“Unelectable” Liberals seek to dump questionable MP


“Unelectable” Liberals seek to dump questionable MP

BY P. S.

Rank and file conservative Liberals want the party to dump an incumbent upper house MP in the key Western Metro seat, with multiple senior party officials saying his activities within the party room and online make him unelectable.

Erratic MP Bernie Finn has been chosen and protected by the inner party bureaucracy and has held his Western suburbs seat for many years, currently holding his position in a sea of red.

But ordinary and conservative Liberals believe the sitting member’s erratic behaviours and alleged conservatism has grown into a liability and some members were surprised when it was revealed that complaints have been made by former staffers about Mr Finn’s unwanted advances.

In late 2021, members also raised questions about the bullying and boorish behaviour of Mr Finn’s partner Cathy.

Questions have also been raised in the media about Mr Finn’s behaviour, with Parliamentary Leader Matthew Guy being forced to openly discipline Mr Finn on a number of occasions.

A few members found Mr Finn’s comments about Daniel Andrews, the police and Joe Biden’s election “extraordinary”, and indicated that Mr Finn was an erratic user of social media.

Further, in light of Mr Finn’s support of Michael O’Brien and collusion with certain members of the party’s administrative committee, it seems Mr Finn is also complicit with the deliberate recruiting of environmentalists and other radical non-Liberals into the party.

“It’s time the Admin Committee comes clean – what do they know about the left wing infiltration of the party, and what are they doing about it?” a well connected party member asked.

A senior Liberal Party official, Ian Quick, who enjoys leaking to The Age while claiming he is prohibited from speaking publicly under party rules, has not had an ill word to say about Bernie Finn, his views or his erratic behaviour online which others say make him “unelectable” and are antithetical to the rest of the party’s desire to align with Matthew Guy and are unbecoming of standards of ethical behaviour from MPs.

“The ALP has been silent for now but will wait until Mr Finn’s preselection is confirmed by Ian Quick, before they run a local media campaign against Mr Finn,” a senior party figure said.

“He has the potential to derail the State campaign.”

Thankfully, there is a push across the party to remove Mr Finn and despite Ian Quick’s wishes, it is hoped that Mr Finn will not be formally endorsed by the party. A number of members of the administration committee will seek to facilitate putting the brakes on Mr Finn’s re-endorsement in coming weeks.

Bernie Finn is a factional ally of former party machine man Scott Ryan. Their party grouping dominated the party from about 2006 to 2015 and again from 2018 using the party’s internal bureaucratic processes to keep in place complicit figures such as Bernie Finn.

Bernie Finn has been named repeatedly in the media as requiring discipline by Matthew Guy while Mr Finn’s behaviours have been scrutinised by contributors to a Liberal Party news networking website.

It is hoped that the party’s candidate-vetting committee will press Mr Finn on his pattern of behaviours. There is a strong view that Mr Finn should be challenged and that Mr Finn must step down.

The Liberal Party faces an enormous challenge to win the Victorian election in November. Polling is said to indicate that the Liberals have made little ground against “Dictator Dan” due to a variety of internal issues.

Given that there is a push for female and non-misogynistic candidates, party leaders and members would be keen to see Mr Finn replaced by anyone, especially someone who can better connect with the Western suburbs.

As reported in the media, the Victorian branch has been mired in factional infighting for years. Mr Finn was part of a subversive group working against Michael Kroger and Matthew Guy in 2018, which group are responsible for exacerbating the party’s 2018 election loss.

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