But a story in today’s Sunday Age suggests that what I think is the LDP’s first electoral impact in Victoria is, well, not exactly striking a blow for freedom.
Their Senate preference deals, it seems, are helping bring back to life the political fossils in the DLP, with their candidate John Madigan set to win the last Victorian Senate spot. Even Madigan’s occupation – a blacksmith – seems out of another era. He’s an old-fashioned working class conservative Catholic, who wants the shops to shut at 12 on a Saturday and is ‘sentimental about Australia’s diminished manufacturing industry’ (ie presumably wants tariffs back). The ghost of BA Santamaria will haunt the Senate.
According to the Sunday Age
Madigan was helped by preferences from One Nation, the Christian Democrats and the Liberal Democratic Party. The latter is the real surprise: the LDP disagrees with the DLP’s views on gay marriage, stem cells and abortion, but its policy is to preference minor parties before major parties.
I can understand the LDP’s strategy – this last Victorian spot seems to be a lottery in which complicated Senate preference deals can get people with negligible actual support elected, which is the most promising route for a low-profile party like the LDP.
But in this case the cause of freedom would probably have been served better by just about any candidate from the major parties, even the Liberal Madigan looks like defeating, Julian McGauran.