Here is an interesting thing. Two columnists whose opinions I usually trust have well written, well argued positions on Cory Bernardi’s Australian Conservatives.
If he is wants to be truly constructive, Bernardi instead should put his Australian Conservatives vanity project aside and work constructively with his parliamentary and wider Liberal friends and colleagues to renovate the Liberal party, broadening its flagging appeal through reflecting mainstream centre-right values and restraining its drifting too far to the Turnbull comfort zone of the priggish socially-progressive left. He can become the internal Liberal champion of sensible social and economic policies, and not agitate externally to the party – unless, of course, he plans to leave it himself.
And perhaps Bernardi should read more Burke, Mill and Disraeli, and less Tea Party or Trumpian tracts from the United States that don’t have a clue about what conservatism means?
Good on Cory Bernardi. The move by the South Australian senator to set up a home for those on the Centre-Right of politics in Australia is needed now more than ever. After an election that saw the Turnbull government barely scrape home, and more than a million voters chose an independent or micro-party in the Senate, conservatives have two choices.
Do nothing, remain complacent, trust in the righteousness of their cause, watch the centre-right landscape fracture further and hand the next election to an emboldened Left.
Or they can learn from the Left, unite around values, get clever about language, reclaim morality as their own and understand that left-wing activism can’t be defeated by sober words and rational speeches. It will be defeated only by right-wing activism that takes nothing for granted.