In which our intrepid hero resolutely neglects to write an opinion on the internal processes of the Liberal Party.

More than a few people have noted that, despite being quite heavily involved in politics, I don’t write about politics on my blog. Why? Well, the answer is simple, if a bit long-winded: the Liberal Party of Australia (NSW Division) Internet Code of Practice.

As I’m a member of the Liberal Party (I’ll make no bones about that, as many of my readers know this already), I’m bound to follow the Code. As a member, I’m not allowed to publish "material" on the Net without permission from the State Director:

‘Material’ is defined as information and/or editorial content on policy, campaign, administrative or matters relevant to the Division and/or the Organisation, in so far as the material purports to represent information relating to the Division and/or the Organisation.

…which means, in a nutshell, that I’m not allowed to express my opinions as they relate to the Party. If I do, then one of the following might occur:

  • Immediate termination/withdrawal of the site or material by the State Director.
  • Suspension of the membership of a member responsible for the publication by State Executive.
  • Disendorsement of a Candidate by State Executive.

How might the State Director take the material down?

The State Director must have written authority to disestablish any web-site directly with the host of such sites as a condition of authorisation.

Furthermore:

No links to other web sites or other internet based material may be made or referenced in material published on the internet without the written authorisation of the State Director.

No alterations, changes, additions or deletions are to be made to such material without the written approval of the State Director.

Firstly, I’m not willing to let the Party exercise that kind of editorial oversight over my blog. Secondly, I don’t want to have to bug Graham Jaeschke every time I want to write an entry; I’m sure the State Director of the Liberal Party has better things to do with his time. Thirdly, I just couldn’t be stuffed going through the whole process.

Interestingly enough, the Code has no parallels with regard to other forms of media. The NSW Liberal Constitution does, however, cite the following clause from the Federal Liberal Constitution, amongst the objectives of the NSW Division:

To have an Australian nation in which an intelligent, free and liberal Australian democracy shall be maintained by freedom of speech, religion and association.

Now, lesser souls than myself might be tempted to comment upon this apparent paradox—but this could be considered editorial content, could it not?

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