The allegations of branch stacking by the Labor Minister Adem Somyurek by 60 Minutes on Sunday night were very quickly settled by 9am Monday.
The Victorian Premier, Daniel Andrews precipitously sacked Somyurek and asked Labor’s national executive to expel him.
In addition, the Premier asked that all the matters arising from the 60 Minute‘s program be refereed to Victoria police and Victoria’s anti-corruption watchdog, IBAC.
Whilst this is primarily a matter for Victoria it once again highlights the need for a national integrity commission.
I have cut and pasted the next paragraph from an unfinished draft of my next post. It refers to an occurrence in the House of Representatives:
“Despite a sordid whiff of sleaze and corruption hanging over it the government has all but admitted that it has no intention of introducing legislation for a Federal Integrity commission. Mark Dreyfus for the ALP said in a statement:
“The truth is that the Morrison government is trying to delay this debate for as long as possible because it does not want a national integrity commission.”
In the looseness of political speak you might say that with Sports Rorts, the stacking of the National COVID-19 Coordination Commission, the indiscretions of Angus Taylor, new allegations of expense rorting by Stuart Robert, Dan Tehan and Simon Birmingham, fresh accusations that, prior to the last election: “the Coalition had awarded 97 per cent of first-round funding for the Export Hubs Initiative to Liberal or National seats” and the illegality of Robodebt you might understand why the don’t have the stomach an integrity commission.
What is branch stacking?
“Branch stacking is a term used in Australian politics to describe the act of recruiting or signing up members for a local branch of a political party for the principal purpose of influencing the outcome of internal preselections of candidates for public office, or to inordinately influence policy of the party.”
It is not wholly the domain of the Labor Party.
A Google search will give you examples of Liberal Party branch stacking. In fact former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull openly devotes, in his book “A bigger Picture” a lot of words on how he won preselection for the seat of Wentworth with branch stacking.
Of the Liberal Party, Wikipedia also tells us that:
“Commentators and authors within or formerly within the Liberal Party of Australia have claimed similar activity in their branches has had a similar effect. A recent example of alleged branch stacking within the Liberal Party occurred in 2017, with Liberals in Victoria claiming that members from within the party’s religious right were stacking branches with Mormons and Catholic groups in a drive to pre-select more conservative candidates.
A similar situation was reported in 2019, with allegations that members of the Liberal Party’s hard-right faction in Sydney were attempting to engage in branch stacking in order to erode the support of factional rivals, which included sitting Liberal members in several safe state and federal seats.”
Here are some other examples:
Queensland’s Liberal National Party has changed its rules to block factional stacking of the party organisations leadership positions.
Among the allegations now gripping the LNP are branch stacking, unfair party expulsions and suspensions, and the use of star chamber-like candidate vetting and disciplinary hearings to fortify a small group of officials against the rising power of the new membership.
“Branch stacking claims ‘completely false’ LNP state director Brad Henderson said in a statement the claims of branch stacking were “completely false”. “The LNP understands Dr Flegg’s disappointment following the state executive’s decision regarding his pre selection.”
I could go on but I think I have made my point. Branch stacking is a means of gaining political power, usually by people without apathy or the intelligence to gain it honestly.
All political parties should do whatever is necessary to rid themselves, under their rules, of fools like Adem Somyurek.
For me Daniel Andrews acted with appropriate haste to rid his party of this vile man with the vile tongue.
I just wish the federal Liberal Party had the guts to clean up its own act and introduce an anti corruption commission.
The only thing left for me is for someone to ask 60 Minutes how he or she placed those mikes, assumingly without permission.
My thought for the day
Wouldn’t it be good if in our parliament, regardless of ideology, we had politicians whose first interest was the peoples and not their own.
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