With Cory Bernardi looking to launch the Australian Conservatives Party, the Masked Liberal rides again to explain why the idea will work.
Over the long weekend, Cory Bernardi put on his big boy strides and stated that he would be spearheading a new political party – one that would magnify the voices of the “silent majority” of Australian Conservatives.
While some may scoff, and have, as the man himself is seen a marginalised character in accepted media, the idea has merit. And Bernardi’s purported party would in actuality have legs, jumping the chasm between Turnbull’s Liberals and the rest.
For many on the right-hand side, myself included, Malcolm Turnbull is seen as uber-left. The spill of last September was not viewed as a victory for the country (the removal of Abbott), rather a spear through the heart of the Liberal Party. The broader feeling is that Turnbull is merely riding the accomplishments of Abbott, and thusly, Tony could win this election, whereas Malcolm cannot.
The silent majority, as Bernardi (and Nixon) said, is bang on. A relative of mine, blessed with a propensity to tell-it-like-it-is, informed me over the weekend that he would vote for the “OzCons” in a snap, but as for this election, he would be voting for Labor. Scandal. Stunningly, he is a career Liberal voter of 50 odd years, but he would be crossing the floor because he’d prefer the Australia that Labor would provide, primarily because of the cause and effect of last September.
The populist, albeit muted anger toward the “progressives” should not be underestimated. As general stereotype dictates, the Right has a smaller public platform than the Left (re: Q&A, University demonstrations etc), but that doesn’t mean that it does not exist. The fear of a Shorten-engineered Whitlam-era return to a union-based power system versus the continued selling out via the Coalition’s lurch to the Left. Those citizens left marginalised by those two options, will be the core voters for the Australian Conservatives.
The “contrary view” is that the pendulum swings both ways, and while there may be vast derision from the far left, who claim that Australia is already too far out of balance, the same goes for those who see it swinging too far the opposite way.
During discussions from my Leftist allies (including my roommate who, unbeknownst to him, pays half the rent of the Masked Liberal’s lair) it was claimed that this announcement was the Americanisation of Australian Politics – or in his words “The arrival of Donald, dressed as Cory.” I disagree; the OzCons would not tip the balance of the seesaw; rather, it would balance both sides.
The OzCons would be a counter-point to the Greens.
Insofar as those MP’s who’d forgo re-election under Turnbull for Bernardi’s OzCon’s, it’s hard to surmise the exact who at this early stage of conception. But the populist support make it a zero-sum equation.
The conservative fringe is thicker than you think; it hangs below the eyes of the voting public, blinding the assumptions of those who dismiss the Conservatives as a pile of disorganised xenophobes and churlish baby boomers – detractors who see only what they choose to see, and not the wave that is yet to break over the calm political banks of Canberra.
Hyperbole, perhaps. But what rang true for Peter Finch in 1976 certainly rings true today, especially to those who feel the party they represent, no longer represents them.