WA liberals blame attitudes towards women and religious fundamentalism for federal election disaster

The Liberal Party has wobbled too far to the right in its embrace of religious ‘fundamentalists’ and will ‘die as a party’ without serious reform according to a WA Liberal veteran, as parties jostle in the wake of a federal government lamentable. electoral performance.

Former Federal Cabinet Minister Ken Wyatt, who lost his Hasluck seat, condemned the party for being ‘guy-centric’, while Liberal Party state chairman Richard Wilson promised a major overhaul of the how candidates were chosen.

Former party leader Bill Hassell was scathing in his assessment of the party he led in WA in the 1980s, suggesting a dire future without major corrective action.

“If the holdouts in the Liberal Party aren’t ready to step aside or get out, we’re going to die as a party, that’s as bad as that,” Mr Hassell told ABC Radio Perth.

Tormented Clan Liberal Party: McGowan

Premier Mark McGowan also weighed in, dismissing the WA Liberals as a “fringe group”.

He said they were controlled by “extremist factional power brokers” – an allusion to “The Clan”, a loose group of conservatives, including former federal finance minister and WA MP Matthias Cormann, MPs from upper house Peter Collier and Nick Goiran, and Ian Goodenough, Moore’s incumbent MP who ABC says will narrowly retain his seat.

Ian Goodenough is struggling to hold on to his once secure seat in Moore, a northern suburb of Perth.(ABC News: Ross Nerdal)

Mr McGowan refused to take credit for Labour’s strong performance in WA, instead blaming it largely on the Morrison government’s decision to back Clive Palmer in his High Court challenge to the closure of the border in the state.

“It was a terrible decision…it was stupid,” Mr McGowan said.

“Join Clive Palmer – what were they thinking, why would they do this?”

Christian Porter, Matthias Cormann blamed

Morrison’s former minister Michaelia Cash was joined by Mr Wilson today in blaming the decision to join this High Court bid squarely on retired WA MPs Christian Porter and Mr Cormann.

‘It turned out to be the wrong decision, it’s absolutely true,’ Mr Wilson said today.

Mr McGowan’s assessment was that if former Prime Minister Scott Morrison had listened to WA Liberals opposed to joining Mr Palmer, the WA election result might not have been so dire.

A brown haired man wearing a suit and tie looks to the right, he is in focus with people closer to the camera out of focus
Christian Porter’s decision to support Clive Palmer’s border challenge while serving as federal attorney general has been criticized. (ABC News: Ian Cutmore)

“I suspect that if the Prime Minister and Mr Porter had listened to them, the outcome might have been a little different here,” Mr McGowan said.

The Liberals lost the Perth metropolitan seats of Swan, Pearce, Hasluck and Tangney, as the race was tight in the once secure Liberal seat of Moore, where Mr Goodenough is slightly ahead.

They also appear to have lost the blue ribbon seat of Curtin’s heart to independent Kate Chaney.

It comes after the state’s Liberals were nearly wiped out after the state’s last election when they were left with just two seats in the lower house.

Women, the vote affected by climate change

Senior WA Liberal and former Morrison cabinet minister Ken Wyatt, who had been MP for Hasluck, said people told him on federal election day that they wanted to vote for him but couldn’t not because of the “mindset” of his party, especially on the climate. change and women.

“I had a young woman say to me ‘your party needs to do something for women, including having more women in politics,'” Mr Wyatt told ABC Radio Perth.

Asked what the WA Liberal Party should do after its loss of so many seats in WA, he said the party should follow up on the review done after the loss of the state elections.

“WA needs some serious soul-searching,” he said.

“We shouldn’t be guy-centric like we have been in the past.”

Mr Wilson promised that party members would have more of a say in the pre-selections in future.

“We need the best possible candidates to be placed in our seats in the 2025 elections, both state and federal, and that means we need to fundamentally review the way we select candidates,” he said. he told ABC Radio Perth.

“And I would expect that if members of our state executive or our state council do not believe reform is necessary, I would expect them to review their positions on those bodies. because I think we got a pretty clear message now.”

“We have lost the crown jewels”

Mr Hassell said the party had received three recent messages at the WA ballot box but failed to listen and implement real change.

“We need action, we need very strong action and we need very strong leadership,” he said.

He said the party had swung too far to the right.

An older man with white hair and glasses, wearing a suit, stares to the right of the frame with a serious expression.
Former WA Liberal Party leader Bill Hassell is scathing in his assessment of where the party has gone astray.(ABC News: Keane Bourke)

“Fundamentalists, whether Christian, Muslim or otherwise, are dangerous people because they don’t want to live in the community according to general community standards,” he said.

“They want to impose their particular belief system and philosophies on all of us, and that’s one of the problems with the Liberal Party – what we call the religious right. ‘I think they’re…seriously misguided.’

He said MPs should not interfere in the approval process ‘because it’s the politicians intervening who have reduced us to this rump’.

“We lost the crown jewels. Losing Tangney, losing Curtin is just wrong, wrong,” he said.

“The only way to fix it is if we have sweeping reforms.”

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Now with 75 seats, Labor is approaching its majority.

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