Malcolm Fraser leaves party that left him  

Posted by Big Gav

The SMH has an article on the resignation of former leader Malcolm Fraser from the Liberal party, on the grounds it is no longer liberal, having become thoroughly infected with the disease of conservatism - 'Leftie' Fraser leaves party that left him. Crikey has more.

In resigning from the Liberal Party, Malcolm Fraser could well invoke the line that Ronald Reagan used to explain why he quit the Democratic Party - "I didn't leave the party, the party left me."

Since the end of his prime ministership 27 years ago, the Liberals have moved a long way to the right, leaving Fraser increasingly angry and isolated in the party he once led.

The prime minster who was attacked by Labor as being a granite-faced arch-conservative in the 1980s was in January derided by the Liberals' Sophie Mirabella as a "frothing-at-the-mouth leftie."

The surprising thing about Fraser isn't that he resigned in disgust.

Accusing John Howard of being "inhumane" with asylum seekers and Tony Abbott of being guilty of "pure Hansonism," the surprise is that he kept his membership so long.

The closest the Liberal Party has come to revisiting the liberalism of Fraser was its brief flirtation with that other Malcolm, Turnbull.

Turnbull lost the leadership in a clash over support for an emissions trading scheme to deal with climate change.

In this, Turnbull had Fraser's full support.

Fraser last October endorsed a call by 40 scientists calling on the Government to make "every effort" to cut carbon emissions and lead global negotiations.

When did the Liberals tear down Turnbull and replace him with Tony Abbott? December 1 last year. When did Fraser quit the party? In December. This is no coincidence.

Since the fall of the Fraser government, the Liberals have moved to the right in every major realm of policy. ...

The Iraq war particularly rankled with Fraser: "A good ally doesn't just go along with whatever Americans want, and I am sure that George Bush senior and his colleagues agree with me," he said in 2007.

"In some important quarters in America, we are held in contempt for being George W. Bush's puppy dog."

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