Cory Bernardi and Lixit

It is official: South Australian Liberal Senator Cory Bernardi has exited the Liberal Party, forming his own conservative party. The decision was made just moments ago as parliament resumed for the year. It is already causing huge waves both within and without of the Liberal Party.

bernardi 22Claiming it was a difficult decision for him, and a reluctant one, he said he felt that it was the right one to do. He said that the current system is now bogged down in expediency and self-serving ends. The political class is out of touch with ordinary Australians, he also said.

In a press conference he said that his new party, the Australian Conservatives, will be the new vehicle in which he will move. He mentioned the million voters who, at the last federal election, abandoned the Liberals and went with many of the smaller parties. It is this group of disaffected voters whom he especially will seek to harness and run with.

And already, numerous former Liberal colleagues of his are denouncing him and turning against him. Their bitter recriminations are simply proof positive of the very things Cory has been talking about. These Libs are not the real conservatives, nor are they the ones the bulk of Australians can any longer countenance.

Various reasons for the move can be recounted here:

-the 2015 backstabbing of Tony Abbott by Malcolm Turnbull
-the lack of key conservative actions of late, such as repealing Section 18c of the Racial Discrimination Act
-the lacklustre performance of Turnbull and the Liberals, reflected in low polling
-keeping genuine conservatives languishing on the back bench without real leadership roles and positions
-far too much vacillation by the Libs on key conservative concerns such as natural marriage and the defence of life
-the need to stand strong on things like creeping sharia and stealth jihad
-the 50,000 members already signed up to his newly formed Australian Conservatives movement
-similar big changes to mainstream politics around the Western world

The last reason can be looked at a bit more closely: First we had Brexit, and then we had Trump – two big blows to politics as usual and big government hegemony. Also, we have Marine Le Pen who will run for the French presidency with a good chance of winning, and Geert Wilders and his party with a very strong chance of taking power in the March Dutch elections.

There is a widespread move amongst the masses against business as usual, rather useless two-party systems, and unresponsive political leadership. For good or ill, these new leaders – call them what you will: mavericks, rogues, populists, renegades – are appealing to so many who are fed up with governments, parties and leaders who are out of touch, beholden to political correctness, and unconcerned about their very real needs and aspirations.

This is a people power revolution which is sweeping much of the West. Leaders who can harness this discontent and overwhelming desire for change will ride the crest of a wave, and Cory has sensed it is time for something similar here in Australia.

Of course how this all plays out remains to be seen. Will other smaller parties and their leaders join in, or stay as rivals, further splintering the conservative vote? For example, how will Pauline Hanson and One Nation react? Will they hop on board? According to Miranda Devine, it may already be a done deal:

Popular One Nation Senator Pauline Hanson says she would be willing to join forces with maverick Liberal Cory Bernardi if he goes through with a suspected plan to quit in the new year and start his own conservative party. In a stunning proposal that would send shockwaves through the Coalition, Hanson told me on 2GB radio on Monday that she would even consider ceding control of her party to Bernardi in order to lock in conservative voters disillusioned with the Coalition.
“I have a lot of respect for Cory,” she said. “I’d love to work with him or join forces. If Cory wants to take over [One Nation] so be it but at the end of the day it has got to be on the issues that I want to fight for the people.” Many of One Nation’s policies, especially its opposition to Islamic extremism, accord with views expressed by Bernardi, who was sacked from the Coalition front bench by Tony Abbott for making politically incorrect comments about same sex marriage and has remained in exile under Malcolm Turnbull.

Then there are the various smaller Christian and family parties, such as the CDP, the Australian Liberty Alliance, Australian Christians, Family First, Rise Up Australia, the DLP, and so on. Will any of these groups throw in their lot with Bernardi?

It is a momentous day in Australian politics, without doubt. The way it all plays itself out is something we will have to wait on. But it is a start in perhaps a new and much-needed direction. We shall see. In the meantime, Go Cory!

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26 Replies to “Cory Bernardi and Lixit”

  1. If all the parties of the right amalgamated or united, who knows what could be achieved. Sad to say the leaders of the Christian parties tend to be mavericks who only want what they want and might be unable to see the bigger picture so they may have a problem being purists rather than doing what is good for the country.

  2. Love this article Bill.

    Yes it may well be the inertia Australia needs to kick start a truly ‘people’s party’. The Christian parties only came into being because the Labor Left hijacked that party back in the 60’s and now they have hijacked the Liberal/National parties. With this move from Cory who really loves Australia I’d urge ALL the Christian parties to come in under Cory’s umbrella. Hopefully One Nation can be a close ally.

    One thing is for sure. Australian Conservatives have taken enough rubbish from the Left and are wanting to fight back. Here is a comment on Fb I found to be full of hope:

    ‘I’ve just heard his farewell speech. I am so DAMMED PROUD of him. No lies, no smooth cover up. Just saying what he believes! New Conservatives are not dead. We are alive and well. My day and year has just had a huge lift…thank you Cory…I’m on your train and signed up!!!’

  3. Amazing how little exposure the Bernardi event has in the media – the Left want to ignore it pretending it’s insignificant.

  4. This is the first act of a three part play. It’s an interesting move since Cory was convinced that change would only come through one of the two major parties. While we have seen strong numbers in Holland and France voting against the established parties, and UKIP in Britain greatly aided in Brexit, it’s still a huge challenge to achieve a big voting bloc in Australia. We are just too complacent a people. Hopefully this elections dissatisfaction will roll into something much larger in a few years time, and that Cory is riding that wave.

    Good to see that Pauline Hanson was willing to put aside personal ambition for a stronger conservative party. Hopefully we will see others follow, particularly the Christian parties.

  5. I really Hope Cory is successful and there is finally a voice for the many disenchanted voters!

  6. If all this means we end up with a conservative party that is actually conservative in name and reality, that sounds like a good thing. The conservative party being called “liberal” is confusing…

  7. If all the smaller parties soundly stand for one or two things each, conservative voters are then all catered for. A coalition of general opinion. Sure the Liberals may suffer from the lose of one or two seats but then they are liberal, and should target Labour voters better if they want more. Lots of Labour voters can easily be won over with tax and wastage cuts alone. The Liberals are lazy and have bought this on themselves.

  8. What concerns me about the Christian parties is that some of their members are theocrats or dominionists. Where in the BIble does it say that God needs human help to enact His kingdom on earth?

  9. Roger, most of the Christian parties are focussed on a single issue or just a few issues.

    Usually they are important life issues, but most find it hard to do the long-term policy work to develop a set of fully-thought out policies in areas such as welfare, health, education, trade, foreign affairs, defence, taxation and so on.

    The low-hanging fruit of small government sounds easy but isn’t really.

    Some things are obvious – the government no longer needs to run a media network, so ABC-SBS can go. And a lot of centralism/duplication at the Federal and State level can be cut for sure.

    But other savings are harder – the big three are health, education and welfare. And turning the ship of state around to limit spending is going to take a long time.

  10. I support Cory and agree with everything he stands for. But I know more than most having gone the same direct myself in 1998 how difficult it will be. I left the Liberal Party to join the CDP and run for the Senate but in the Election in 1998 I came up against Pauline Hanson in full flight! Just one thing Cory will have to seriously consider: whether he should resign from the Parliament and give the Liberals the chance to replace him with a Liberal in the Senate.

  11. Congratulations Cory. The new story may be ‘Cory and Goliath.’ May your faith in God’s direction in your life bring much fruit in this nation of Australia. I for one will be praying for you that this nation will be astonished at what appears to be your success. We Christians know that God uses humble people who have a big and powerful God, who loves all of the people of this great nation.

  12. If that is Turnbull’s aim Bill and he follows that course of action it will reveal the seeds of bitterness bearing fruit and he will only achieve the destruction of what is left of the Christian heartbeat of Liberal Party.
    Cory has been inside the party rooms interacting with liberal party members and he must have concluded there was no willingness in them to return to Conservative values so what else could he have done? Now having left the ‘broad church’ he could remain an independent and voted his conscience but raising a Conservative Party is going to be a tough gig unless he was brought to this for ‘such a time as this’ and heaven’s kingdom came to Australia’s.
    His policies in the main will be no different to any of the Christian parties and we know how they are currently scoring. He may be able to persuade some of them to join him there does not seem to be the will of that sort amongst them. One Nation has the advantage of having a broader policy base which includes some Christian values and voters find that attractive and Pauline may look the better option. Interesting times ahead for Australia.

  13. Mere Conservatism is not enough: Radical Conservatism which echoes our Lord’s “but from the beginning it was not so” [Matthew 19:8] is what is called for – that Eternal Revolution of which G.K. Chesterton wrote in Chapter VII of his Orthodoxy. A Conservatism that consists solely in “leaving things alone” is tantamount to the Utilitarian ethic, which seeks to get the “ought” of societal ethics from the “is” of current social aspirations, rather than seeking to create a more authentic “is” from the original, most authentic “ought” – the divine Word… As for President Trump, the true nature of his Conservatism has yet to be seen… demagogy is not necessarily the road to a moral higher ground in a nation’s public policies. “In God we trust…”

  14. I would remind people like Ross McPhee that when the Western nations were Christian that was when democracy, our parliamentary system, education, public hospitals, property rights, our legal system, ideas of justice and liberty etc. etc. etc were set up. What we enjoy today is totally and completely the result of Christian culture and for people like him to come up with nonsense claims about dominionism is outrageous. Christian are having to become more politically motivated because it is becoming increasingly clear that the new ideas of secularism are nothing but a very sick race to the bottom. They have shown themselves clearly and repeatedly to be as feckless as the political ideas they are based on and if nothing is done then clearly and obviously all society will suffer. The reason Christians now desire power is not and clearly has not been for the sake of power alone, unlike the left wingers but is to do with what is right and correct and truthful and respectful and just and merciful and functional.

  15. From a mustard seed grows a huge tree sheltering all under is branches.

  16. Wow! Thanks for such an excellent summary of events, Bill. I didn’t know that Pauline Hanson had agreed to join forces with Cory Bernardi. This is really a momentous time in history. Now to see if the Christians will recognize the times and the kairos moment we are in and sweep in in one big show of unity, imagine what could be achieved!

  17. Dear Ross,
    Your understanding of the Bible is elementary. We are servants of the most High God. If Christians do nothing society collapses and we are seeing that occur now as we are fast coming to the end of the age. The “last days”
    Regards Phil
    Do you want Jesus to say “well done good and faithful servant” or would you prefer “wicked servant”?

  18. Dear Bill,

    Thank you for the article.

    Malcolm Turnbull had the audacity to say yesterday that Cory’s constituents had voted for the liberal party so he should resign from the senate and stand as an independent. I told him in an e-mail that his constituents would have voted for Cory because they knew he has traditional conservative values and that he would stick to them and it was HIM who had let these constituents down by abandoning these values. I also reminded him that he had been known to change parties as he was once a member of the Labor party. Quite frankly he should have stayed there or even joined the Greens. I wish Cory every success. He has showed great courage standing up to the weak, disgraceful mob in his own party. There is no wonder he can’t support it anymore. It can’t have been easy and I hope the other smaller conservative parties show a bit of common sense and support him too.

  19. One can only agree with Michael Week’s comments.
    Terry McDonnell.

  20. Roger, your initial comment “If all the parties of the right amalgamated or united, who knows what could be achieved” says it all …. and it is disappointing to see.

    If the Christian and conservative minor parties sat down at a ’round table’, were able to iron out any differences, and get together as a single ‘Australian Christian values’ party, then the Christian community in Australia would have a real alternative to the Coalition. Perhaps those Christians in the Coalition could then move to the new party, and leave Turnbull (and any other ‘Trojan Horses’) to return to the ALP-Greens …


  21. Quite right John. I am seriously thinking of writing to all those Christian parties to encourage them to meet with Cory and discuss possible amalgamation. Splintered as they are they will get nowhere.

    Sometimes it is in the wider interest to subsume ideas into one viable alternative.

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