Francis Vierboom's Blog

A blog about things. Mostly news, ideas, and Sydney

Who’s in for the Malcontents?

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Who would join the party? As Bernard Keane points out, “The biggest problem would be perceptions that the party was entirely a vehicle for Turnbull’s ego and fury at his former party. He would need to recruit substantial figures to provide a counterweight to the image of it being all about Malcolm.”

There are a few obvious contenders: John Hewson and Meg Lees, who tried to start the Australian Progressive Alliance a few years back.

The presumption is that Malcolm would tap his business contacts, but based on the barely contained excitement of the blogging and twittering classes about a new liberal democratic party, I can imagine another base where Malcolm might look for recruits: journalists! Who knows, maybe he could recruit some high-profile folk from the ABC or SBS – I suspect at least one or two of Tony Jones, Mark Colvin (the voice of PM), Anton Enis or Mary Kostakidis would run with Mal. Assuming that Mal sticks to Wentworth, which is probably the best opportunity of all, a journo could run against Tanya or Anthony in Sydney or Grayndler?  Pick up the ‘indie-but-sensible-uni-student’ and ‘affluent-but-progressive-with-toddlers’ vote? Could cause a major rift in the currently united-behind-the-Greens inner west pub scene. Then again, everyone likes Tanya and Anthony. Could the new party get a run in – dare I say it – North Sydney?

And even if the new party doesn’t quite make the highly unlikely move of trying to take lower house seats, the next senate could be a good place to hold two or three seats. And if it’s a double dissolution, with the whole senate up for grabs, a smaller quota of votes is required to take a seat – much better opportunities for minor parties to get off the ground. There is a reasonably plausible scenario where, following the election, Labor will be very close to an outright majority but still needing two or three more votes, which would leave them with a choice of crossbench parties to negotiate with. Do a deal with the Malcontents or the Greens? Delicious.

Written by Francis

November 30, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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