After a great deal of wrangling the proposed merger of the Queensland Liberal and National parties seems to be going ahead. Delegates of both parties today voted overwhelmingly to support the merger; some figures indicate 85% support. The Liberal executive tried to torpedo it yesterday by voting to postpone the vote.
The Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman, Australia's most senior elected Liberal, called on members to defy the decision, and said Liberals should turn up to Saturday's convention. He said, "The Liberal Party members have already indicated strongly through the plebiscite, to the tune of 86 per cent support, that they want a merger."
After a number of politicians from the party indicated they would go ahead with joining the merged entity and outrage from the rank and file a court hearing overturned the decision and the meetings went ahead.
A previous merger was torpedoed by the federal Nationals, resulting in the parties being thrown into turmoil, which was exploited by Labor by calling an early election. The federal Nationals seem to support the idea this time however the Liberals seem to be more reserved towards it.
The two parties worked very successfully as a coalition for a long time but after a Liberal factional dispute this ended with the Liberals deciding to go their own way. The result was that the Nationals won the next election in their own right with the help of a couple of Liberal defectors, and they have never amounted to much in Queensland since.
The previous attempt threw the Labor Party into panic mode as they were becoming extremely unpopular with the electorate and they couldn’t believe their luck when it was called off allowing them to have another three years in power.
They are already on the attack over this one with the state treasurer; Andrew Fraser claiming it is nothing more than a sham. “No amount of champagne or confetti and champagne corks popping can paper over the divisions that lie within the National/Liberal Party and the Liberal Party itself,” Mr. Fraser said.
Mr. Fraser said the fighting within Coalition ranks had shown it was not in the position to be in government. “The Coalition thinks this puts them in a better position (to win government),” he said.
Actually it will, the merger should bury most of the divisions that have plagued the non-socialist side of politics in this state, and with the Labor Party really starting to stink this is the worst news for them since Anna Blyth became their leader.
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