Blood on the floor
Blood is on the floor and seeping into the Yarra river after a long afternoon of the Victorian Liberal Party’s Senate preselection.
Political backstabbing and factional herding were all on display in Jeff’s Shed with Hate Faction operatives turning on one of their own.
While the outcome of the voting is no surprise to political pundits, the wheeling and turns that led to these strange events that placed Greg Mirabella as the last man standing is something else. Greg now sits in the number three position for the Victorian Liberal’s Senate team at the upcoming Federal election.
Popular Victorian Senator Sarah Henderson was handsomely re-elected with local pundits suggesting the numbers in the room were 2 to 1 against suburban principal and alleged Mafioso Emanuele Cicchiello, leaving him figuratively at the bottom of the Yarra.
For the learned Liberals in attendance the outcome was expected, but the game playing of factional double deals that decided the outcome on number three has been a sorry tale.
Cicchiello’s backers included Caulfield cake king Frank Greenstein, Karina Okotel, Grant Hutchinson, Keith Wolahan, Jenny Mulholland, Steve Holland and allegedly La Trobe member Jason Wood. This new factional alignment worked for two weeks to betray Greg Mirabella by trying to make a deal with Frost to back Cicchiello against Greg in the last round for the number three spot.
Their dirty play did not work, and inadvertently they sliced themselves open with the unsanitary knife.
With about 25% of the eligible voters not turning up due to disillusionment, vaccination status and being barred by the Secretariat, about 306 voters were present to participate in the preselection.
Ranjana Srivastava was the first to be discarded, possibly due to her rumoured links to disgraced former Liberal Julia Banks. Ranjana spoke well about “health”, “education” and “democracy” which would make her a credible ALP candidate. She was eliminated with just 65 votes, one less than Manny.
With Manny getting a nervous 66, Mirabella 77 and Frost already a hard 107, it was the moment of truth. Manny did not have the numbers, and the betrayal was now floating down the Yarra.
What does this say about the governing faction of the Liberal Party? Their vote split between Manny and Mirabella, the showdown would come. Who would be eliminated next?
Manny only got 88 while Mirabella exposed his chest armour with 97. Frost’s numbers crept forward to 129.
After Admin gerrymandered the rules and all the twists and turns of an Agatha Christie novel, it came down to a Mirabella victory despite being backstabbed by Hate Faction operators. Greg got 165 while Frost froze up at 141.
A lacklustre Robert Clark presided over the political bloodbath trying to distract the war weary attendees, while Ian Quick did his best Steve Jobs impression to no avail.
“Quick and company will be licking their wounds tonight,” said one senior Liberal. “Mirabella’s win has shown how destructive the current factionalism is at present.”
“I feel really story for Simon,” said another elderly supporter. “He put so much effort in and he’s tried to do the right thing for our party. I don’t know where we go from here.”
“If you are going to backstab someone, for heaven’s sake, don’t fail,” explained another respected Liberal. “Mirabella is going to come after them like a roaring bull – and rightly so.”