A message from Peter Phelps

I have decided to run for the NSW Upper House, again, at the 2019 State Election. The Liberal preselection for the ‘At-Large’ positions will take place on 25 November, somewhere in Sydney.

I say “positions”, but this is not strictly accurate. You probably remember that in 2011 we had a landslide win, and three ‘At-Large’ candidates were elected: Catherine Cusack, Natasha Maclaren-Jones, and myself. This time we won’t be so fortunate.

As you may have seen, the last ReachTEL poll for NSW had us sitting on only 35% of the primary vote, down 6% from what it had been six months earlier. Even the earlier Newspoll has us on only 38%.

Why does this matter? Because the Upper House is voted on using Proportional Representation, the ‘two-party preferred’ vote is irrelevant. To get a seat, you need 4.54% of the primary vote.

Let’s assume that the real level of support for the State coalition (because we run a joint ticket with the Nationals) on election day is, in fact, about 38%. That would get us 8.37 seat quotas. Liberal State Executive determined the order of the NSW Upper House ticket as:

1. Liberal – Province
2. National – Niall Blair
3. Liberal – Province
4. Liberal – Province
5. National – Sarah Mitchell
6. Liberal – Province
7. Liberal – At Large #1
8. National – Wes Fang
9. Liberal – At Large #2

To get the ninth spot we’d need a primary vote of 41% – and this is not taking into consideration the propensity of some people to vote Liberal for their local member, and vote for another party in the Upper House.

Yes, this really happens – and we lose about 3% of the primary vote this way every election.

So this is where the problem commences: we are only likely to get ONE ‘At-Large’ spot elected, barring an electoral miracle which increases our primary vote by 7% between now and the election.

These are the Liberal candidates, in order in which we will be presenting on the day of the preselection:

1. Scott Yung
2. Leigh Wang
3. Alan Akhurst
4. Peter Phelps
5. Amy Lee
6. Pallavi Sinha
7. Pat Daley
8. Natasha Maclaren-Jones

Some of you might be thinking: what a great field, there are a few people there who should be MLCs!

But that option is not available. Only one person from that field will be elected, in all likelihood.

That is the reason for this post. I understand that calls from candidates have already started, although I am somewhat surprised at this fact, given that the draft roll of preselectors hasn’t even been distributed to candidates yet.

So what can you do?

If you are a State Council delegate, you will be able to vote in this preselection. You should ask yourself these questions:

Who is the best candidate to argue for Liberal values?

Who is the person who will take the fight up to Labor and the Greens in Parliament?

Who will have the courage to prosecute our battles against the Left in public forums?

Who will stand up in the Party Room and demand that Ministers stop being the playthings of bureaucrats, and start following the ideals of the ‘We Believe’ principles?

I’m not going to spruik my own claims here. If you want to, you can (and probably should) speak to your local lower house MP. Ask them one simple question:

Who, from the list of people above, is best able to do this job?

And don’t simply accept “oh, there are many good candidates”. There is only one spot up for grabs. Whether we like it or not, a choice must be made.

If you are a Liberal, but not a NSW State Council delegate, I need your help too.

You will be part of a Branch and/or Conferences who will be sending one or more delegates to the preselection. They are your representatives.

You should be in a conversation with them about who they are backing, and why they are backing that particular person for the #1 At-Large spot.

At the moment, I need my friends.

I have always tried to be honest and open in my dealings with Liberal Party members – I figure that, at the very least, is what they should expect from their Members of Parliament.

If I am wrong, I change my views. But I do not change my views simply because they are unfashionable or because the truth is too scary to say in today’s political climate.

My fights are not personal, they are political. My touchstone, for any issue, are those core values in the ‘We Believe’ statement, the values which we all signed up to when we joined the Liberal Party in the first place.

And whether you have disagreed with me on issues in the past, you always know where I stand.

But on 25 November, there is no ‘silver medal’.

It is my sincerest hope that, on that day, you will be able to support me for preselection.

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22 Responses to A message from Peter Phelps

  1. Driftforge

    Who is ‘Province’?

  2. Rafe Champion

    Vote #1 Peter Phelps!

  3. Hay Stockard

    I won’t be voting Liberal again. Governments aren’t supposed to make life harder for the public. That light rail brain fart. The lockout laws. Proposed fishing bans. More examples if you want them.

  4. Myrddin Seren

    Applaud your initiative in trying to get past the watch towers of the factional warlords and address the troops directly.

  5. Up the Workers!

    Just how many Parliamentary Phelps’s can the NSW Libs bear?

    Is this a “gender-fluid”-type Phelps or a Q.W.E.R.T.Y.L.G.B.T.Q.I.S.S.M.A.L.P.A.C.T.U.-type Phelps, or one who has continuously held the somewhat dubious status of “male” for more than 7 consecutive days?

    What does the A.L.P.’s former Prime Quisling, Malcontent Turncoat have to say on this particular ‘Phelps candidacy’ – has Bonking Billy given Grand Mal his daily script on the topic yet??

  6. Justinian the Great

    I am not from NSW and do not know Peter at all. I am not sure what an “At Large” spot is.

    However, this post sounds an awful lot like the game is rigged and you already know the outcome.

    I would love to say your appeal to decency or merit has a chance but realism says you are probably toast.

    However, the Liberal Photios “Party” long ago abandoned meritocracy.

    Its just a numbers game based on self interest.

  7. Texas Jack

    “Liberal Values…”
    Hilarious

  8. Percy Popinjay

    Phelpsy, we have met in person several years ago. I’ve enjoyed your senate roastings of the greenfilth and various other collectivist idiots over the years, but seriously, enough.

    Quit the shambling zombie corpse that is the liberal party and run for the Senate for the AusCons.

    You’d romp it in.

    Governments aren’t supposed to make life harder for the public. That light rail brain fart. The lockout laws. Proposed fishing bans.

    Greyhound ban, return and earn, shutting down of various heavy rail lines, massive over development in established suburbs, multiple clockwork like tax increases, etc. As I said, enough.

  9. Procrustes

    Peter, I’m not in NSW but I wish you the best of luck as you are someone who represents classical liberal values. PS stay away from the Aust Cons, please.

  10. Robbo

    Frankly my dears I don’t give a damn.

  11. Tel

    Why does this matter? Because the Upper House is voted on using Proportional Representation, the ‘two-party preferred’ vote is irrelevant. To get a seat, you need 4.54% of the primary vote.

    That’s totally wrong, preferences still distribute for the NSW Legislative Council and they always have done. It’s never been a first past the post system. The distribution of preferences is a different formula, but they still make a difference.

    Above the line

    If you choose to vote above the line, you must put a number ‘1’ in one of the squares above the thick horizontal line. By doing this you are voting for that whole group of candidates in the descending order they are listed below that square. That is all you have to do.

    But if you want, you can show your second choice of group and more choices if you want, by putting a number ‘2’, then ‘3’ and so on in the squares above the line.

    If you vote this way, you do not have to put numbers in any squares below the line.

    https://www.elections.nsw.gov.au/voting/casting_a_vote/legislative_council

    Now there’s quite a few people in NSW who only put a “1” above the line, mostly because the fact that votes exhaust has not been widely publicized and the older system would automatically fill in party preferences. I suspect that as people come to understand what’s going on the use of preferences will increase.

    It might be a fair guess that not many people who vote anything other than Liberal Party would both including a Liberal preference… that I can understand, but it has nothing to do with Proportional Representation and everything to do with the Liberal Party (that said, it’s a tiny bit unfair to paint the NSW Liberals with the same brush as Turnbull and ScoMo but that’s gonna happen).

  12. overburdened

    I suppose this fits somehow into the libertarian ethos. I have just now returned to the files after a sabbatical, anticipating telling a good news yarn, and after a short scroll down found this post.
    I am now deflated that the site is being used for a bloke to test his message on the sympathetic before hitting the streets.

  13. overburdened

    Not questioning the bloke’s ethos or mission. I felt that I was being talked to in a way that targets the lowest common denominator, and that is something that probably belongs in a letter box

  14. Marcus

    Peter Phelps seems like a decent guy and I wish him well.

    As for the NSW Liberals, though … well, if inventing smears against Luke Foley is the only way they think they can win, then for decency’s sake I hope they lose.

  15. Tel

    Who is the best candidate to argue for Liberal values?

    Who is the person who will take the fight up to Labor and the Greens in Parliament?

    Who will have the courage to prosecute our battles against the Left in public forums?

    Probably these guys.

    https://www.shootersfishersandfarmers.org.au/

    I know, I know, they don’t understand economics and country people have a cynical approach to government but at least they take a small stand against the Nanny State which ultimately is the thing that is most destroying this country.

  16. Rae

    What’s to decide?

    Of course you want to run again. The Upper House of the NSW Parliament is just another example of unrepresentative swill. Career politicians who enjoy 8 year terms at our expense, occupying party positions and sitting on lots of committees for which they receive additional payment, while rigidly following their party line. They are time-servers who do not serve any constituents and should not be allowed to stay in parliament for more than one term.

  17. Leo G

    The Upper House of the NSW Parliament is just another example of unrepresentative swill.

    Not necessarily. The term only applies when the Premier finds his party can’t work the numbers in the Upper House and doesn’t get its way.

  18. Bela Bartok

    Are you a member of the Uni party?
    A pox on both your houses.
    Labor/Liberal – same stench.
    Let’s see if Mr. In Formal can win a few seats.
    Either way we’re farked whoever clown pretending to do anything wins.
    Politicians = swill

  19. PoliticoNT

    Peter – what we love about you is your capacity to speak honestly, humourously and with a blunt disregard for the feelings of the virtuous Left. They are the enemy of society and you make no bones about it.

    But…the Liberal Party. Sorry mate, but the cowardice, the avarice, the laziness, and the almost absolute refusal to fight for what this country needs…..well, what is the point in voting for your mob anymore? We need representatives who will fight for the legislative changes we need from day one, not wait 3-4 terms then have a half-hearted go at trying to slip something through without Labor/Greens/ABC noticing. (See Hastie as the model, not Wilson.)

    Sorry but I voted for you guys for 30 years. I don’t see this as productive anymore.

  20. The Sheriff

    How an empty suit like Niall Blair can be near top of the ticket and sit in Cabinet shows what a joke state politics has become.

  21. Occupy Centrelink

    Thanks for opposing the ethanol mandate. Another policy that reminded everyone how un-liberal the LNP have been. Think you would be a good fit with Liberal Democrats but anyway ..

  22. Chris

    Sorry but I voted for you guys for 30 years. I don’t see this as productive anymore.

    Same. I even kept voting for Howard after that revolting treatment of a million decent people in 1996.

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