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The Forum > Article Comments > Labor isn’t the only party in need of reform > Comments

Labor isn’t the only party in need of reform : Comments

By Chris Bowen, published 22/7/2005

Chris Bowen argues the Liberal Party of Australia may be in power but it is also in need of reform.

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The reason people don't discuss the Liberal Party is they are often a dull lot - Kennett being a rare exception.

Who would rather have a dinner party with - Whitlam, Keating, Hawke, Richardson, Mick Young - or Fraser, Menzies, Howard, Costello, et al.

At least you get pissed in the Labor party, even if the internal warring is a bit drab.

Another thing - despite only being in Government for a quarter of last century - the face of Australian Government is heavily shaped by the legacy of Labor - more so than the Liberal legacy - which is what? Home ownership - very exciting that one.
Posted by Corin McCarthy, Friday, 22 July 2005 8:02:23 PM
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The critical question for our Liberal Party is what is meant by good policy these days? Does it mean total loyalty to the US as regards the Iraqi conflict, or should our Prime Minister be talking more as an equal or even somewhat more an adviser to the American President?

There has been some talk lately that George W Bush has been acting somewhat like Richard Nixon, and there is a possiblity that the Carl Rove case could have the White House really in trouble and a possible impeachment case.

Some of the worst crashes in democratic governments in modern history, have happened to right-wing parties elected by a big majority similar to the Nixon situation as well as George W Bush and John Howard.

At this stage regarding the global tension made worse by the long-drawn out aftermath of the unlawful attack on Iraq, and only held at bay by America’s super military power, we could predict a rather scary scenario, as well as worrying time for our Liberal government

What if the Iraqi Shia’s, though having a majority, but worried about the Kurds and Sunnis, begin to look to Iran, and Russia already showing interest in helping Iran with nuclear engineering might stand with Iran. There is also a possibility that China and India might side with Russia, mainly to prevent a major war.

Also considering those in the White House behind George Bush - Carl Rove and Paul Wolfowitz and Jewish neo-cons who have already somewhat foolishly talked about an American New World Order tied in with a Project for an American Century, should leave even Australian Liberals feeling a little unsure. At the same talk there had also been discussion about regime change for Iraq, even well before 9/11.

We should pray and hope that the Liberal Party has discussed all these things. and if it proves that they have not, and put too much trust in those resident in the White House, then the Liberal Party needs reform right now in a critical part of its rulership, Foreign Policy and Foreign Affairs
Posted by bushbred, Saturday, 23 July 2005 11:02:53 PM
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I too would think that members of the Liberal party should begin to cast a very discerning eye over what is occurring in the US, as so many of Australia’s policies (particularly our foreign policies) are now becoming a copy of the policies of the present US administration.

The following is a brief description of the general policies of the neocons:-

1.They agree with Trotsky on permanent revolution, violent as well as intellectual.
2. They are for redrawing the map of the Middle East and are willing to use force to do so.
3. They believe in preemptive war to achieve desired ends.
4. They accept the notion that the ends justify the means—that hard-ball politics is a moral necessity.
5. They express no opposition to the welfare state.
6. They are not bashful about an American empire; instead they strongly endorse it.
7. They believe lying is necessary for the state to survive.
8. They believe a powerful federal government is a benefit.
9. They believe pertinent facts about how a society should be run should be held by the elite and withheld from those who do not have the courage to deal with it.
10. They believe neutrality in foreign affairs is ill-advised.
11. They hold Leo Strauss in high esteem.
12. They believe imperialism, if progressive in nature, is appropriate.
13. Using American might to force American ideals on others is acceptable. Force should not be limited to the defense of our country.
14. 9-11 resulted from the lack of foreign entanglements, not from too many.
15. They dislike and despise libertarians (therefore, the same applies to all strict constitutionalists.)
16. They endorse attacks on civil liberties, such as those found in the Patriot Act, as being necessary.
17. They unconditionally support Israel and have a close alliance with the Likud party.

Are the above true. Well I haven’t found them not to be.
Posted by Timkins, Sunday, 24 July 2005 12:45:49 AM
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agree with your post - do you think the Petrov Georgiou's of the libs will be casting a discerning eye over their party's ideologies? I certainly hope so.

I too, am aware of the Project for the New American Century. It is imperialism at its worst, the libs as lead by Howards lackeys would appear to be swallowing this doctrine. I too have attempted to bring about greater public awareness of this Project by writing and by radio discussion. Yet no one seems all that interested or alarmed. Certainly not the Labor Party.

Chris Bowen are you reading this?
Posted by Trinity, Sunday, 24 July 2005 10:34:23 AM
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Although there is room for change in any organisation, there's a good reason why the Coalition has been in power for the past 9 years. It's simply because of the talent (both front-bench and back-bench) within the Liberal Party.

And in terms of who the Liberals have chosen for the front-bench, sure there may be some who don't fare so well and perhaps shouldn't be there, but I really think Australia is blessed to have people like Tony Abbott, Peter Costello, Julie Bishop, Joe Hockey, Phillip Ruddock, Brendan Nelson etc on the front-bench. Those who think we don't have enough talent should take a look at these MPs backgrounds - they are talented people, to say the least and often have broad experience (just look at the Member for Greenway, Louise Markus MP or Dr Andrew Southcott MP, Member for Boothby or any number of other Coalition MPs)

Furthermore, Chris should take a hard look at the ALP in terms of its front-bench strategy, if one could call it that! The minute that a new Senator is appointed, he puts her on the front-bench! (SA Senator, Annette Hurley). And furthermore, if Chris took a look at the backgrounds of most ALP back and front-benchers he would get a huge shock as to how many of them graduated from unions who have never had experience in business or the community and instead, worked to pull down businesses!

Furthermore, if he thinks the Liberal Party is bad in regard to factions, I would recommend he examine Beazley's front-bench for the myriad of factional 'warriors' who litter his lineup.

I guess, like I said earlier, there are always things that could be done better, yet I think that, to be fair, the ALP is much worse for factionalism and hanging on to dead wood (consider Carmen Lawrence) also.

So in sum, yes there might be a few problems in the Liberal Party, but I'm sure there are bigger problems in the ALP!
Posted by Dinhaan, Sunday, 24 July 2005 2:36:02 PM
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