Jul 242008

Mal Brough now claims he doesn’t want the Presidency of a merged conservative political party in Queensland, despite previously claiming that he did. He denies planning to undermine the merger between Nats and Libs in Queensland, despite calling a meeting of senior party members at Trinity Lane this evening to further discuss this weekends planned joint party convention and formalising of the merger proposal this coming Sunday. It appears Brough is promoting the view of the Federal party, despite the Federal arm of the party having already stated that what Queensland does is up to Queensland.

High drama at it’s very Queensland best, to be sure. So much for Brough leaving the political limelight after his resounding defeat in his Federal seat last November. It’s crystal clear that Brough has no intention of becoming an also-ran. He knows very well that claiming to not want the merged party Presidency leaves the Liberal side with an unwanted, unsavoury option in former president, Gary Spence, which means unless another Liberal option exists, the Presidency is likely to go to Nationals President, Bruce McIver. But … Federal Liberal Party President Alan Stockdale has made it known that the Federal party wants a Liberal to head the newly merged entity. I find this ‘demand’ startlingly arrogant, not to mention out of place, given the Liberal side of the Queensland coalition is outnumbered 17 to 8 in the Queensland Parliament. Party membership numbers aside, it’s the political front which surely holds the numbers and the political front which represents the party to the people. Voters don’t give a cubic root about who’s who in the backroom zoo. Members might, but members don’t elect governments.

Mal Brough is clearly out to disrupt the creation of a viable non-Labor political option, on the grounds of personal ambition which looks as though it’s still rooted in the Federal sphere. He’s certainly holding the Federal party flag high.

It is to be hoped that as Lawrence Springborg believes, the merger process has too much momentum to be stymied at the eleventh hour. We’ll know after Sunday.

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