Queensland Election: Liberal National Party Review Released

Campbell Newman & Jeff Seeney - from Jeff's website

Campbell Newman & Jeff Seeney – from Jeff’s website

On January 31, 2015, Queensland’s Liberal National Party lost State Government by a small margin, after having taken Government in 2012 with a record swing and a huge majority in the Queensland parliament.

Today the LNP released their review of what went wrong for them, and you can download it here: http://lnp.org.au/election-review/.

It is too soon to review the Report in depth but it finds, inter alia:

“The overwhelming election win of 2012 led to hubris and a false sense of security consolidating an energetic and reformist government leadership team but without parliamentary experience. The huge influx of inexperienced new MP’s and a leader without parliamentary background contributed to a lack of corporate history in the conduct of parliament and the party room.

“Broad based disappointment has been expressed with the campaign and the election defeat. Undoubtedly, the leadership of the government contributed to the election loss including:

  • the breaking of the promise that public servants had ‘nothing to fear’;
  • the perception of arrogance arising from not listening to the people;
  • pursuing the large scale privatisation of assets to which the majority of voters opposed or had serious reservations;
  • the alienation of key stakeholders in the decision making process; and
  • the two year discordant relationship with the organisational wing.

“The campaign itself, the responsibility of the central campaign committee had inherent problems such as failing to:

  • address the perception of the Government’s arrogance and to turn this weakness into strengths;
  • promote the government’s considerable achievements in fixing “labor’s mess’ and growing the state’s economy;
  • launch an attack program to rebut the deceitful and untruthful propaganda of the party’s opponents;
  • engender confidence with local campaign committees; and
  • manage the expectation that the party with its large majority would hold government at the poll.”

The Report makes 39 recommendations:

  1. The Borbidge Sheldon review report and recommendations must be released to party units at the same time it is given to the state executive and made public thereafter.
  2. The review committee notes the actions taken by the parliamentary party to address the lessons learned from the 2015 election defeat.
  3. The review committee notes the over-riding need to improve the relationship between the parliamentary and organisational wings of the party and recommends:
    1. The parliamentary party members retain the right to select their leader from within their own ranks.
    2. A compact be established to define the relationship between the parliamentary and organisational wings of the party.
      1. That the compact be prepared by a party member nominated by the parliamentary leader who should be a previous parliamentary leader of the LNP, the liberal party or the national party, a party member nominated by the state president who should be a former president of the LNP, the liberal party or the national party and one other, jointly nominated by both.
      2. That the compact be agreed to by the parliamentary party and the state executive and signed by the parliamentary leader and the party president.
  4. That the state executive address as an urgent priority meaningful connectivity and communications with the grassroots membership.
  5. That the LNP Integrity Paper should be updated and implemented and all candidates should be required to acknowledge and accept its requirements. That the LNP in government or opposition be required to adhere to the principles which include:
    • broken promises will not be tolerated by the public;
    • corruption and lack of accountability will not be tolerated;
    • the institutions of state must be respected.
  6. That major policy issues proposed by the parliamentary party where possible be subjected to debate at either the state council or the state convention or, if found to be urgent, be considered by the president’s committee/state executive for comment.
  7. That a party platform detailing the party’s principles and policies be finalised for distribution to members as a matter of urgency.
  8. That the president and the state director, in the LNP Annual Report indicate that the administrative, organisational, financial and policy responsibilities as required under the LNP’s constitution has been complied with.
  9. That the central campaign committee be restructured to include party policy and decentralised representatives as determined by the president and parliamentary leader.
  10. The position of campaign director should be separate from the state director and report to the state president.
  11. The review committee notes that a limited number of federal issues impacted adversely on the state campaign, in particular the controversy over the awarding of knighthoods, the GP co-payment and the defence pay issue and recommends:
    • That close consultation be establish between the central campaign committee and the federal leadership to minimise adverse impacts on state campaigns of federal issues and that a liaison unit be established between central headquarters (CHQ) and the federal leader’s office.
  12. That a central campaign strategy allow increased decision making for local campaigns.
  13. That state elections be avoided during the month of January as it is a recognised holiday period.
  14. The review committee notes with concern:
    • The absence of a marginal/target seats campaign at the 2015 state election and recommends that the strategy be reinstated for future state elections,
    • the absence of a negative advertising campaign, the want of the central campaign committee to exploit the weaknesses of the prime opponent, and
    • the lack of third party endorsements in support of the party’s policies and actions in the campaign.
    • It is recommended that such strategies be included in future state election campaigns.
  15. Sitting MPS, recontesting the poll should be permitted to handle PVA’s for his/her electorate, whilst candidates PVAs should be managed by the central campaign.
  16. It is essential that booth advertising material should arrive prior to prepolling; booth signs should be of a size that enables them to be easily and safely transported.
  17. The centralised banking system and the campaign funding/ budgeting process should be reviewed specifically to provide party units with increased financial control and campaign committees with the latitude to make funding decisions – whilst maintaining the link to CHQ budget/systems/agreements. It recommended that:
    • That the treasurer report to state convention or council, as a matter of urgency, on measures that can be implemented to provide SEC’s with greater responsibility for their funds and budgets.
  18. The Just Vote 1 strategy should be reviewed to ensure that it is applicable to the political and election circumstances.
  19. The review committee notes the enhancements to the applicant review process for the endorsement of candidates and recommends that the processes be monitored to ensure they are robust to meet any issue that may emerge.
  20. Plebiscites should be the preferred method for the selection of candidates.
  21. That the CHQ organisational structure be reviewed to improve efficiency with emphasis on communications, policy development, membership services and the delivery thereof.
  22. That the gender balance of the state executive be a consideration of members when electing persons to roles on this body.
  23. That all appointments made by the state president or the state executive be subject to confirmation by state council.
  24. That the composition of the president’s committee be widened to include the parliamentary leader or his nominee.
  25. That members of state executive recognise the responsibilities associated with their dual roles of governance and communications to and from party units and ensure they act as conduits of information.
  26. That a membership customer relations manager be appointed.
  27. A permanent strategic research office should be established in CHQ to undertake electorate and policy research.
  28. A membership development strategy should be developed to grow the membership which should include the introduction of online membership applications.
  29. A new category of family membership should be introduced.
  30. State convention or state council resolutions be categorised to reflect the three levels of government so that the responsible minister/shadow/councillor or other office holder may be present for the duration of the debate.
  31. State convention and state council attendance by the parliamentary leader and members of parliament be required unless in extenuating circumstances.
  32. Meetings of the LNP state council and state convention and shadow cabinet meetings should be held, where practicable in regional centres as well as the capital city.
  33. That ministers/shadows meet regularly with party policy chairs and their committees and attendance or otherwise conveyed to the parliamentary leader and the state president.
  34. That CHQ prepare a data base of membership expertise as a resource for MP’s and policy committees.
  35. That the LNP establish an independent review of its social media strategy and its effectiveness compared to our political opponents.
  36. That social media training should be introduced for MP’s, senior staff and party members.
  37. That an ongoing social media strategy be developed.
  38. That members of parliament and candidates not be directly involved in the soliciting of funds.
  39. That the LNP consider the full public funding of election campaigns and the banning of trade union and corporate donations.

 

 

About Mike Smith

Partner in Ethical Consulting Services: www.ethicalconsulting.com; sometime University lecturer; previously Government Relations consultant; before that Labor Party State Secretary in Northern Territory; union advocate with LHMU/United Voice in NT and NSW; hobby – election campaigns!

Posted on May 29, 2015, in campaigning, Change, Crisis management, Culture, Culture change, Democracy, Election, Governance, Government decision-making, ideology, Leadership, Political tactics, Politics, Queensland, Queensland Government, Strategy, Voting and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Damian McGreevy Consulting P/L

    Michael,

    What a pathetic report – Newman comes out of it almost squeaky clean and it was his hellbent arrogance over the whole three years that led to the election defeat.

    I love the suggestion they need to get into social media and public funding of elections.

    Regards

    Damian McGreevy

    PO Box 185 Indooroopilly Q 4068 0408 151643 damian.mcgreevy@bigpond.com

    Damian McGreevy Consulting Pty Ltd is registered under the Lobbying Codes of Conduct in relevant Australian jurisdictions (Commonwealth and Queensland Governments).

    Please consider the environment before printing this email

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  1. Pingback: Queensland Election: Liberal National Party Review Released | mikesmithonline

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