The Liberal Party has found it's own Mark Latham. It must be something to do with the electoral cycle. Parties seem to think that the first term or two in opposition are a good time to try a few wild experiments. In the case of the Liberal party it has also jumped back two years. It has clearly learnt nothing from its 2007 election defeat and the intervening two years of political history.
A lurch (back) to the conservative right is the last thing the Australian electorate is going to reward anytime soon. The Howard years are over. Perhaps it is a natural part of the electoral cycle that newly minted opposition parties spend the first term or two still believing that they are still in government. After eleven years in power the remnants of John Howard's government are certainly having trouble coming to terms with the fact that the world has moved on.
At this rate it is going to be a very long time before the Liberal Party can offer a serious alternative for contemporary Australia as distinct from an alternative that involves turning back the clock. Recent polls indicate that the Liberal Party is heading for electoral oblivion, particularly if the climate change skeptics who are now calling the shots get their way and another round of dithering becomes the order of the day. Maybe time travel back into the good old days seems like an attractive alternative to the party's parliamentary members. Bon yoyage!
Photo: Bart Fields