Abalinx 10 July 2016 Peter Adamis
The Federal election 2016. The Liberal Party campaign coordinated from a central base in Canberra was a soft campaign that was doomed. A Copy of the article may be downloaded by clicking on: AN OPINION OF WHAT ON EARTH HAPPENED IN JULY 2016
It was a poorly constructed and fragmented campaign strategy from the start when compared to the aggressive campaigns by the Greens and Labor. Labor targeted the Prime Minister and used political tactics that outwitted the Liberals who were slow to respond. Tony Nutt the Liberal Party National Director clashed with Michael Kroger in Victoria at a time when Tony Nutt should have realised that supporting the person on the ground who had a better knowledge of the political terrain. Michael Kroger’s concept of preferencing the Greens against Labor sent shivers and shudders of disbelief amongst Labour strategists. In future the State Party President should use their instincts and go it alone if necessary given the local political environment as was the case with the CFA in Victoria. Michael Kroger effectively used every opportunity that arose effectively to the advantage of the Liberal Party in Victoria.
Decentralised campaigns. Now that the election count is almost over, Michael Kroger has been proven yet again that charismatic leader and political gladiator of calling the shots in order to gain the upper political hand. As such, political strategists will have to review the political campaign strategies and paradigms of the past and consider local terrain and local issues and blend them with the national campaign. In other words each state should be viewed as a separate campaign using national goal and policies with a local flavour.
No doubt there are individuals sharpening their political knives to carry out a massacre of political opponents that will rival even that of Julius Caesar’s assassination on the ides of March. Now, no matter what happens, the position of Malcolm’s political status, credibility and integrity is tatters that the best thing he can do is to resign after some months after being at the helm. If we see a change of leadership in July, it will be forever called the assassination of the Prime Minister on the Ides of July. A fitting ending to some who grossly underestimated the Australian people and those of his own party.
National Campaigns. We are starting to see the return of sycophants and yes people while those worked damn hard in the trenches are being let in the dark. Why did Head Office employ back Packers when we had thousands of young unemployed Liberals looking to help? We left those campaigning in the dead red seats to struggle on their own. There are many questions that need answering and yet we are all concerned that the likes of David Kemp will be asked to oversee a review of the campaign. If this happens again, woe betide to those seeking office in the future.
At the previous Federal election campaign a new campaign methodology was used to great effect against all opposition from, head office political strategists. In Scullin, a dead red seat, new campaigning techniques were used effectively to attract voters towards a Liberal Party point of view. It was a simple concept that involved a fusion of human and electronic means of message distribution.
Social media was used extensively, political websites, emails electronic poster messages as well as door to door, meet and greet at locations where the public congregated. Attendances at community and service organisations were visited and word of mouth proved to be irresistible means of spreading the Liberal Party message. Now we find that candidates spent more time on their social media pages using electronic means rather than a mixture of human and electronic interaction. This is not a good trend as there is nothing better than meeting the people and talking to them rather than sending them electronic material.
Candidates. Do Liberal Party members know that we lost thousands of senate votes and that each lost vote cost the Liberal Party approximately $2.65 because booths were not manned? Therefore it is accurate to state that thousands of dollars have gone down the drain. How many candidates undertook the candidates program before they became candidates and were not prepared. This is not of their making and it’s not their fault. The onus is those responsible for the dead red seats and that responsibility lies with Senators Scot Ryan and Mitch Fifield.
It is my opinion that they failed to identify and ensuring that candidates were well prepared and that suitable seasoned campaign managers were on hand to assist and make their political journey free from traps and political turmoil. I am of the belief that no candidate should stand unless they have completed a candidates training conducted by competent people who have no personal agendas. Senators, members of Parliament at the Federal and State level need to do more for the electorates under their responsibility and not arrive at pre-poll and polling booths to have their photographs taken with the local candidate.
David Kemp reforms. The David Kemp reforms have now been proven beyond any shadow of doubt that there are based on poor foundations. The David Kemp reforms are a bloody disgrace and all those in the Branches have since lost heart, interest and felt not wanted. Foundations that have eroded the very fabric of the Liberal Party core values and created fragmented fiefdoms under the directions of Senator Scott Ryan, Mitch Fifield, and wannabee Premier Matthew Guy who has done absolutely nothing in the seat of Bulleen. If we are to win government we need to pay respect to the grassroots and listen rather that dictate what is best for the Liberal; Party. It is a whole new world and we must take notice of the changes that are occurring around us.
Review of political paradigms. . It may sound corny but I am forever reminded of the words spoken by Peter Costello who said that “The Liberal party does not reward loyalty but rather success”. If that is the case then let all those seeking political office earn their political spurs. Gone are the days of political dynasties and those expecting to be spoon fed in order to have an electorate given to them on a plate as well as a silver spoon? My outlook on life is based on the Liberal ideology and I seek a stable government that will provide economic security for the current and future generations. I wrote this because I have high expectations of those seeking political office and expect them to listen to the concerns of the people
Liberal core values eroded. These members along with Tony Snell a past Liberal Party President and selected members of his Administrative Committee, such as Frank Greenstein, Peter McWilliam, Caroline Elliott and others laid the foundations for the biggest theft in Liberal Party history by the then State Director Damien Mantach. The reforms must be reviewed and provide the branch members with the platforms upon which they can build upon and contribute to the greater good. They should not be used as cannon fodder and made to feel that they are no longer of any use except at polling booths.
Political Myths. There is nothing better than to listen to political myths and yarns that have a mixture of fact and fiction. We for some strange reason tend to believe myths rather that the truth and as think ing animals we have to use judgement, wisdom and life experiences to discern the difference. The following are myths have grown up and used to place a smoke screen between the truth and fiction.
Myth one. National campaign should be conducted at the National level. This is clearly a myth as stated above and that some consideration should be given to local campaigns. Furthermore our National Campaign Director in Canberra is not the right individual to conduct political campaigns as he has demonstrated a failure to understate state issues and is a failed campaigner. He should be removed.
Myth Two. It is not the Conservative Right wing of the Liberal Party that controls Malcolm Turnbull, Malcolm Turnbull always wanted to be Prime Minister and would have done anything to achieve this.
Myth Three. The so called political Liberal spin doctors and political strategists who are supposed to know it all just DID NOT GET IT. These wannabee political strategist should hang their heads in the sand and in future if they are to be employed should listen to the grassroots.
Myth Four. The Prime Minister takes responsibility for the loss of seats. Irrespective of the outcome, the Prime Mister who failed to take responsibility until two days later. Trying to blame it on Labor is not on and it is a fact not lost on the Australian people that we as Liberals were outsmarted and outwitted at every turn.
Myth Five. Abbott would not have won as Prime Minister. It is now being mooted by many that the polls are based on assumptions which does not truly reflect the thoughts of the Australian people. Only one poll proved to be correct and all the others failed to understand that the Australian public had enough of the two main party structures and were looking elsewhere. Those who brought about the downfall of Tony Abbott should hang their heads in shame for believing in the polls and they should at least apologise and come clean by stating that they had erred in their judgement. Everyone with an ounce of grey matter will tell you that Tony abbot was a political fighter and not the mouse that Malcolm Turn bull turned out to be.
Victorian plotters. Senators Mitch Fifield and Scott Ryan have a lot to answer for and it is alleged that they were aware in advance of the plot against Tony Abbott and as such put into practice a series of actions to shore up their own positions. That is why attacks on Kevin Andrews were plotted, hatched and executed using third party individuals who ended up losing the support of senior Liberals and thus any prospects of future career prospects. Having said that, I wonder why on earth we changed leaders at a time when we should have been resolute and stood our ground. Was it done to appease those who failed to produce the goods or was it so personal ambitions can be realised.
Alleged Grass Roots Campaigners. Recently a past Country Vice President spoke to me to state that we should thank Frank Greenstein for being solely responsible for the win at Chisolm. However if we take a good long look at the political rise and alleged attempt of the resurrection of Frank “Lazarus” Greenstein we will find discrepancies. Frank Greenstein is allegedly credited with the loss of Frankston and the debacle in Yan Yean.
Yan Yean being allegedly engineered by Frank Greenstein to conduct a preselection by the Administrative Committee to favour his protégé, rather than conducting a preselection at the Electorate. The candidate was the wrong person for the electorate and despite being given alternative advice that he was best suited elsewhere is now being used again to man the booths in McEwen. What a waste of great talent in my books.
Alleged misuse of Administrative Committee responsibilities. If an individual wants to be a servant of the people, then get out there and work your heart out like the many others who do not seek high office. Those on Administrative Committee should be there to provide leadership and not seek a political office. We had a crooked State Director and others on the Administrative putting the heads in the sand stating they knew nothing about it. What are they emus? How many good people have been lost as a result of ignorance and unqualified stupidity?
In fact blame should also go to Peter McWilliam, (previous Country Vice President) , Frank Greenstein, Caroline Elliot and others of their ilk on the Administrative team for alleged spending in excess of $500, 000 on the Yan Yean campaign and who knows what was spent on the Frankston campaign. When you add those figures with that of the theft by Mantach, under the same Administrative Committee at the time; the Liberal Party lost millions of dollars based on poor judgement and personal agendas.
It is no wonder many Liberal Party members are incised at the waste of hard fought funds by those who should have known better. It is alleged that these same people along with Senators Scott Ryan, Mitch Fifield, Matthew Guy and a host of other sycophants had political blood on their hands with the humiliating and degrading methodologies used to bring down a past Metro vice Female Vice President Sandra Mercer Moore.
Political Character Assassination. Sandra Mercer Moore, a greatly underestimated woman and a dedicated Liberal Party member. She consistently brought to the attention of the Administrative Committee, the injustices, inconsistencies and the character assassination of people and her suspicions of the State Director, and was crucified for her actions and for challenging the status quo. Although she has been vindicated, the toll on her health has had a devastating effect which is indeed a difficult burden to bear
Pointing the bone. Pointing the bone and blaming others is not the way to go. My characterisation of Simon Frost is that he is a State Director whose decision making methodologies are based on sound judgement and advice from the Administrative Committee to who he is subordinate to. To call him a mere “water boy” for Michael Kroger is an incredulous statement to make by a journalist who is lacking in emotional political maturity and his personal attacks should be tempered with facts rather than sensationism. In fact while he was working for Helen Shardey he also came into contact with Frank Greenstein, another member whose past political experience is questionable.
Matthew Guy. Matthew Guy and the parliamentary Liberal Party were incandescent with anger is an understatement. The only thing that Matthew Guy is concerned about is his own precarious position within the party in Victoria and will go to extraordinary lengths to remove any potential threat to his position in Bullen. We saw the results of his involvement in the removal of a young staffer from Kevin Andrews on the basis that it was alleged the young man was a Branch stacker. This is so far from the truth that it is beyond belief. I will be writing an article on this matter and expose all the players involved.
Matthew Guy once the darling of Victorians has failed to produce the goods as an effective opposition leader. Instead he is more intent of shoring up his personal ambitions rather than taking the fight up to Labor and fighting the good fight. He has surrounded himself with sycophants and yes individuals who tell Matthew Guy what he wants to hear. He was once a popular person that could do no wrong.
His allegiance to Senator Scott Ryan is legendary and one could be forgiven for wondering who is leading who in the political arena to survive. Matthew Guy is a decent human being that deserve better and should take a good long hard look at himself and decide what he wants to do with his political life because at this point in time Matthew has no hope in hell f winning the next State election given his current track record. Survival in the political arena depends on winning over the people who will always give him the thumbs up symbol to live another day. At the moment all that Matthew Guy is getting is the thumbs down.
McEwen. Chris Jermyn was not the right candidate for the seat of McEwen and his credentials of working for Craig Ondarchie the member for Northern Metro is hardly a recommendation for greatness. This is not a political attack on Craig Ondarchie who is working to shore up his position in the North but maybe on reflection the selection process should be on merit rather than on partisan politics for personal agendas. Chris Jermyn on his own and without any help from anyone managed to not once, not twice but was able to create a mass of errors of judgment.
These unfortunate errors led to attracting negative publicity at a time when a much quieter campaign would have sufficed and one wonders what were his mentors doing at the time. Peter McWilliam who was a past Chairman and Country Vice President must also shoulder the responsibility in that he is considered McEwen’s influential and leading elder and as such should have voiced his opinions and/or objections about the structure, the candidate and the campaign.
Had all the campaign booths been manned, Chris Jermyn kept out of trouble, support provided by the Patron Senator, Postal votes been sent out to the electorate, supporters door knocking the electorate, signage in the appropriate locations, letter drops, positive social media messages, web site messages, clever use of electronic messages, listen to advice from Head Office, greater use of telephone canvassing, monitoring the polls, implementing a mobile reserve task force, a strong and effective campaign structure and good use of the young Liberals in the local and surrounding regions would have won the seat of McEwen. It’s no wonder the sitting Labor MP Rob Mitchell got a swing of 8 per cent.
Patron Senators. Furthermore Senator Scott Ryan has a lot to answer for in this election as it was under his patronage that only 30 % of dead red seats were manned by Liberals at the polling booths. The only exception to the rule was the electorate of Scullin who struggled but manned the polling booths by the use of mobile roving teams, filled with volunteers, food, drinks and How To Vote cards. These mobile teams came about as a brainchild of the Campaign manager and his knowledge of history. Where in WW2 American PT Boats armed with torpedos harassed and sunk Japanese ships. The candidate worked hard with one other member to hold the thin blue line against the national trend. All this was achieved with a tiny budget of $4500.00. Patron Senators have much to answer for.
Bendigo. Megan Purcell worked extremely hard in the Bendigo electorate and deserved much more support for her efforts. Megan to her credit took the battle right up to the opposition and the CFA issue certainly helped her campaign but this was downplayed by State Members who deflated the issue by stating that it was a State matter rather than a Federal matter. I am o the opinion irrespective what the issue may be, in the heat of a political battle all opportunities that present themselves should be exploited. To state that Head office did not provide sufficient resources is somewhat unfair and it ranks of a dead rat struggling to survive in answer filled to the brim with the faeces of political wannabees.
Bruce. The seat of Bruce was identified as an electorate which had potential for a reduction in the margin for future campaigns and certainly was not seen by political strategists as being winnable in the recent election. Helen Kroger campaigned against the trend and full marks to her efforts and that of her campaign team. The campaign was well run and executed with the expected result. In fact given the national swing against the coalition, Helen Kroger and her campaign team held the line so to speak against difficult odds.
Chisolm. Julia Banks a recent member of the Liberal Party was induced to run for the seat of Chisolm at a time when others feared to put their best foot forward and represent the Liberal party. Top marks to her and her campaign team for returning one of the gem stones of the Liberal crown to the centre of Liberalism in Victoria. Her win had absolutely nothing to do with that so called wannabee failed and alleged grassroots campaigner Frank Greenstein.
Frank Greenstein along with James Campbell who now works for the Herald Sun as a journalist and feeds off his Liberal Party connections to write articles which are skewed towards his particular favourites. Both of these members worked with Helen Shardey who was a terrific and effective member for her electorate. I remember being at her pre-selection many years ago and voting for her to ensure her success as the candidate. Helen worked hard and attracted a good following during her term of office.
Deakin. Michael Sukkar in Deakin worked extremely hard to achieve the swing in his favour and he did it without additional support from external sources. His campaign team was united and in every sense of the word dedicated to working the long hours to achieve a remarkable result in Victoria. Well done Michael and he is a credit to the new wave of politicians emerging from the ranks. Truly an inspiration and an example for others to emulate.
As always, my apologies for the poor grammar, punctuation and savagery of the Aussie English language. All that I can say is that it is great to be alive and one does not give up in the face of adversity.
Peter Adamis is a Freelance Journalist/Social Media Commentator and writer. He is a retired Australian military serviceman and an Industry organisational & Occupational (OHS) & Training Consultant whose interests are within the parameters of domestic and international political spectrum. He is an avid blogger and contributes to domestic and international community news media outlets as well as to local and Ethnic News. He holds a Bachelor of Adult Learning & Development (Monash), Grad Dip Occupational Health & Safety, (Monash), Dip. Training & Assessment, Dip Public Administration, and Dip Frontline Management. Website: abalinx.com Contact via Email: [email protected] or via Mobile: 0409965538