Where to for the Qld Nationals?
The Qld Coalition has lost another election because the evolution towards presidential style elections has exposed the squalid anti-rural bias of a very large swathe of urban voters who simply will not support a National MP as alternate Premier.
It is evidenced by Flegg's response to the question of who will be Premier if the Liberals win the majority of seats. The proper response from a true professional, who's first duty to his clients is to recognise the limits on one's own capacity to serve, would have been to say, "as I have no experience as a Minister, it would be best, for the first term, that the post of Premier be filled by someone who has (ie, Springborg)".
A follow up statement about how his sole focus was on fixing health would have boosted his credibility ten fold. But instead, the Field Marshall's baton was out of his kit, obscuring his vision, and exposing the Lance Corporal within.
The Liberals seriously believed that they could win a presidential style election by insisting that the (alternate President) Coalition leader not campaign in the South East. They demonstrated that they not only recognise the anti-rural bias in the metropolitan electorate, they manifest it themselves, in buckets.
The Nationals have to ask why they persist with this belief that the best way to serve their own community is by way of the contortions required to become "mayor of greater Brisbane". Those days are gone.
The Nationals must recognise that there is no future, for either themselves or the community they serve, as minor shareholders in a single state with a majority that is seriously prejudiced against them. To persist with this delusion is to expose their community, not just to the risk of serious institutional harm but, more likely, the certainty of serious harm.
Springborg has recognised the nature of the problem he faces and concluded that a merger of parties would ease his urban marketing woes. But that will surrender any semblance of representing the unique needs of a distinct community of interest.
The sooner the bush has it's own state, or states, the better.
First Posted on Online Opinion by Perseus, Monday, 11 September 2006 10:34:00 PM