Concerned Liberals 7
Dear Liberal Party member,
The Quick-Clark faction has quietly released a draft series of amendments to the Victorian Liberal Party’s constitution that are planned to be rammed through the Sunday afternoon session of State Council.
These amendments will radically shift the culture of our Party, drastically change the way our Party works and ultimately penalise the voices of members new and old. While some changes are seemingly innocuous, the devil is in the detail, as the new rules set up a dangerously biased regime with additional layers of bureaucracy enforcing heavy-handed punishments.
We call on members to not be taken in by the seeming need for these new levels of bureaucratic rules and regulations, as these motions seek to centralise power and further entrench the incumbency of the Quick-Clark faction.
This ominous document vindicates our concerns, as we have all along known it was Mr Quick’s agenda to radically shake up the constitution, entrench his power and influence in the Party for a generation to come. This attempt to centralise control and increase Mr Quick’s factional power to suspend and expel members must be exposed and forcibly countered.
Proposals about meeting and voting arrangements are the pretext for these changes. However, the Administrative Committee already has the ability to determine all manner of engagement, so hiding behind constitutional processes to justify not holding State Council for two and a half years is a dishonest attempt to offer retrospective respectability to the unconstitutional actions of the present leadership. Eminent QC Wendy Harris’ advice on this matter has already been widely circulated to Party members.
The suggestion for biennial meetings is not new. This issue was brought up by former Party President Michael Kroger in 2016, though at that time Ian Quick sought to reject it, but now that he has his hands on the reins, he wishes to reintroduce it in order to entrench his power. Mr Quick is the last person who should hold power since he demonstrates his malicious intentions in prosecuting his political enemies in the Party while covering up the breaches of his factional allies.
Centralising processes around membership applications – of who can join the Party or not – is to be approved only by Mr Quick’s specially selected central body that will be immediately corrupted by factional nepotism.
Centralising the decision-making process along with increasing barriers of entry and dismissing people without involving local electorates is only going to further erode membership and members’ grassroots involvement in the Party.
Mr Quick most disturbingly proposes that anyone who leaves the Party cannot re-join for five years. If someone goes overseas, forgets to renew, suffers personal hardship or leaves for a variety of other extenuating circumstances they are effectively blocked.
This is a factionally-motivated membership-killing scheme that no political party in the world has ever considered.
This Admin Committee wishes to lower the bar for disciplinary action within the Party. In a few innocent words, the Quick-Clark faction want to codify the Party Secretariat’s focus onto members’ behaviour. They are obsessed with making more tools to punish members.
Ian Quick’s plan to discipline members is more complicated and complex than the entire system of recruiting, vetting and managing candidates in elections. The cost of imposing this scheme would be tens of thousands of dollars and hundreds of thousands of hours of work. Mr Quick is effectively planning to bog down the Party in legal warfare.
The job of the Party leadership is to bring together members behind a policy platform, fundraise and win elections. Nothing is more revealing of the Quick-Clark failure than their draconian attempt to implement a punishment and trial system of mindboggling proportions upon our hardworking volunteers.
Ian Quick wants to rule women. Even though the Women’s Council was set up at the Party’s formation by Elizabeth Couchman and Sir Robert Menzies, and has had a long tradition of independence, there are proposals to completely alter the nature of this time honoured institution. We feel our founders would be aghast!
This Administrative Committee wants to accelerate their plan of disciplining, suspending and expelling members. They wish to construct a monstrous apparatus called a Conduct Tribunal which is designed to remove Mr Quick’s factional opposition.
The Concerned Liberals call on Mr Owen Guest, who (we hear) spent so much time and effort turning up uninvited to various AGMs, to heed the growing numbers of alarmed members and vote firmly against this Quick-Clark overreach. We appeal to Mr Anthony Mitchell to temper this serious perversion of democracy and abuse of power. This proposed constitutional insanity must be stopped.
Stand with those being unfairly persecuted by this current regime. We call on loyal members of the Party to provide safe harbour to these good people now under attack. Have them at your meetings. Listen to what they have to say. Support our Federal MPs as they encourage members to seriously withstand this “shambolic” “tyranny”.
Our committee encourages your Branches to discuss these matters, and to reinforce our commitment in upholding our Federal representatives. We are an informal group of Liberals who value good governance and accountability. We were formed in response to concerns arising from the management of our Party. Most of our members have been involved in the Party for decades.
Party members have shared your contact details with us, and if you wish to be removed from our lists, please let us know. If you did not wish to receive our correspondence, we apologise for including you. We have chosen not to publish our names as the Party’s current Administration has declared communications such as Concerned Liberals are punishable by expulsion. We believe that if he could, Mr Quick would go to the extreme of summoning us all to his star chamber.
Together, we must ensure that the Admin Committee act in the best interests of our Federal MPs and all of us as the membership base. Join with our movement to return to democracy.
Yours in Liberal fellowship,
Concerned Liberals Committee
P.S. find our previous newsletters at realfreedomnews.com