Surely it’s time the NSW Liberals realised they’re on the wrong track.
Despite scandal after scandal rocking the NSW Government, the Libs remain unelectable because of their scary Christian Right faction.
John Brogden – the only leader who showed promise as an alternative – was taken down from within by the same God-botherers.
Of the two Opposition leaders elected since (Peter Debnam and Barry O’Farrell), both voted against equalising the age of consent in 2003 when given the opportunity of a conscience vote – though O’Farrell seems to have adopted a more moderate tone since taking the party leadership – and neither has been a success.
If this isn’t a message for people like Opus Dei “cooperator” David Clarke MLC to pull their heads in and relinquish their stacked control of the local branches to let some fresh talent in, I don’t know what is.
It seems the Christian “Uglies” faction would rather retain their stranglehold on the party than actually win an election.
On the other side, it’s Labor’s right-wing developer-friendly “Terrigals” (named because their first meeting took place at the Terrigal holiday house of colourful Labor identity Eddie Obeid) who are the problem.
Think of the least-liked figures in the government – Michael Costa, Joe Tripodi (who also voted against equalising consent in 2003), even the premier himself. They’re all Terrigals.
Masters at working the party machine, the Terrigals pushed their way into power by taking hold of key administrative posts within the party in order to shoehorn allies into plum positions and safe seats.
None are noted for their interest in gay rights, which may explain the stagnation on the issue since Bob Carr and his allies left the scene – say what you like about Bob but at least he cared for our issues.
Within the current crop of Labor MPs there is no sense of willingness for change, with no plans for state-based registries, let alone potentially more controversial issues such as removing religious anti-discrimination exemptions that target gay teens or granting full parenting rights.
The NSW Government is prepared to ride disaster after disaster, but apparently supporting our issues is too much of a political gamble.
One thing is for certain: if we don’t see at least one significant change before the next election in 2011 (yes, we’re stuck with them for that long) you’ll be hard pressed to find a GLBT voter who still supports State Labor.