With Abbott’s lurch to the left, where is the political alternative for conservative voters?
Mr Abbott was dismissive in Brisbane this morning of the push from the Victorian party branch, which will this weekend vote on a motion encouraging the federal Coalition to conduct an “operational review” of the ABC and SBS and consider the feasibility of full or partial privatisation.
Asked whether he was feeling pressure from the Victorians, Mr Abbott said: “The short answer is no”.
“Everyone understands that in the Coalition, it’s the parliamentary party which sets the policy and we have no policy to go down that path, we have no intention of going down that path, and we won’t go down that path,” he said.
So apparently Abbott is now a-okay with the ABC and SBS. Privatising the SBS, at least, would be an easy policy decision to make because hardly anyone watches the channel(s) and those that do are unlikely to ever vote for the Coalition. It would save the Federal budget $200 million annually and generate about the same amount in capital sales. So what’s stopping Abbott?!?
I think the evidence is building: the rank and file of the Liberal Party are at odds with the career politicians who sit on the Liberal front bench. Similar, although not as pronounced, in the way the Cameroons in the UK despise their own Conservative Party. Think of any number of issues from wind farms, to the Green Army, to Abbott’s PPL policy, and the Liberal Party rank and file get no say what so ever.
One thing that is clear, the Liberal rank and file are closer to Liberal Party principles than the Liberal front bench.
Bolt has picked up on Abbott’s swing to the left:
…for all his rhetoric, Abbott is campaigning as Labor-lite – without the stuff-ups.
Radio discussion here.
Timely given Ford’ announcement to end production in Australia. So what’s Abbott’s response? Cut the cost of doing business by abolishing renewable energy mandates, lowering corporate taxes and improving workplace flexibility? No, Abbott’s response is more industry subsidies, just like the ALP.