I’ve been feeling less and less able to to support the Liberal Party for some time. I’ve reached the point where I find I cannot, in all conscience, remain a member.
I was particularly disappointed in Joe Hockey’s attack on the Prime Minister over Christmas. That sort of thing just isn’t necessary in a civilised country.
Then we had the “lovely” Andrew Laming’s recent behaviour, which, as far as I know, has gone without chastisement from his leader.
The Liberal Party’s hypocrisy over the Slipper affair just stunned me.
I can’t support this party with Tony Abbott as leader and clearly I must be the only member who believes he is not Prime Minister material, because no-one else is speaking out!
The Ranjini case is one where the Liberals seem to be awfully silent and they shouldn’t be. Overall, the LNP policies on asylum seekers are not something I can or will support.
An ex-member of the Liberals once called me a LINO – Liberal In Name Only. That person resigned for very similar reasons to mine. I WANT to see the LNP reinvigorated but one person, without a lot of time for meetings anyway, can’t change it and I see little drive within the party to bring about changes. I can’t support it as it is!
Malcolm Fraser, Liberal Prime Minister from 1975 to 1983, resigned from the Liberal Party in 2009 saying, “the party was no longer a liberal party but a conservative party.” I agree: looks, feels and sounds more like the American GOP every day. Mirabella, if you are quoted correctly speaking about Malcolm Fraser, you should hang your head in shame.
Now, I know I have a fair few ALP supporters among my readers. I can see them rubbing their hands with glee as many have said they can’t understand why or how I am a Liberal anyway. They see a conversion looming.
Sorry to disappoint you, guys and gals. Firstly, it is the ALP in power that put us through the trauma that lead to the existence of this website! It is the ALP keeping Ranjini in detention. It is the ALP sending children to Nauru.
I will admit generally the ALP politicians behave in a much more mature manner than their LNP counterparts. MOST of the ALP supporters tend to avoid the rabid, red neck, attack the man style nonsense that I see from LNP supporters way too often. Mind you, lately I’ve seen similar from some ALP supporters. It is what it is.
When I sought assistance from my local representative, an ALP member of parliament, I was ignored.
Yet on Twitter, ALP MPs will actually engage while I don’t think I’ve heard a peep out of a LNP politician!
I’m not here to dissect the behaviour of every MP or the policies of either party. I’d have to write a book to do that and I already have three in the pipeline. I’m simply writing how I feel as an average voter.
If I don’t like the behaviour, I’m not going to be interested in the policies, because the behaviour indicates childishness. Who wants children running the country? I really haven’t seen any LNP policies to consider yet anyway!
I used to say I believed in the fundamental principle of the LNP, individual freedoms, but those seem to not be part of the platform any more! They want to interfere in every aspect of life way too much!
The Greens? Some of their policies I do agree with and I admire that they stick to their guns. However, I do think the Greens can be a little impractical at times.
So, what to do? I’d like to take a bit from each of the three major parties and create what I believe USED to be the old Liberal Party. Yes, all right, you ALP peeps, you will shout me down I know. But you get my drift, don’t you? Yes, you do. 😛
I don’t have the money to start a new party. Some new party asked me to join the other day until I pointed out I was married to an asylum seeker and they ran away very quickly! 😆
I’ll be a swinging voter for a while – IF I vote at all! Derek Macpherson recently wrote (in a comment on this site) that if our politicians aren’t careful, there will be yet another hung parliament as that is the people protesting about the quality of their politicians. He may very well be right. Problem is, if we don’t vote, we get the politicians other people voted for!
Put the country first would be a good motto for some politicians to think about adopting.
Oh, come on – 775 words is more than enough on this topic. You can rip each other to shreds in the comments – go for it!
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As a centre left voter who is disappointed with ALP, sceptical about the Greens and disgusted by Mr Abbott’s leadership team, I’m heartened by your decision. How on earth will the Libs ever get back to the centre?
I have NO idea Stephen. It is VERY worrying for the future of this country.
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My 2 cents from immigrant point of view. Howard government had lot of right wing and even close to racist rhetoric to appease some of its conservative base, however in reality it was promoting capitalist internationalism. Under Howard highest numbers of immigrants were accepted to Australia and treated fairly. Parents in countries like Pakistan, Bangladesh,Sri-Lanka etc knew that if they can save enough money to pay for one semester and visa costs they can send their kids to study in Oz, and here they can work to pay for the rest of education and become residents upon graduation. Australian humanitarian intake remained stable above 12K a year, half of which was taken form UNHCR most desperate relocation list.
Green supported Labor government tries to present itself as humanitarian and egalitarian, effectively it’s national socialist government. They cracked down on foreign students and temporary workers, to protect local labor. They introduced discriminatory laws against immigrants, something Wayne Swan likes to describe as “so far we managed to increase revenue without affecting majority of Australians”. Recent huge increase in spouse visa fees, and change in depended spouse tax offset is a good sample, although it doesn’t explicitly mention it but primarily affects immigrants, as intended. They didn’t do anything to increase humanitarian intake quotas, or improve processing times, contrary even legal immigrants have to wait much longer now, yet they demolished working prevention system, without offering anything in its place.
Now young people in poor countries know that, way to Australia is not through hard work and study, its much easier to come over on boat and claim asylum. Conditions in detention centres are often better than what students have to live through, and it’s free with guaranteed residency and all social benefits at the end!
Now Australia cuts it humanitarian help to desperate people in Asia and Africa, to divert resource to boat life style immigrants, who think that because their suns can’t play heavy metal music in Iran (letter sent from Manus island), their whole family has to be treated specially by Australia.
This goverment claims environmental awareness, yet under their watch local efficient modern iron mills were closed down, while rapidly increasing Australian ore and coal production is shipped thousands of miles away to be processed on low cost/quality Chinese mills. I guess they think CO2 released there goes to the different atmosphere.
With one of the lowest population/resources ratio and highest tax rates in the world, amidst mining boom this government managed unthinkable – years in a row of budget deficit. To amusement of international monetary organizations, who can’t stop praising Aust fiscal policies and downplay importance of deficit. Just as they did with Greece, Spain etc before. (deficit = loan money)
In place of disappearing real economy jobs, this government created bubbles of social services economy, universities with more admin staff and academicians, inefficient health care etc etc
List can go on and on, its easier to say very few things this government did rite.
It will be extremely unfair if LNP wins next election and forced to clean up all this mess, under ALP criticism. ALP must win next election, and be forced to one by one reverse almost every policy they introduced with so much fanfare, just like it already started to happen.
The only party whose rhetoric matches actions is Greens – both are equally delusional.
Asef, I know you feel strongly about asylum seekers arriving by boat but I don’t agree that most are economically motivated. Some are, there is no doubt.
I admire your desire to be involved in the discussion, Asef.
I am not going to respond to each point in your comment at this point, but I do want to thank you for your contribution. I am sure readers of this article will approeciate a different perspective. 🙂
Take another look at the Greens’ policies, http://greens.org.au/policies. You might find that you agree with them more than you realise. I don’t think that a vote for the Greens is a waste. In this parliament the Greens encouraged a reluctant PM Gillard to act on what Kevin Rudd has called the great moral challenge of our time.
Although I do agree with their social policies, what has attracted me to the party is it’s democratic structure. The Green’s policies are as voted by their members.
I will have a look, Di. I did have a look once before. I agree re the democratic structure.
I am socially liberal and fiscally conservative really. The two are not mutually exclusive, despite what some may say. I care about our environment. So as I said – I need a party that is a smattering of all three!
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They’re not a liberal party. They’re conservatives. Not the same thing at all. If they cannot even be truthful with their party’s name, why should they be believed on anything else?
That is exactly what Malcolm Fraser said in 2009. I was always proud of the fact our conservative side of politics was not like the USA GOP.
Now they are like a carbon copy!
Although I am a political animal and have worked on many elections I do not belong to a party or believe that a two party system provides the best democracy. Like you I am disappointed in both parties right now. I vote and work, not for a party but for a local member, and sometimes on issues. I admire most of the Independents in our current parliament and think they are doing a good job.
Some really interesting comments on this article and yours is one of them. Politics seems to have changed so much from the “old days” or maybe I was too young to pay attention. It seems very different to me. We used to go the Young Liberals and none of it was the personal as it is today.
Maybe it is related to the same conditions wrecking our planet!
Hi Robyn ~ I am enjoying looking through your site and sharing your experiences.
I am a little disillusioned with both political parties but will almost certainly vote Labor at the 2013 Federal election. The alternative is too horrible for all the reasons you have mentioned an more.
On serious reflection I feel that Julia Gillard has had to balance many competing influences within her own party and sometimes has made policy decisions simply to maintain the Government in power. I disagree with Asylum Seeker policy, the back down on pokie reform, and the most recent changes to supporting parent benefit policies. Normally, I would not vote for anyone who acted so,
However, I know that it would be far worse under Abbott and the Liberals. I really dislike sections of the Labor Party as well, especially the NSW right. Sometimes awful people get involved in political parties, unions and the like – conservative and progressive.
Sometimes in the past I’ve voted Green because they offered a better policy position but I knew also that they would not get in so in a sense my vote was ‘wasted’.. Well, not wasted but I guess you know what I mean.
I’d like my vote to count and it will if I am really thoughtful about it and allocate preferences accordingly.
Best wishes 🙂
Kate, I think there are more and more people backing away from the concept of voting for the local rep of a party (as I believe we all have done for years) and instead REALLY scrutinizing the people standing in our electorate and voting on that basis.
If we do that, we stand a chance of getting a better class of representative overall. I think there is too much of the parties deciding which mate they want to put in which safe electorate on the basis that will get that person over the line and into the House of Reps or where ever.
Back to grass roots, local assessment may well be the way to go.
Reached the same conclusion in late 1990s / early 2000s. Howard & NSW right wing took the Party so far away from true liberalism that it became impossible to remain. Ever since Howard they have governed for institutions not people.
That’s about the time I was out of the country, hence I clearly missed a lot.
You will have seen, I hope, my letter to the editor in response to a Howard comment, on my “About” page. If not, do pop over and have a read!
Interesting Robyn, have always doubted the existence of swinging voters. Not that I don’t believe you but in my mind the current LNP are so lacking in scruples or policies that I don’t know how they could be seen as a viable proposition, I don’t know how anyone could think they might have something to offer. I’m obviously a Labor supporter but in years gone by I could always see some good in some members but I think this lot are rotten to the core led by one of the nastiest and dishonest politicians we’ve seen for a very long time. I’m with Denni on the asylum seeker policy. What we’ve ended up with seems far removed from traditional Labor values but it’s a far cry from the Tampa days and Tony Abbott would be worse, not better than Howard on this. He has said some of the most heartless things about asylum seekers (or illegals as he prefers to call them) and there is no doubt that the policy we now have is because of the Libs refusal to budge an inch on this during the minority government. Anyway, swing away, and then do what’s right by your conscience. It’s all each of us can do.
There have always been many swinging voters – I know plenty!
Abbott’s continued use of the word illegals, despite being told MANY times asylum seekers are NOT illegal, is one of the things that has driven me to my decision. One, not the only thing. But it is SO indicative of the man’s perspective on life, in my opinion.
Personally, the LNP’s public behaviour leaves a great deal to be desired. I am all for robust debate: I am NOT for personal vilification of the opposition. Ever.
We all grow up with a set of values philosophical personal political to name a few. We become despondent angry when those values are not shared by people or organisations we once respected. Even though I don’t share your political beliefs I can empathise with your loss.
Thanks Linda. You are correct, we do grow up with some values and we develop others as we grow up. I am quite sad, actually. I see people I cannot respect, based on their behaviour, wanting to run the country I love very much and it does sadden me.
You’re where I was in 2000. The Howard government wasn’t what I thought it would be and the NSW Libs were much, much less than they could have been. When you keep hoping for better from those who show no sign of it then you have to leave.
As far as ‘conversions’ go, ALP people are suspicious of converts and will never fully accept you. Accept that you have to give up on party membership altogether, in the same way that an alcoholic can’t just give up beer.
Good luck. When you realise that Liberals respect focus groups of the unaligned far more than branches of the committed, you’ll realise that out of the Liberal Party is the place to be. You limit your participation in civic life by joining a political party rather than enhance it.
Andrew, I’m not a convert, so I don’t expect the ALP people to accept me at all. 😀
I’m just going to classify myself as a swining voter, and see what happens!
I think your last sentence is very correct. After all, it is us swinging lot that can make or break an election result. Right now we need more of us.
Take the blinkers off folks, don’t be blinded by party rhetoric. Does your affiliation align with your values? That applies to ALL parties!
Sounds much like NZ…the politicians are sending us down the crapper
This Liberal lot are awful, Jo. Turnbull is good, but a lone beacon in a dull landscape!
I so hear you! Not about the Liberal membership thing, never been a member there, though I was a member of the Democratics, back in the day, and have been footloose & fancy-free with my voting since then.
Basically, it is too hard & too big to think about being disillusioned with the political parties, so I tend to take one election at a time (regardless of state, federal or council) and have gone back to serious basics, I look at each candidate in my electorate, ask them questions, pick who I think will actually represent myself & my neighbours best and that is who I vote for. Having said that, they stuff me up like they have (I am in Queensland, enough said…) will never get my vote again.
I reckon that is the best you can do nowadays 🙂
Noely, I think I will be doing the same thing.
Maybe if we ALL did the same thing, the country would be a better place.
Wonder what would happen if an independent won every seat? Isn’t that an interesting thought? 😆
Another moderate bites the dust.
First I felt it was my generations fault, we should have been in there fighting for moderation, but when you look at how down right nasty the loony right can be, then dam the party, It’s going to take a long time in the wilderness for it to change.
If the Liberals can’t win the federal election with Murdoch blowing wind in their sales then the wilderness time will start.
As for Labor it’s a mixed case, at least they support free markets, which is something you can’t say for the Liberals (direct action), at least the support rational economic management (employment before some useless goal- though that did look like changing with the irrational goal of a surplus in what still is rocky economic times), at least they are looking forward instead of looking back (NBN and Carbon trading – which will be very important part of future trade negotiations) and at least they are trying to wind back middle class welfare.
As to asylum seekers, the sooner both parties get out of the sewer and stop wasting billions of dollars on that nonsense the better. Fraser had the advantage that Whitlam was also a great man.
As to what to do, imagine an Australia with Abbott as leader, I tell you it is enough to scare you into holding your nose over the asylum issue and offering campaigning support to your local Labor candidate.
I HOPE that if the ALP had a decent majority, they would fix the asylum policy – HOWEVER then I look at the treatment of Ranjini and my own case and I am not so damn sure of that either!
Yes, the party of Rupert Hamer, Ian McPhee, Jim Killen, Senator Bonner etc. is no more.
Malcolm Fraser hit the nail on the head.
No argument from me. It’s so distressing that we don’t have an opposition which could be a viable, inclusive and ethical alternative.
I’ve been a swing voter for several years, as I believe if the quality of the individual is high, so shall be the parliament and a good opposition raises the quality of the government
My concern now is, what can we do?
Jan, I have no damn idea what we do. I kept hoping the wider membership would call it and say enough is enough, but I can’t see that happening.
If the LNP win the next election with Abbott at the helm, Australia is the boat that will be crashing into the damn rocks and guess who will be drowning then! That is my personal opinion.
I personally dont agree with ALP stance on asylum seekers either but it was Howard who oversaw the drownings of 356 women and children from the Siev X and the Tampa…and it seems you remained a member of the LNP then? That would have been the time to resign. As for a hung Parliament, in regard to the amount of successful legislation passed and new and innovative policies in the pipeline, this hung Parliament has actually been one of the most successful Parliaments in years. If it hadnt of been for Abbott having the longest dummy spit of all time and trying every trick in the book to bring down the Government just so he could be in power and maybe tried to be a little more conciliatory it would have been a more pleasant Parliament and the voters would have seen a people who genuinely care about the country. You cant go past an economy with a AAA rating and praised by every lauded economist and financial institution in the world. Thats said, I am sure it will be an interesting ride being on the wild side with swinging voters. :))
No Denni, I didn’t like Howard at all. I wasn’t a member until relatively recently, but had always voted LNP, except for Howard’s last election. Just couldn’t – have you seen my “About” page? That should give you an indication.
As far as I can see with Abbott, I agree with you. One big dummy spit. Cares WAY more for himself than for the country, it seems to me. Hence my total disillusionment.
As for some of the others – OMG – where on earth did the LNP find them?
Oh, and I was out of the country for a couple of years too, around 1999.