April 1st 2006

  Buy Issue 2728

Articles from this issue:

COVER STORY: The lessons of Cyclone Larry

EDITORIAL: Elizabeth and the future of the monarchy

CANBERRA OBSERVED: Beazley - federal Labor's last best hope?

INTERNET: Labor's mandatory filtering pledge

NATIONAL SECURITY: When a search warrant becomes a death warrant

ENERGY: U.S. investors head for ethanol industry

STRAWS IN THE WIND: Emperor's new clothes / Tokenism to vandalism / West Papua - here come the people smugglers / heaven help the working man

CHARTER OF RIGHTS: Sneaking through a radical agenda

VICTORIA: School textbook vilifies Christianity

SOUTH AUSTRALIA: Liberal debacle in SA election

TASMANIA: Greens lose out in Tasmanian poll

AVIAN FLU: China obstructs fight against flu pandemic

OPINION: What is behind the rise of European anti-Semitism?

Not anti-capitalist (letter)

Kernot affair the start of the Democrats' rot (letter)

Forces of evil at work (letter)

Disturbance in the force (letter)

CINEMA: Brokeback Mountain - a case of sour grapes


BOOKS: THE NARNIAN: The Life and Imagination of C.S. Lewis, by Alan Jacobs

Books promotion page

Kernot affair the start of the Democrats' rot (letter)

by John C. Massam

News Weekly, April 1, 2006

The decline of the Australian Democrats began when its leader Cheryl Kernot was a secret Labor Party supporter and was having a discreet love affair with a Labor Party minister. At the same time, Meg Lees was deputy leader.

The Democrats' national executive, with the Kernot and Lees families having a number of votes, decided it had the power to override the members' referenda, and then expelled 13 members (10 loyalists and three anarchists) from the Western Australian division. The WA membership dropped from about 200 to about 50 after that.

Kernot's alliance with Labor became public later. Later still, Lees and the other Democrat senators again defied the membership by voting for the Goods and Services Tax (GST).

In recent years, the rump managed to have a quarrel with the effective WA Democrat Senator Andrew Murray, who has been doing such good work on inquiries into the abuse of children in orphanages.

It has amazed me that the Australian Democrat vote has held up as long as it has, until last week's pasting in the South Australian election.

My sympathies to all former Democrat supporters who once believed that their party would honour its members' own referendum decision, but instead let them down.

John C. Massam,
Greenwood, WA

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