The Federal–State divide
The conflict is widening between recalcitrant State Liberals and the pragmatic Federal Liberals over COVID-19.
Prime Minister Morrison and the Federal Ministers are firmly moving towards opening up Australia with the view that COVID-19 will spread through the population and dissipate. This view is also held by Matthew Guy and many Victorian Liberals who are not in the Ian Quick faction.
Over the past two years there have been increasing criticisms that the COVID-19 lockdowns have been used as a mechanism for control rather than a common sense view about the relative mildness of the virus.
Initially there were concerns of widespread deaths, but it has become clear that COVID-19 is not significantly more deadly than viral pneumonia or influenza.
The creation of a sense of panic to a pandemic, states of emergency and disaster, surveillance tracking and other martial implementations have indicated how far people like China-friendly Daniel Andrews are willing to go to impose their power and control.
It is well known within the Liberal Party that both Michael O’Brien and Robert Clark fully support the lockdown and related impositions including the economic and social destruction.
Ian Quick has consistently insisted that State Council and normal Liberal Party activities cannot function as lockdown powers supersede democracy. Likewise, Michael O’Brien has sought to keep himself in his role using the same arguments. They also align on the political spectrum closer with the Daniel Andrews’ view of the world, which explains the lack of opposition by the Opposition.
Now that a portion of Australians, including the Federal leaders, are moving towards the common sense view, it has created a conflict over the State-based usurping of power, which now plays out within the current ruling faction within the Liberal Party.
Understandably this conflict is drawing in the wider party membership, with vaccine-questioners and anti-lockdown supporters also turning on Ian Quick, Michael O’Brien and Jan Millard.
Every action, vote, preselection and activity in the Victorian Liberal Party is being increasingly coloured by this Federal–State divide, with Ian Quick’s faction suffering attrition while party members galvanise around sensible Federal and some hold-out State representatives.
While admittedly within the past two years some Liberal Party members have not been wholeheartedly enthusiastic about the Prime Minister’s capitulation to the Centre-Left on COVID-19, his move toward opening up Australia as opposed to the anti-freedom and self-serving views of Ian Quick and Michael O’Brien have made the choice clear as far as the future of both the Liberal Party and the society that Australians aspire to.
The current usurping of power by the States as opposed to the Australian Constitution, as well as the current insurrection in the Liberal Party as led by Ian Quick and increasingly puppet-like figurehead Robert Clark must come to an end.