Has Robert Clark personally breached the Party Constitution?
Robert Clark’s practice at law and legislation has never been remarkable in the positive sense. Recent actions by Robert Clark appear to be a very serious breach of the Liberal Party’s constitution which is remarkable in the negative sense.
According to the Liberal Party’s constitution 11.16 (c), “No candidate for election to a position specified”, for example, a State President, “shall … circularise delegates with any material intended to promote his or her candidacy.”
Reports are that delegates across the Liberal Party did indeed receive a circularised email on 26/6/21 from Robert Clark in which he specifically highlighted numerous matters around State Council and then identified his role there.
The obvious intention of the material and in circularising it to all members is to promote his candidacy. This can be shown on a prima facie basis numerous ways.
- The content of the material is designed to highlight Mr Clark’s role as President as it directly states this. This a breach.
- The context of the material is designed to highlight and to promote Mr Clark’s role in the future as a President. This a breach.
- The audience of the material are delegates that Mr Clark would, in the democratic process, seek to influence at State Council. This a breach.
- The layout, format, style and design of the material is consistent with what a candidate would produce if they were intending to communicate their candidacy. This a breach.
Further, Mr Clark appears to also have breached 11.16 (c) of the constitution, where it prohibits a candidate to “retain the services of any professional consultant”. In this case, his material has been “authorised by S. McQuestin” who, by virtue of Mr Clark being Mr McQuestin’s employer, provided the paid and professional services as exemplified in the email’s layout, typesetting, content, mailing and IT support.
What makes this matter worse is that Mr Clark’s only recourse is to himself. If (A) the authorised person investigates the breaches (11.3 of the constitution), it is S. McQuestin, who is ultimately appointed by Mr Clark to the role of State Director. And if (B) the interpretation of the constitution is questioned, on the words “circularise delegates with any material intended to promote his or her candidacy” particularly the word “intended”, the interpretation of the constitution falls back to Mr Clark, which according to 27.2, “The Administrative Committee shall … determine all questions relating to the meaning and effect of the Constitution.” Admin is presided over by — once again — Robert Clark.
What party members are observing is not only a set of serious breaches, but an abuse of protocol, propriety and flagrant disregard of the spirit of the law.
As has been noted in previous months, the Admin Committee and Mr Clark have behaved as power hungry tyrants bent on seeking to change the rules of the Liberal Party to suit themselves, reinterpreting rules and issuing dictates far beyond their remit. They have sought to change standing orders and multiplied the rules around all bodies in the party. They further intend to radically shake up the Women’s Council with its constituent sections and rewrite the very constitution that has served this great party for so long.
Yet further, if Mr Clark wishes to address the Party on the subject of, matters relating to and even in regards to the processes of his candidacy, why will he not afford the same or an equal opportunity to other candidates? Mr Clark does not believe in the Australian values of a fair go and a free market. He wants to be immune from the cut and thrust of politics while actively campaigning.
By all rights, Mr Clark should be censured and forced to withdraw his nomination. However, considering the desperate nature of his position and weakness of his personality, it is likely that he will not only continue to breach but will actively seek to respond to issues around his intended communications to the party devised to promote his illegal grab for the presidency. (Mr Clark is obviously a student of left wing US presidential politics.)
Members should therefore should not vote for Mr Clark as to do so would be to plunge the Liberal Party into a dark age, reward illegal activities, reject the rule of law and ultimately destroy the very values of the Liberal Party.
The time is coming very quickly when those who backed the inset of rot and illiberalism will find themselves in the worst place because of it. We have agreed to common rules because we are supposed to be a decent and civilised society and an organisation which upholds merits, lawfulness and propriety.
Under Mr Clark’s rule we are seeing the demise of the soul and future of the once great Liberal Party.