THREE weeks after WA’s radical Liberals were butchered at the ballot box, NSW Environment Minister Matt Kean has called for the Party to shift even further Left.
The WA Liberals, who now hold just two of the State’s 59 parliamentary seats, had attempted to outgreen The Greens, calling for net-zero carbon emissions a full 20 years earlier than Labor.
In the electoral massacre that resulted, Party leader Zac Kirkup was booted from parliament and his Party was reduced to independent status. The Nationals, not the Liberals, are now WA’s official State opposition with four seats.
Regardless, the NSW Energy & Environment Minister told The Australian newspaper this week that he was right to drag the Liberal Party to the Left.
“We cannot allow the Liberal base to become a very narrow section of the community,” Mr Kean told The Australian’s Kylar Loussikian.
“You cannot deny the fact that large sections of our base no longer feel represented by the Party, which is why they rejected Liberal-thinking candidates in seats like Warringah, Indi and Mayo.”
Mr Kean has a reputation for ambushing his own Party and publicly inflicting damage to centre-Right colleagues.
One Party member told The Australian he had “poor form”. Another said he was “just not f..king normal”.
A third described him as a disaster waiting to happen – the Liberal Party’s very own Kevin Rudd.
“He’s our Kevin Rudd if Kevin Rudd ran a faction … totally obsessed by the media.”
Just last year Prime Minister Scott Morrison gave Mr Kean a public dressing down over his “science is settled” stance on climate policy.
In a TV interview, the PM said Mr Kean “didn’t know what he was talking about, that he was an unknown in [federal] cabinet and that he didn’t have a clue what was going on”.
The Prime Minister even gave Mr Kean public instruction on how to do his job.
“I think Matt should focus on [fire] hazard reduction, I’ll focus on emissions reduction,” he said.
The 40-something-year-old Mr Kean has been involved in politics since he was a teenager.
He has since risen to become a senior player in NSW’s ultra-Left “moderate” faction, which has a sordid history of manipulating Party preselections to advance Left-wing politicians and policy.
Constitutional academic Prof David Flint said on Friday that political leadership had been diminished as a result of “compromised” preselections.
“The political Parties have been taken over. They were once mass Parties. The Labor Party was a mass Party, the Liberal Party was a mass Party and they were run by the members of the Party and their supporters,” Prof Flint told Sky News anchor Cory Bernardi.
“That’s still the case in relation to the Republican Party in the United States,” he said.
“Preselections, as we would call them, are decided by registered supporters. That’s how Donald Trump got in.”
Prof Flint said the political system in Australia had been completely compromised.
“The Parties have been taken over so that most preselections are not based on merit – forget about sex, they’re not even based on merit,” he said.
“Those preselections are run on the basis of loyalty by the candidate to a particular powerbroker.
“We are getting people into politics who don’t have the public’s interest, which they should have in order to go into politics. And they certainly don’t have the experience.
“We are seeing people go into politics who have no life experience. Look at the background of just about everybody on the National Cabinet.”
He said most of them had been politicians – or in the political preparation period – all of their lives.
“Very few have had very real jobs,” he said.PC