Bernardi is uniquely positioned to unite conservative Australians

Two weeks ago, Cory Bernardi visited Brisbane. The function he held was not advertised widely. Bernardi’s new party, the Australian Conservatives, did not plug it and nor did Cory’s regular weekly email.

Yet the event organised by Liberty Works quickly sold out and it was standing room only. A number of prominent Queensland conservatives from a spectrum of political and community groups attended.

This demonstrates the South Australian Senator’s unique position in conservative politics. Unlike any other politician, Bernardi has the potential to unite conservative Australians.

This is one key factor that will assist Bernardi as the Australian Conservatives begin the process of registering for state and federal elections. The other is time.

Firstly to his support. Bernardi is highly regarded across conservative groups. He still has links and influence with the conservatives left inside the Liberal Party. And he is well supported by those who make up the membership of the large number of minor conservative parties.

This has already seen the Australian Conservatives assemble talent from across conservative politics. Kirralie Smith, formerly the Australian Liberty Alliance Senate candidate for New South Wales, has joined forces with Bernardi. Meanwhile, Bernardi’s Chief of Staff since March has been Rikki Lambert. He comes from a high profile background with Family First.

The crowd at Bernardi’s Brisbane function told a similar story. There were increasingly unhappy Liberals, a large number of people heavily involved with the Australian Liberty Alliance campaign in Queensland and members of Family First and other conservative minor parties.

One Nation Senator, Malcolm Roberts, was also in attendance.

This all speaks to Bernardi’s unique ability to bring conservative Australians together. We may well see this result in some form of unification of the minor conservative vote – a vote that exceeds that of the Greens but has not been able to exert anywhere near their level of influence.

But this will take time and brings us to the second factor favouring Bernardi. He does have time and it will take time for any mergers to play out.

Family First may be considering one given that its South Australian leader, Dennis Hood, went on the public record in February to state that his party would aim to support Bernardi. Furthermore, it is reported that Bernardi reached an agreement with Rikki Lambert to allow him to quit to take Bob Day’s Senate seat if the opportunity arose. However, the recent appointment of Lucy Gichuhi to that seat is likely to change the dynamics of any potential merger discussions.

The Australian Liberty Alliance did begin discussions to merge with the Australian Conservatives but that has since been ruled out.

However, regardless of whether the Australian Conservatives and other parties agree to formal mergers, the result is likely to be the same: the membership base will move to Bernardi anyway. We have seen that with Kirralie Smith and it is the common story that I have heard over and again in Queensland.

Another possibility is some kind of coalition. This may occur with One Nation especially as both Cory Bernardi and Malcolm Roberts made it clear to the crowd in Brisbane that they are already cooperating in some form of loose alliance on many issues.

However, Cory does not need to rush into any agreements.

He needs to build slowly, strongly and credibly. If he is to be successful, he will need to build a party that is more than a fan club. He will also need to replicate what has worked well in the major parties and that is their organisational strength and structure. It is only this structure that has kept them together even as their leaders and elected representatives pursue agendas that are loathed by a growing number of voters.

Furthermore, if the Australian Conservatives can build credibly it will position the party well if either the Liberals or One Nation self-detonates.

The Liberals appear increasingly likely to lose the next election. As time runs out for the Turnbull government the pressure inside the party room will only increase. It is only a bunfight away from civil war over an issue like homosexual marriage, Islam or free speech. Cory might appear to be alone now but that could quickly change.

Similarly, there is a widely-help perception that One Nation is a headline away from implosion. Pauline Hanson might have a great deal of support for her tenacity and strength of character. The same cannot be said for her ability to build and maintain a team. Further, with James Ashby at the centre of One Nation there are real question marks about the party’s position on social policies and the principles behind them. If the issue of homosexual marriage is a hand grenade for the Liberals, it could be a minefield for One Nation. It was the issue that tore apart Katter’s Australian Party after Bob Katter promoted candidates who held views that did not align with the party base and Pauline could easily find herself in the same position.

Only time will tell if there are any eruptions. But politics is increasingly volatile and one cannot be ruled out. Any friction on the conservative side of politics is likely to increase Bernardi’s strength.

And then there’s the upcoming budget and yet another year of massive deficits from a ‘conservative’ government. It will mean that Bernardi has a target-rich environment and can focus on economic issues as well as conservative concerns about social policies.

All of this means that Cory Bernardi and the Australian Conservatives should not be dismissed.

Polling out earlier this week found that only about two percent of Australians strongly support Cory Bernardi. I suspect that this polling is probably correct. If there was an election tomorrow, it is hard to see a successful outcome for the Australian Conservatives. However, there is no election tomorrow. Furthermore, Pauline Hanson had similar numbers in the lead up to the last election and we all saw how rapidly her support increased.

At the moment many conservative Australians are behind Pauline Hanson because she has had the courage to point out that we are headed down the wrong road. However, this is not the same thing as leading Australians on the path to success. That requires an entirely different type of leadership. If Cory Bernardi can provide it his numbers will only increase. And they won’t just come from One Nation and the other minor conservative parties. There are still many Liberal voters looking for something better as well. They will move to Cory too if he can provide a home. His response to the upcoming budget will provide him an opportunity to lay the foundation to that home.

Author: Bernard Gaynor

Bernard Gaynor is a married father of nine children. He has a background in military intelligence, Arabic language and culture and is an outspoken advocate of conservative and family values.

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  1. Our election system is both rotten and stupid. The most undemocratic element is direct representation, which in it’s current form, only favors the major parties and ensures the continuity of the dual party dictatorship. Then you have the madness of preference voting, I bet no one can clearly explain how it works and it allows all the parties to make nefarious deals behind closed doors. Unless we have proportional representation, then the status quo will sadly continue for a long time to come.

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  2. All conservatives need to unite as one.
    One Nation of P Hansen can not cut it in the years ahead.

    C Bernardi is only on about Federal Government and not into State Government.

    ALA Party were hopeless because they did not have the conviction to be Federal and a State party, not to mention it just being a experiment at the time of the Q society originally.

    A true conservative party needs to attract the conservative people of the left of centre as well on it’s side or it has no hope and this could easy be done as many of them truly hate Shorten, but this lot will vote only to give shortens mob the win.

    The majority of people are not going to take any small party seriously in thinking that it’s just a piss ants operation that’s only Federal and not State party as well and I know that most conservatives will not bother with such, oh they love Cory Bernardi they sure do but they will not vote for him or Pauline Hansen or did they for the ALA, as all they did was bag them as useless and they all know that we have had the two biggest underhanded cunning as a outhouse rat tow rags ruling the Liberal party ever.

    The Liberal party does not exist in reality as it has changed it’s spots to become a Socialist Liberal party, not to mention that the word liberal has changed it’s meaning under the socialist comprehension of it, like in the USA to support derelict’s views.

    The Leader Turnbull has just handed the next election over to the ALP on a platter and it sticks out like dogs balls what his true intentions are is to hand it over to the biggest dipstick socialist degenerate low life the ALP has ever had.
    Old wing nut Abbott got the sack because he is truly worthless as a leadership material, he only speaks as coming across as an conservative, but never did act on it with any conviction at all. he is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

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  3. Pauline Hanson I believe has her heart in the right place but…..can’t (I believe) pick a business partner. Hanson & Ashby are the “Odd Couple” of Australian politics with about as much appeal as a Kardashian at a camera shoot. Conservatives in Australia need to understand they (we) are essentially on the same side & we are AMATEURS at politics – Unlike our friends & provocateurs on the left of politics.

    Hence, we the conservative jam & cream scone loving types who are far too polite & English in our ways to partake in that horrible “Bolshevik” activity of politically awakening the “masses” from their lethargy of sports betz & social media narcissism to get off our collective (ops I sounded like I bolshie) bums & become animated about preserving what’s left of our culture – that’s if we still give a dam.

    SO, I hear you yawn, what should we do ???? Well Educate ourselves as to how to become those really annoying OBNOXIOUS activist types that we curse those Leftists of being ???? Why should we let those smelly Leftists dominate how we should think speak & act ?????

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  4. Lets not wait too long fellas…We’re getting impatient. I’m not a huge Bernardi fan, but I am a fan of yours Bernard…and of Kirrali’s. I know you guys are more knowledgeable than I and are aware of the right time to strike….but please don’t blow it. Australia is in your hands !! If you aren’t aware, you have strong support from the ex-servicemen I talk to. We’re all proud Aussies and our loyalty is unquestioned.

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  5. And not a moment too soon. The Tayyip Erdogan victory in Turkey means that the new supreme leader is calling for a caliphate and revival of the Ottoman Empire.

    The ANZACs fought the former caliphate as part of the British Empire, just as the Holy Roman Empire fought it for centuries. The minions are not permitted to learn about this in school. Minions have to learn political correctness, multicultural ideologies, Nanny Oz rulz and how Islam is the religion of peace.

    Here are the Cliff Notes to the 1400 years that was censored from the Nanny Oz history curriculum.
    Bill Warner: Why We Are Afraid: 1400 Years of Fear
    Uploaded by Political Islam

    Time to get up to tempo with the relevant facts

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  6. A great insight into the future of conservatism Bernard, I’m sure that there are many unrecorded conservatives out there looking for a home. It seems obvious that your thoughts on ON are pretty accurate and unfortunately we have a plethora of different Conservative leaning parties who are not talking to each other.
    As we both know “softly softly catchee monkey” and in Corey!s case he has the time to work methodically toward our common aim of a Conservative party that has power and echos the people.
    A great opinion piece old mate.

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