SO, former Australian Democrats leader Meg Lees and former AD senator John Woodley have started a new political party -- which we need like a hole in the head.
Shouldn't the members of the Australian Democrats ask why Senator Lees doesn't hand over her seat to a current AD member?
After all, AD members helped get her into Parliament, raised funds, went to many meetings, voted on policy, and so on.
[Picture of Senator Meg Lees, wearing glasses.]
The former AD leader Cheryl Kernot, when she crossed over to Labor, resigned her seat in a democratic manner -- why not Meg?
Among other exploits, Meg plus her then husband and Cheryl Kernot were among those who were partly responsible for decimating the WA division, starting in 1993 and finishing it in 1994.
The national bodies they influenced had refused to act firmly against a WA branch-stacking takeover group, mainly former Labor members, who ended up actually taking the office furniture and equipment away.
The Lees-Kernot people in 1994 drove out 10 brave hard workers plus three other people, and refused to stick to the democratic WA constitution.
Under that constitution, people who broke promises, such as on GST, would be removed from their positions. Is that what it's all about?
The Lees-Kernot group installed as a kind of WA dictator a person who had previously run into trouble with the majority of the WA membership of the time. Members left in droves, or declined to renew their subscriptions.
I encourage Senator Murray to remain loyal to the AD Party, because he has much good work to do in matters such as the child-abuse field in institutions.
JOHN MASSAM, former Australian Democrats WA divisional secretary, Greenwood.