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 THEY MATTERED THEN AND THEY MATTER NOW – BUT NOT TO MALCOLM

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Neferti
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PostSubject: THEY MATTERED THEN AND THEY MATTER NOW – BUT NOT TO MALCOLM   Fri 07 Sep 2018, 2:18 pm

Late in 2015, as talk of an upcoming federal election gained urgency, Liberal strategist Mark Textor gave a surprising interview to The Australian.

At issue was the prospect of conservative voters abandoning the Coalition following Malcolm Turnbull’s knifing of Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Appearing to dismiss this, Textor was quoted as saying: “The qualitative evidence is they don’t matter. The sum of a more centrist approach outweighs any alleged marginal loss of so-called base voters.”

Textor subsequently disputed the characterisation of that quote, claiming what he’d said was “in relation to a far right wing website, certainly not conservative voters” and furthermore pointing out – with considerable justification – his long public record of showing “deep respect for voter opinion”.

So the Liberal strategist felt he’d been presented unfairly. His explanation doesn’t quite square with the second part of his quote, which precisely mentions “so-called base voters”, but let’s accept Textor’s word.

It is undeniably true, however, that there was a broader view among Turnbull backers at the time very strongly supporting the idea that the base didn’t matter.

According to their theory, lifelong Liberals would never vote for Labor or the Greens anyway and, if they lodged protest votes for minor conservative parties or independents, those votes would invariably return to the Liberals through preferences.

Turnbull’s backers additionally believed, as Textor put it, that “the sum of a more centrist approach” would deliver great electoral benefits. In other words, they’d hold the base and add the centre-left Turnbull fan club as well.

Little wonder, then, that Sydney Morning Herald columnist Elizabeth Farrelly imagined Turnbull becoming “the longest-serving prime minister since Menzies. Possibly ever.” She was only out by 15 years or so. Close enough for Fairfax.

There were two problems with the concept of Liberal voters plus Turnbull voters equalling electoral invincibility.

The first was that a significant number of Liberal voters, and certainly many who’d voted for Abbott in 2013, did indeed leave the party.

By the time of the 2016 federal election, the Liberal vote had collapsed. The party went on to lose nearly 40 consecutive Newspolls under Turnbull. And the Longman by-election this year revealed further Liberal erosion.

The second problem was that those multitudes of Turnbull voters never turned up. Turnbull, it emerged, was terrifically popular among Labor and Greens enthusiasts who would never dream of actually voting in significant numbers for the Liberal party.

Admittedly, one or two of them did. ABC Media Watch host and Wentworth resident Paul Barry once announced, in an attempt to demonstrate how open-minded he was politically, he’d voted for local candidate Turnbull in 2013.

Tribal Twitter leftists were appalled. "My Twitter feed has just exploded with people who want to know if you really voted Liberal," Fairfax columnist Jenna Price responded.

This explains why Turnbull’s ratings as preferred PM were always so high while the Coalition overall was sinking. His support was inflated by Turnbull-loving types who hated the Liberal party.

These are not exactly the sort of people upon whom one might build a viable long-term political platform. Nor are they the sort of people who’ll campaign for the Liberals, raise funds or hand out how-to-vote cards. For these bedrock activities, a loyal base is essential.

But why should anyone be loyal to a party when its leader shows no loyalty himself? Turnbull last week quit as the member for Wentworth, enforcing a by-election rather than waiting out the brief remainder of his term.

Fleeing to New York and concealing his embarrassment is more important to Turnbull than sitting on the back benches for a few months in shame and saving his government from further potential catastrophe.

There is also, of course, the small matter of covering that by-election’s cost. Speaking of which, Turnbull’s son Alex is now fundraising for the Labor candidate in daddy’s old seat.

"Best bang for the buck you'll get in political donations in your life," Alex Turnbull tweeted on Saturday in support of Labor’s Tim Murray.

"Tight race, tight margin for government, big incremental effect whatever happens. If you want a federal election now this is the means by which to achieve it."

The younger Turnbull, a wealthy Singapore-based fund manager, earlier declared nobody could now vote for the Coalition “in good conscience”, and offered this peculiar analysis of his dad’s failure: “My father fought the stupid and the stupid won."

If Alex meant that in terms of the ex-PM’s own stupidity, and how this raging internal dumbness could never be fully overcome and finally did him in, then he’s right on the money.

Which is where Turnbulls always tend to be, in dramatic contrast to the Liberal party, which in technical financial terms is presently on the bones of its arse.

For the next election, expect campaign posters to feature drawings by the candidates’ children and for Liberal slogans to be shaved into the side of cats. They can’t afford anything more.

That’s the price of showing disloyalty to the most loyal of supporters. The qualitative evidence is they do very much matter.

https://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/blogs/tim-blair/they-mattered-then-and-they-matter-now-but-not-to-malcolm/news-story/b36a04a78ec18953d54acfe76044e1ed


Last edited by Neferti on Sat 08 Sep 2018, 8:33 am; edited 1 time in total
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PostSubject: Re: THEY MATTERED THEN AND THEY MATTER NOW – BUT NOT TO MALCOLM   Fri 07 Sep 2018, 7:11 pm

Yep, been saying as much for years... of course LW Progs denied it, just shows how dumb they actually are.

The Libs needed to get rid of Textor years ago...  nothing much will change until they do.
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PostSubject: Re: THEY MATTERED THEN AND THEY MATTER NOW – BUT NOT TO MALCOLM   Sat 08 Sep 2018, 8:49 am

Liberal base voters DID matter. They say that about a million voters voted informal rather than vote Liberal while Turncoat was leader.  I am still waiting to see what Morrison does but I will vote informal, again, if necessary and so will a lot of other people!

wink
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