By ERWIN CHLANDA
The merciless hammering the Country Liberal Party got in the August 12 election isn’t all bad: It put beyond any doubt that reforms that should have been brought in when the party first lost power, under Chief Minister Denis Burke in 2001, now have to be tackled.
That’s the view of Streve Brown, long-time CLP sympathiser, some-time member, and candidate of the party for Araluen in the last election.
He was defeated by Independent Robyn Lambley, a former CLP politician, leaving The Centre without any Members from the party in its own birthplace.
Mr Brown says the main problem was a communications one: Politicians telling the party what to do, rather than the other way ‘round.
That in turn flowed from preselecting the wrong members, who once getting into Parliament, “went off doing their own thing”.
To boot, these members “were movie starts, picked for performing in media interviews, but without any or enough background experience.
“Their level of knowledge was almost nil.”
Things got even worse when the politicians brought professional minders and advisers into play. Their distance from the party was even greater, says Mr Brown.
“It was incestuous stuff. Some were even floating from party to party, seeking preselection, monopolising their influence.
“They are acting like they are not real people, certainly not from the grassroots.”
And that is where reform must start, he says, stressing that he’s expressing his own opinions that are not necessarily shared by all in the party.
But that’s a body that is splintered into a dozen branches and other groups which are beginning the reform of the CLP with their own reconstruction.
Most have AGMs this month – the Alice Springs branch on October 19.
There are no holds barred in Mr Brown’s comments: “People are saying to me, I would have liked to vote for you, Steve.
“But we had to get the Giles Government out.”
By ERWIN CHLANDA