There is some good news today.
The Queensland LNP State Conference will debate the following motion:
“That this Convention of the LNP call on the federal coalition government to suspend immigration from Islamic nations that recognise sharia law until such time as those countries recognise human rights compatible with Australian culture.”
There are a number of others as well, including that the ABC be flogged off as quickly as possible. I congratulate those LNP members who have done the hard yards to get these subjects onto the floor for debate.
It shows a couple of things.
Firstly, most LNP members are not as brain-dead and losery as the guys running the show in Canberra.
In fact, if the elected representatives of this party actually listened to its members then there would not be much opportunity for Cory Bernardi or Pauline Hanson. And Malcolm Turnbull would not be trying to win an election by out-Shorten-ing Bill Shorten.
So he might actually look like a winner in the opinion polling too, instead of being the guy who can’t beat Bill Shorten.
Alas, even if the motion does get through it can promptly be ignored the parliamentary wing. Which also explains why so many ex-Liberals are now members of parties like the Australian Conservatives.
Why waste your time getting busy in an organisation just to be ignored?
But if Liberal MPs want to survive then eventually they will need to listen to the membership.
Secondly, this motion also shows the value of strong voices in minor politics.
Two years ago it would have been unthinkable for the LNP to discuss banning immigration from Islamic nations. Now it’s a central topic of policy discussion at the LNP state convention.
This is because minor parties have created space for this discussion. They have thrust this debate into the public spotlight. They have forced the major ‘conservative’ party to start addressing this issue, and given real conservatives inside that party the cover to kick things off.
Although I am no longer a member of the Australian Liberty Alliance, every person involved with its first election campaign can be proud that a derivative of one of its key policies may well be adopted by the LNP in Queensland.
The party may not have been successful electorally. But it can boast of having shaped political outcomes anyway.
That might not be as much fun. But it is just as important.
I have joined the Australian Conservatives because I believe it can be even more influential. It is uniting people across multiple minor conservative groupings.
And today’s LNP state convention shows that a strong, united minor conservative party can expect to exert real and significant influence on politics and inside the Liberal Party in particular.
That’s exactly what Australia needs.