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CIRCUIT BREAKER: Should the Libs skip a generation when picking a party president?

corybernardiThe snooze-a-thon contest between former federal minister Peter Reith and former Victorian Treasurer Alan Stockdale for the federal Liberal presidency has left many Liberals shaking their heads in boredom and puzzlement.

‘There needs to be a new activist approach to the party organisation, one that supports the Leader with enthusiasm and passion,’ a senior Liberal insider told VEXNEWS today.

With moderates say that Stockdale is considered highly likely to pull the pin on his increasingly beseiged candidacy, and with no great enthusiasm for Reith as an astute political judge or spokesperson, some Liberals are beginning to look outside the square for alternatives.

The fact that most see it as a proxy war between the Abbott-favoured Stockdale and the Turnbull-favoured Reith.

They might have run out of time, with the next party federal council to be held on June 25th.

One name kept popping up when we asked around about alternatives. Cory Bernardi.

Yes, that Cory Bernardi. The rebel outsider Senator who fields more invitations to speak to Liberal party branches than any other MP beyond the current Leader. Young and old, the membership love him, VEXNEWS has been repeatedly told.

Bernardi has been described by his growing number of backers as a “next-generation leader” of the party who could potentially electrify the party membership with his straight-talk, good-looks and charm.

‘The average age of the membership makes the ALP’s band of old comms look like the Eureka Youth League. We need to consciously make the party organisation attractive to young people, business owners and achievers. Cory can do that. Realistically, whether it’s Reith or Stockdale, it’ll just be more of the same. We need to turbo-charge the party organisation leadership, just like Abbott has done in the party room, you’re simply not going to do that with retired politicians in their sixties who are just wanting to expand their network for their consultancy and directorships work,” one jaded observer told VEXNEWS.

While Reithy and Stockers might put the old dears in party branches to sleep, Bernardi could put a spring in their step, potentially revitalising the show.

Envious left-wing scribes have attacked Bernardi for his activist approach, setting up groups like the Conservative Leadership Foundation:

“Our goal is to increase the number and effectiveness of conservative activists in Australia by providing the training and skills necessary to succeed.”

Bernardi’s many fans point to the web of other independent conservative organisations that Bernardi has established including the grassroots anti-carbon-tax group Can Do and another group that works closely with Dads’ groups like the ‘Shared Parenting Association of Australia’. It’s called the Conservative Council of Australia.

While Bernardi doesn’t skite about his role, the CCA which he established owns the website of both Can Do and the Conservative Leadership Foundation, so it’s no secret in the halls of power just how busy Bernardi has been. All organisations share the good Senator Cory’s Post Office Box in Walkerville, South Australia too, from which patriots can also obtain his latest book. He’s everywhere. Surely he’d be a better bet than a recycled politician, many party insiders are saying.

If the contest of the oldies is allowed to continue, most expect Stockdale to prevail because of the brutal numbers-play of Senator Minchin, who has installed a federal leader and regards choosing a federal president as a stroll in the park, by comparison. Many think Minchin should have put up his himself but he has told mates he’s had a gutful of Canberra. In the senate today, when Senator Chris Evans yelled at Minchin about Reith across the chamber, saying “Have you got the numbers to stop him, Minchin” and Minchin made the international gesture for “so-so, bit iffy”. Most insiders reckon though that if anyone can keep Stockers alive, Weekend at Bernies style, it’ll be Nick Minchin, the best numbers’ man in Canberra since Robert Ray.

Bernardi would be a controversial choice in the eyes of many Press Gallery know-alls, who’ll wipe themselves out at this evening’s Mid-Winter charity ball at Parliament House, but he has none of Reith’s IR baggage and a proven record of political initiative and entrepreneurship that puts many somnolent colleagues to shame.


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  1. Rebel outsider is just nice words for conspiracy theorist-nutter. There’s a reason that even the Libs wouldn’t go that far.

    Posted by Anon | June 15, 2011, 15:07
  2. But he’s stupid. Surely that’s a drawback?

    Posted by Zaf | June 15, 2011, 16:08
  3. I think he is hot

    Posted by SHY | June 15, 2011, 17:19
  4. The ALP needs to also bring on generational change, Ari Suss should seek preselection for Melbourne Ports for the next federal Election and clan out the mess that is in Danby’s office before the seat is lost.

    Posted by Danby's last term | June 15, 2011, 17:25
  5. Of course he is hot, any red blooded male would fine a young male like this VERY desirable

    Posted by Cr Craig | June 15, 2011, 17:56
  6. Cory Bernardi is no Michael Kroger.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | June 15, 2011, 19:25
  7. Speaking from experience his Sphincter is very loose.

    Posted by Ollie | June 15, 2011, 21:33
  8. I do not believe it is possible for a serving parliamentarian to be elected National President of the Liberal Party. I may be wrong because I don’t really have time to check the constitution/rules but that’s my understanding.

    It is sad that the gene pool for Party Presidents seems restricted to former politicians as that blurs the line between the parliamentary and organisational wings. The ALP regularly allows pollies to run the organisational arm but the Liberals have tried to prevent this. In return, the Liberal pollies have been able to ignore the organisational wing on policy. Now-a-days the ALP pollies do the same, both preferring the opinion pollsters to their rank and file members.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | June 16, 2011, 0:37
  9. That says more about the size of your manhood than his hole.

    Posted by Anonymous | June 16, 2011, 7:42
  10. Cory Bernardi – Belgian immigrant, RC, from WA, to right wing. Not a chance

    Posted by Adrian Jackson | June 16, 2011, 10:57
  11. Dear Anonymous, it’s been quite a while since someone made reference to my manhood and its size relative to holes. I am forced to accept that it is not big enough to plug the budget black-hole if that is the hole you were referring to.

    Posted by Giuseppe De Simone | June 16, 2011, 12:56
  12. Adrian Jackson you clearly don’t know your Cory Bernardi’s from your Matthias Cormann’s.

    Posted by Anonymous | June 16, 2011, 13:56
  13. I am a respected political strategist.

    I have also been president of a Liberal Party division. My record as president speaks for itself.

    If the federal party knows what is good for it then it will elect me.

    Just think – I could do for the federal party what I did to the NSW party.

    Posted by Shambles | June 16, 2011, 20:46
  14. […] it Australia for just one more blurb: Cory Bernadi for Libs presidency? Hmm, maybe, but wouldn’t he be better in a powerful ministerial […]

    Posted by News tidbits from around the Interwebs « James Board | June 17, 2011, 20:15
  15. 25 little faces in the pic? Now that’s scary. I’m also scared of puppets and women with hairy legs (just so you know for future reference).

    Posted by Ben | June 18, 2011, 14:03
  16. I want Reith. He is honest and trustworthy.

    Posted by MV Tampon | June 18, 2011, 17:18
  17. By Golly what a Polly! Bernadi is smart and spunky. We can’t get enough of him.

    Posted by Liberal Party Member | June 19, 2011, 19:56
  18. I did not have a yelling match with JooLiar. I did not! I tell you!

    Posted by Little Kevvie | June 19, 2011, 20:30
  19. He is the sort the Cardinal would like

    Posted by Taking of Pell 123 | June 19, 2011, 20:47
  20. Problem with Bernardi is that he is a joke (just says whatever to get press and attention).he is better fit to remain the outsider forever

    Posted by Anonymous | June 20, 2011, 2:59
  21. Interesting story.

    Posted by Anon | June 20, 2011, 10:09
  22. Cory is handsome.

    Posted by Catherine | June 20, 2011, 10:13
  23. Bernadi does get a lot of press but is usually proved correct in the end. He seems to be one of the few liberals who actually have a clue what the public think and want. I like his style and strength.

    Posted by HiLo | June 20, 2011, 15:12
  24. Yes get rid of Gillard pronto in the Assasinating leaders party the ramshuckle ALP that would be great
    generational change so edifying!

    Posted by GENERATIONAL CHANGE | June 20, 2011, 16:00


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