Why Australia Still Needs Malcolm


The real and non-identified reason why Malcolm Turnbull is no longer prime minister is because he would not hold a referendum on local government recognition in the constitution.  For the Liberal Party’s August 2018 plotters the priority was to ensure that there is a prime minister who will hold such a referendum so that the phasing out of states can be undertaken. 

Should local government constitutional recognition occur then states will not be immediately or quickly abolished.  Nevertheless, the narrative of a future Shorten ALP federal government will be (should there be local government constitutional recognition) the phasing out of states as their functions will be progressively ceded to a new regional tier of government which is integrally linked to Canberra.  For eventually, state responsibilities and associated institutions in education, law enforcement and the justice system will be ultimately subsumed into a future unitary structure. 

Perhaps a direct appeal should be made to Prime Minister Scott Morrison not to hold a referendum on local government recognition.  However, such an appeal would alas, be in vain.  Prime Minister Morrison and his deputy Josh Frydenberg were installed in their leadership positions to hold such a referendum so that the floodgates could be opened to ensure that states are eventually abolished. 

While Malcolm Turnbull has named the conspirators against him (and in the process raised the suspicion that Scott Morrison was neither a passive participant nor a totally loyal team player) he has not yet identified the underlying cause of the leadership coup against him- the eventually phasing out of Australian states.  The dividend as to why the August 2018 plotters (such as Tony Abbott, Peter Dutton and Greg Hunt) instigated the leadership change was to engineer the eventual abolition of Australian states to help establish regional bailiwicks which they erroneously believe will enhance their personal political power. 

                                                                                                                Back to the Future?  Will the Liberal Party go the way of the UAP? 


However, the onset of regionalisation will be the death knell of the Liberal Party.  Indeed, the Liberal Party faces the prospect of experiencing the political disintegration which its predecessor the United Australia Party (UAP) experienced between 1943 and 1944 if regionalisation becomes a reality.  The reasons as to how and why the UAP split into a bewildering array of state based micro- parties have never been adequately explained.  Nevertheless, this destructive process was halted and reversed at the instigation of Robert Menzies when conferences were held in Canberra and Albury respectively in October and December 1944 to found the contemporary Liberal Party. 

The prospect of the Liberal Party emulating the UAP by disintegrating into a myriad of micro-parties is a plausible one because these new parties will have a resource base under a future regionalised regime.  Already the signs are there with the establishment of Senator Cori Bernandi’s Australian Conservatives, Clive Palmer’s new UAP and Bob Katter’s Australia Party. 

It is therefore no stretch of the imagination to envisage that the Kennett faction of the Liberal Party in Victoria will go its own way as a new party as might two of the three factions which currently constitute the New South Wales branch of the Liberal Party.   It also goes without saying that the Moderate and Conservative factions of the South Australian division of the Liberal Party will split with the only question being which faction will keep the ‘Liberal Party’ name.

There is also scope that should regionalisation ensue that local government campaign groups will win office of new regional councils.  Already left of centre campaign groups have won elections in the federal seats of Indi and Wentworth and this approach can be emulated in elections to new regional tiers of government in accordance with a pattern which is not necessarily beneficial to centre right parties. 

The ALP by contrast will probably remain united under a future regional regime.  This will be because the discipline of conglomerate industry unions which currently underpin the Labor Party will continue.  Nevertheless, it is also not difficult to envisage the Greens establishing new power bases to link up with the Socialist Left (SL) of the ALP at a regional level to eventually squeeze out Labor Party moderates.  Furthermore, as bleak as the above canvassed scenarios are, there is still scope for the resource hungry People’s Republic of China* (PRC) to exercise influence and power at decentralized context over such a new regional tier of government. 

(*This wariness of Sino power is not directed against the Chinese people but rather the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). 

                                                                                                                                          The Threat of Regionalization


The most expedient action would be to directly to appeal to Prime Minister Morrison and Treasurer Frydenberg not to hold a referendum on local government recognition or to rescind the referendum proposal which was introduced during the last days of the Gillard government in 2013.  However to expect the Morrison/Frydenberg government not to proceed with such a referendum is an exercise in wishful thinking because these two leaders owe their positions to the premise that they will allow such a referendum to proceed.

This constitutional recognition local government referendum will probably be held to coincide with the next federal election to be held in May 2019 so that genuine pro-state rights groups will have insufficient time to organise an effective ‘no’ campaign.  To further complicate matters, the pro-Abbott Samuel Griffith Society is positioning to undertake a deliberately flawed ‘no’ campaign. 

Also increasing the prospect that the ‘yes’ campaign on local government recognition will succeed a referendum question on indigenous recognition will also probably be held so that voters will have a positive mindset to vote ‘yes’ on the question of constitutional local government recognition.  Furthermore, with probable bi-partisan support from Bill Shorten the outcome of a future referendum will alas be favourable to constitutional local government recognition. 

Another possible outcome will be that that the Morrison government will be voted out at the next federal election because the transaction cost of removing Malcolm Turnbull has been too high.  If the coalition lose the 2019 election the federal Liberals will probably elect Josh Frydenberg as their next leader.  Alas, due to the impending onset of regionalisation that the Liberal Party will inevitably balkanize so that Josh Frydenberg will never become prime minister. 

Why the Liberal Party Still Needs Malcolm

The only prospect that Scott Morrison and Josh Frydenberg have of winning the 2019 federal election is for them to reach an accommodation with Malcolm Turnbull.  The November Victorian 2018 state election demonstrated that a multitude of once stalwart Liberal Party voters are prepared to vote in favour of the ALP out of a sense of sentimental commitment to Malcolm Turnbull due to their disgust concerning his deposition.  

The Morrison/Frydenberg leadership team could avoid this electoral rout which awaits them by arriving at a political deal with Malcolm Turnbull by arranging for this now former prime minister to run for premier of New South Wales in that state’s March 2019 general election. 

For such a scenario to be viable it will first be necessary for Malcolm Turnbull to be agreeable to it.  Furthermore, and very importantly, current New South Wales Premier Gladys Belejiklian (who is already campaigning to win the 2019 state election) would have to agree to step aside in favour of Malcolm Turnbull.  An arrangement could be agreed to whereby Malcolm Turnbull is designated New South Wales Liberal leader similar to the way in which then Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman was successfully designated Liberal National Party (LNP) candidate going into the 2012 Queensland state *election.

(* Advocating a Newman succession model does not necessarily mean supporting a New South Wales Turnbull government emulating the Newman government’s harsh neo-liberal economic policies). 

Malcolm Turnbull in contrast to the previously deposed prime ministers - Kevin Rudd, Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott- now commands massive electoral support as illustrated in the aforementioned November 2018 Victorian state election.  To have voters in the once ultra-safe Liberal state seat of Hawthorn elect an ALP candidate should be a wake-up call to the coalition to seek a political rapprochement with Malcolm Turnbull. 

There probably is now sufficient support for Malcolm Turnbull to re-establish a socially liberal political party similar to the now virtually extinct deregistered Australian Democrats.  However, while such a Turnbull led new socially liberal party may be electorally viable such a new party would inevitably lead to a splitting of the non-ALP vote to the ultimate benefit of Bill Shorten. 

As a social democratic operation, Social Action Australia is inherently orientated toward the election of ALP federal and state governments.  However due to the threat posed by Australia transitioning to a regionalised regime the election of ALP governments in New South Wales and at a Commonwealth level is currently too much of a threat to the genuine national interest.  Consequently it would be best if Malcolm Turnbull remained within the Liberal Party ‘tent’ with the Morrison/Frydenberg leadership team (regardless of any possible complicity on their part with regard to engineering the August 2018 leadership coup). 

The political leverage that Malcolm Turnbull now has with the Australian electorate is so astounding that it is now incumbent upon the Liberals for the future survival to reconcile with him.  Malcolm Turnbull could use his political clout to ensure that the proposal to constitutionally recognise local government is either abrogated or does not proceed at the May 2019 federal election.  At the very least if the Morrison/Frydenberg leadership team were to still tragically proceed to hold a local government recognition referendum in 2019 then Malcolm Turnbull will hopefully publicly campaign for a ‘no’ vote in order to safeguard the continued viability of Australian states.