a whole lot of areas.
“Quick, decisive, firm”is code for: Let Michael Kroger decide.
It means: side-step the Party’s democratic processes, don’t ask the members and supporters. Kroger already knows. He’s made up his mind for you.Resistance – and evenindependent thinking is utterly futile.We, the members, don’t need to do any thinking. What would we know anyway?
In fact “Quick, decisive, firm” is not how a Party, newly in Opposition, should travel.
The LiberalParty needs to be careful, thorough, responsive to its members and to the community.
We do notneed or want a “strong man” solution.
If we treat Party membersin this way,if we let ourselves be treated in this way,it means we’ll treat the public in this way too.
Liberal Party members should NOT allow themselves to be rushed into anything without giving matters due consideration.
The organisational wings around the country need to be reformed immediately, particularly in relation to the branch structure and preselections.
So, what does MichaelKroger suggest must be done with such immediacy?
Work on ways to increase Party membership? No!
Ways to tap the talent of the Party’s members? No!
Ways to get the Party more in touch with the community? Grass-roots growth, involvement? No!
Ways to open up vigorous debate, explore liberal ideas and approaches? Thrash out what we really stand for? No! No! No!
This is not a five or 10-year repair job. You could fix all of the organisational and structural problems of the Liberal Party within 12 months if you had the will to do it.
The “will”? Who’s “will”?
This insults the energy and dedication and intelligence of the members. Of course we have “the will” Michael. But it should be our will, not yours. You are butone member. You have no official position. Yet you want to determine the official structure,rules, and regulationsof the Party that impact on the rest of us.
Yet you remain aloof from the structures you seek to impose on others? Why, Oh Philosopher King, why?
There need to be branch amalgamations.
Wrong. And dumb. Dumber than a donkey. Dumber than dodo. Dumber than a headless hippopotamus.
Is Michael Kroger suggesting that we lost this election because we somehow have too many Branches?
If so, he’s trying to put the blame on the membership, rather than on the candidates and the Administrative Committee of the Party – who in Victoria, at least,are dominated by his faction.
In fact what we need to do isencourage more members and grow more branches – not fewer.
More Branches means more Branch Presidents and Secretaries. More people getting involved and learning the ropes. More people taking responsibility and having the opportunity to contribute energy and ideas.More fund-raising.More avenues through which to get in touch and stay in touch with the Electorate. More families involved. More clubs. More volunteers. A more rewarding experience for more liberal minded Australians.
You need to base the party around state or federal electorates. You need to broaden the base of people voting at preselections.
You need to have, perhaps, a senior committee of senior party people who have the final say over preselection to rubber-stamp the selections.
In other words, reduce the power of members even further.
Entrench greater elitism than the demoralising level which already exists?
Drive the members to even greater indifference and cynicism?
Then watch our membership continue to decline further – year after year, as it has been doing?
You’ve got to stop the petty branch stacking.
And yet Michael Kroger has stacked the Administrative Committee of the Party in Victoria with his people.
But what exactly does Michael Kroger mean by “branch stacking”?
Does he mean enlisting colleagues, friends and family to join your Branch is wrong? I hope not, because that should be the job of all Party members!
If he means that there is something unconstitutional or illegal going on in the Party,we’d alllike to know exactly what that is and how he knows so much about it.
We should amalgamate with the (Nationals).
That’s absurd. It’s impossible and undesirable, anyway.The National Party have a whole different outlook.
What’s to be gained by an amalgamation?
There’s a reason why the National Party exists as a separate Party, Michael. If it ceased to officially exist in its current version, it would merely return again with a different name.
If you want those National Party members to join the Libs, invite them to join the Liberal Party. Win them over by offering a Party they’d prefer to be in. Don’t pull a legal swiftie on them.
Or is Michael Kroger suggesting that our defeat can in some degree be blamed on the National Party? If so, his suggestion is merely a way of destroying the Nats (and/or the Libs!) rather than making the Liberal Party better and stronger.
We should give the federal party some more power, a little bit like the ALP does.
More centralisation ofpower?
Perhaps there are things we can learn from the Australian Labor Party. But, how to be less democratic is surely not one of them!
A LIBERAL Party should be promoting the decentralisation of power in the community, and should be exemplifying that in its own structure and methods.
If we’re a Party which is meant to promote individual enterprise and freedom, let’s show how well that works by applying it to ourselves.
Let’s walk our talk.
We should make it a federalist party, not just individual states.
More centralisation of power.
We need to totally revamp the fundraising within the organisation and we need to give the federal executive some power.
So that fewer decisions are made at the State level?
One neck for one noose? Is that it? That’s your goddamn plan??
This is awful Michael! Bloody awful!
All of it runs completely contrary to what the Party’s Founder, Robert Menzies, intended.
Michael Kroger is hi-jacking and peverting Sir Robert Menzies’ legacy and founding principles.
Here’s a sample of our founding principles. The contrast with what Michael Kroger is offering is stark:
To us, Australia is not eighteen million people to be thought about and ordered about and legislated about as a mere mass.
To us, Australia is eighteen million individuals, the progress of each of whom is a priceless asset to Australia, and the honest contribution of each of whom is the essential foundation of all good community life.
It is therefore to the preserving of the freedom of the citizen, his mind, his body, and his spirit, that Liberalism dedicates itself. Only from genuinely free, progressive, diligent and encouraged individuals can a really powerful nation be built.
Andonly from genuinely free, progressive, diligent and encouraged individuals can a reallysuccessful and respected political party be built.
That’sthe spirit that built this great Party.
Sir Robert Menzies would probably have been too much of a gentleman to tell Michael Kroger whereto stickhis slick dictatorial bullshit masterplan.
But if he were to rise from the grave today, I’ve got a pretty good idea who the author of The Forgotten People would be coming out to bury.
What do you think?