Preselection wars

Preselection wars

The Victorian Liberal Party’s traditional factional structures creak and bend as an unwieldy insurgency by a combination of the aggrieved, achieved and others mount attacks upon establishment old guard factional alliances.

Preselection challengers across the state are mixing wets and dries, old and young and various ethnicities, much of which is to be decided after the long anticipated State Council, which itself looks to be a bloody war zone led by farcical president Robert Clark and company.

The first preselection for the Eastern Region by the Administrative Committee was for party establishment moderate pick Cathrine Burnett-Wake. Cathrine is so moderate she’s left moderates wondering whether the Liberal Party is now the ALP.

This weekend the crowded Casey field goes head to head. Smart money is on the diminutive strawberry pastoralist Aaron Violi, while those close to the action have commented that the wide gaps in his CV are more than made up for by the wideness of his smile.

To be seriously considered, brainbox Andrew Aston, city slicker Roshena Campbell and Hillsong wannabee Grant Hutchinson. Dr Srivastava is perhaps the most interesting and well qualified candidate, but potentially a communist, having worked for The Guardian.

Major factional wheels have all turned to the Senate preselection with Italian Pentecostal, vice-principal and alleged mafioso associate Emanuele Cicchiello being egged on by Frank Greenstein, Ian Quick and friends to challenge relatively newly minted senator Sarah Henderson.

Lower on the ticket, it is understood that Simon Frost, also equally well known as Josh Frydenberg’s shadow, has made strong inroads with those loyal to the Treasurer and his factional allies Michael Sukkar and Michael Kroger.

However in this factional war no one should ever write off Greg Mirabella, who members have realised is hitting the phones harder than Ted Baillieu to the ABC.

At a state level the Liberal Party is tearing itself apart. Matthew Guy’s demotion and then public sacking of Tim Smith has made the prospect of unity within the Liberal Party seem all but impossible.

Taking back the Liberal Party to a winnable position, prosecuting change and having a stronger voice seems to have vanished.

Matthew Guy’s diminishing popularity in the Liberal Party’s base is because Aussies don’t like those who betray their mates, as it has been widely reported, Tim Smith was Matthew Guy’s best mate in Parliament, drinking buddy and confidante. It takes sheer brutality and the lack of soul to knife your best mate, particularly a best mate who stood by you through thick and thin. While Tim Smith is a drunkard who won’t be driving for 12 months at least he didn’t betray his mate.

David Davis’ nomination in Kew is a tectonic shift of the factional plates. Davis will be well backed by the old gang of moderates, likely Tim Smith allies, and an eclectic alliance of members who are now forming in growing opposition to Josh Frydenberg.

Meanwhile Josh Frydenberg’s candidate Jess Wilson, married to the notorious homophobe Aaron Lane, has been pumped up to be the Victorian Liberal Party’s version of Margaret Thatcher.

Those who know Ms Wilson portray her as a fairly normal young lady being pushed and cajoled into Parliament by ambitious husband Aaron Lane, ambitious father Ron Wilson, and an insecure federal member Josh Frydenberg.

The preselection war masters are sending their factional machinery into overdrive as they try to muster their numbers in each battle. With his hands firmly on the levers, and with that wicked gleam in his eye, Ian Quick can be seen bumbling across the electorates driving his mindless numbers into a hot frenzy.

The hate faction of self-interested individuals somehow continues to keep attacking half the party, which as a whole is now crawling in the wreckage of a series of horrendous decisions. Each new preselection is another battleground worse than the last, leading some members to now hold out hope that a King Arthur will rise and save the party from disaster.

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