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Barnett deserves a fair go

Barnett promised he would produce a discussion paper on the directions he hoped the party would travel in modernising its practices and management. To suggest that his paper was confidential or private simply shows that Mr Poprzeczny did not bother to contact Mr Barnett for background comment.

The suggestion that member for Alfred Cove Janet Woollard might come back to the party is misplaced. She has never been a member of the Liberal Party and the seat is certain to be hotly contested by a genuine Liberal at the next election.

Regardless of Doug Shave’s personal ambitions, can I suggest that his future in politics is identical to Pangea Resources’ chances of establishing a nuclear waste dump in WA – non-existent. (Actually, I may be wrong: the Liberals for Forests will be looking for candidates at the next election).

On the subject of a lay party membership drive, I agree with Mr Poprzeczny’s basic thesis that the general public only joins political parties at times of major threats to their status quo. However, I would have thought that gay and lesbian legislation, electoral change, weakening of drug laws and a return to union dominance in the workplace would collectively worry a significant proportion of the population.

If Mr Barnett’s reforms proceed, we should see lay party members voting on prospective candidates.

This would so empower lay party members that it would generate significant public interest in the political process, resulting in better candidates, better MPs and, ultimately, better government.

Of course, Mr Poprzeczny has every reason to be cynical and skeptical of any politician’s efforts to improve the political processes within our democracy.

But it would be nice to at least give Colin Barnett a go, rather than listing the reasons why he shouldn’t even bother trying.

Bernie Masters

Member for Vasse

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