Former Liberal MP and Eurobodalla Shire resident John Haslem has spoken out on the leadership “mess” in Canberra.
“The current mess, instigated by the right wing of the Liberal Party is no good for the party or Australia,” Mr Haslem said.
“The Liberal Party for years was a party of the center-right, and those that are seeking to destroy the party are wanting the party to reflect very conservative social values.
“This will more than likely lead to the election of a quite left-wing Labor party at the next election.”
Mr Haslem said voting was probably driven by a shift away from Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, rather than a shift towards Peter Dutton or Scott Morrison.
“People tend to get voted out, and I think there was a considerable disenchantment with Malcollm Turnbull’s political judgement,” he said on Thursday, August 23.
“The initial vote was probably more a dissatisfaction with Malcolm Turnbull’s judgement. If Dutton wins, you’d have to say there’s been a significant swing to the right by the parliamentary party.
Mr Haslem said the conflict was “ironic”.
“The irony of the whole thing is the Liberal Party managed to get a popular PM. and then they didn’t know what to do with him, and they panicked,” he said.
“It’s the parliamentary party that’s doing it, and they're not even being logical.
“The worst thing Malcolm Turnbull did was to say the by-election was an indication – it was an absolute own goal. No one wins a by-election when they’re in government.”
Mr Haslem said although the political turmoil was disappointing, it was nothing new.
“When Holt died, in the 60s, John McEwen was appointed as caretaker PM, and refused to work with Billy McMahon,” he said.
“The turmoil in politics is nothing new, unfortunately. We had a smooth period under Menzies, the Hawke/Keating government and then again under Howard. In between.”