Senator Cory Bernardi announces Liberal Party departure

Senator Cory Bernardi has announced his departure from the Liberal Party.

Cory Bernardi leaves Liberal Party

Senator Cory Bernardi has announced his departure from the Liberal party this morning, amid threats from the party that there will be retribution for his ‘betrayal’.

Mr Bernardi announced his resignation prior to the church service to mark the start of a new parliamentary year. His new party is called the ‘Australian Conservatives’.

It is believed that Mr Bernardi has left the Liberals because he prefers small government, lower taxes and free trade, and thinks the Coalition has drifted from these values and is neglecting its voter base.

He’s also seen the writing on the wall, after the Coalition lost over a million votes in the last election to conservative parties such as One Nation.

Liberal Party ministers have expressed their disappointment of Mr Bernardi, with Immigration Minister Peter Dutton saying it’s a betrayal of his voters, Financial Services Minister Kelly O’Dwyer claiming the public have no tolerance for ministers “who are engaged in ego trips”, and Finance Minister Mathias Cormann saying he was “disappointed” by Senator Bernardi’s decision.

“I think that people would feel that their trust has been violated if somebody stood for a particular political party and then left that political party, particularly so soon after an election campaign,” said Ms O’Dwyer.

“I feel that most people would understand [that if] you had strong views and didn’t want to represent a political party, maybe you should represent that prior to the election campaign.

“I think anybody who is elected as a Liberal owes a responsibility, not only to the people who preselected them, but also to the people who voted for them, who placed their trust in them to be a member of that particular political party.”

The Opposition has come out saying the Bernardi’s defection is a further sign that the Turnbull Government is “hopelessly weak”, but Mathias Cormann feels that it’s Labor who’ll be on the back foot should Bernardi decide to leave.

Regardless, Mr Bernardi’s ‘Australian Conservatives’ party is a new threat to be reckoned with, and both sides will have to work out a way to negotiate with him.


How do you think this looks for the Liberal Party? Would you be inclined to follow Mr Bernardi’s new party?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    7th Feb 2017
    Good. And stay out.

    This person is not a big picture thinker, and worries about what are really non-issues. Turnbull must be thinking "Phew!! Why did he wait so long!!" because Bernardi was more of an embarrassment. Cormann is not worth listening to, such a sycophant.

    Bernardi did have a use, as he was good for the "look over there!!" politics, that the Libs like so much. Non-issues to make us all look away from the failures of the major serious nastiness that this government is pushing onto us. There he is, worrying about same sex marriage, when there are pensioners and SF-retirees suffering, major international issues, a threatened economy, a failing medical system and an education crisis.

    Labor is just lying back, letting Libs do all the effort of destroying themselves.

    Pathetic, all of them.
    7th Feb 2017
    Yes... what a disaster Turnbull and his back stabers have brought to the Liberal conservative base.
    If the election result didn't prove the obvious then the Turnbull train wreck that has followed since shows it all.
    Cory has a 50000 support base of betrayed conservatives and and they will have an impact however the move puts the unthinkable pending disaster of Shorten in line for the top job.
    7th Feb 2017
    The Liberals must live in la la land, Peter Dutton saying 'it's a betrayal of voters' whaaaat ,didn't you lot remove an elected Prime Minister?
    Knight Templar
    7th Feb 2017
    Absolutely correct Margie. The party's trust was lost when it betrayed its supporters in removing Tony Abbott. Abbott certainly blundered in many respects but nevertheless Turnbull has proved to be a total disaster whose values are disappointingly to the left of centre. Many liberal supporters will view the "Australian Conservative" party as the true conservative party and give it their full electoral support.
    7th Feb 2017
    No margie they did NOT get rid of an elected Prime Minister at all.

    Mr Abbott was elected to Parliament by his constituency as their representative. The Liberal Party chose him as their leader and the leader becomes Prime Minister (or Opposition Leader). Nothing to do with the people who elected him. The Libral Party then chose Mr Turnbull as their leader who then replaced Mr Abbott since the Leader becomes Prime Minister.

    The issue here is the people who elected Mr Bernardi on one platform now have someone whose platform has changed. Shouldn't they have a say on whether they accept this change or not?

    And given Mr Turnbull has been abused for wanting lower taxes and free trade it is difficult to see what the rift is. Smaller Government is the last issue named in the article. Is that it?
    7th Feb 2017
    You are clutching at straws KSS
    In any election the voters look at leadership and how that leadership conveys the policy.
    For example it was Abbott front and centre that ensured the voters that we will stop the boats, and in a landslide that's what happened.
    7th Feb 2017
    True up to a point jackyd. I did not vote for Mr Abbott because he was not my local candidate. Therefore, I did not and could not vote for him as Prime Minister. Sorry but that is a fact and one that many people fail to comprehend.
    7th Feb 2017
    Mr Trump in Australia. The man can not be trusted. He stood as a Liberal, his election was probably funded by the Liberal Party and now he has betrayed not only those who funded his position but those who voted for him. It does not matter what side of the fence you sit on but honesty to ones party, loyalty to ones electorate and those who voted for him are paramount.
    Whats more he made the move knowing full well that he has 51/2 years before he has to face the electorate again.
    He spent 3 years in the states seconded to the UN just to become a convert to Trumpism. All I can say is God save him, nobody else will want a person who has always bee a loose canon.
    7th Feb 2017
    Sorry I did mean 3 months in the USA on secondment.
    7th Feb 2017
    OK Bernardi was the 2nd biggest donor to the libs cause last election and is one of the few who funds himself.
    I live in sydney but I have already heard from one of his supporters in Adelaide and his supported base is right behind.
    He has more support than Xenophon in Adelaide and would take votes for libs, family first, one nation and if an election were held today he would win a senate seat in his own right.
    No - he has not betrayed his party - the liberal party has betrayed the conservative base.
    At the last election Jim Molam in NSW got more first votes than the 3 NSW liberal senators who were elected - he was 4th on list - why because those that control the NSW liberal party don't want conservatives. This is heart of the problem.
    7th Feb 2017
    Dougie, you need to dig deeper into that loose ground that is in front of you.
    You will find an articulate thinker that is prepared to stand upon his convictions and represent those that voted for him.
    Cory has not as much deserted the LP as much as the LP have deserted all the Bernardi represents.
    7th Feb 2017
    Jackyd and Bob Menzies (thought he was dead and buried.)

    Whatever you may say and whatever you may think the only things that matter to me are : Honesty
    These are the matters that count. Mr Bernardi may well have funded his political career, he may well have some of his supporters behind him but are they Liberals or some ultra conservative group. My point is the man stood as a Liberal, was elected as a Liberal Senator and as such should have had the loyalty to follow through with this. His integrity is questioned because i do not believe that he suddenly had an epiphany and saw the need to cede himself away from his party to start a new ultra conservative party.
    His honesty well I will leave that to others to muse upon.
    7th Feb 2017
    Doggie, Cory's main point is that Abbott stood as a Liberal and was elected as the Liberal Prime Minister....
    7th Feb 2017

    So - what is your point. The last time I looked at this matter Malcolm Turnbull was the Prime Minister of a Liberal Conservative Government. This was after the last election where he was elected as a Liberal Prime Minister, which in Politics is as far back as we go.

    None of your comment goes to the matters of Honesty- Loyalty and Integrity. Corey Bernadi in his declaration to the Senate basically admitted that he would have to work hard to achieve acceptance in the electorate as he felt that people were in affront because of his change.
    7th Feb 2017
    Honesty Loyalty Integrity...
    Issues that should be put to Malcolm Turnbull and his undermining of Abbott.
    See my point now!
    7th Feb 2017

    No not really. I d not know what went on in the Abbott - Turnbull saga, I wasn't there, were you?
    I admired Tony Abbott and still do, however I feel that he was led around by the wrong person and advised in the wrong manner. Still I was not there and base my statement on hearsay and writings by the scribes, particularly Nikki Savas. So again I am going to say that yest I do believe that Turnbull is the better man for the job. Shoot me down if you like but to me he appears to be a statesman. The alternative I shall say nothing about.

    7th Feb 2017
    Whether you like him or not I give him credit for one thing - he has pushed to stop the lifetime gold pass for retired politicians - yes its been around since 1917 but times have changed as have politicans pay and other benefits ( i detest the word entitlement many of them bandy aorund. Even today its down to 10 free flights instead of unlimited but I agree with those that say it should be cut back to zero. Do you think Rudd, Gillard and Howard on over $200k per annum retirement pay need free flights - give me a break.
    Yet today in the libs party room according to a journo on Sky has reported that Senator McDonald and Warren Entsch say their entitlements should remain - apparently there was not overwhelming support for them - then I hear that Abbott and then Turnbull have have put the bill to the Senate but they won't discuss it - I think years ago Paul Keating called the Senate swill/scumbags - yet a lone voice Bernardi says the people want the free passes cancelled but he is told by liberal org to shut up.
    I've slso been told he has just under 80,000 signed up and he has OZ wealthiest person in Gina Reinhart backing him.
    I agree with Jackyd and Margis comments and most of Janus except I think we might be underestimating Bernardi. Lets wait and see
    7th Feb 2017
    Most definately.
    7th Feb 2017
    Sick of all the on-going crap from the over-entitled major parties, with their rorting of the system and lavish spending on themselves from the Public Purse - I would definitely vote for him of he raises the Age pension assets ceiling to pre-January 1 levels!
    Happily retired early
    7th Feb 2017
    Agree totally ....... Drain the swamp ....... I'm disillusioned too!!
    7th Feb 2017
    Well the LNP has been setting great examples of betrayal for people to follow. I think it's Karmic.
    7th Feb 2017
    Good bye Corey and take all of the Thatcherites with you. Some of his former Liberal part members have let the cat out of the bag.
    I) The fixer does not understand a Senator cant be replaced with a bye election.
    ii) Liberal members have to make a solemn oath of loyalty? I thought only the Labor party had such oaths.
    iii) Dud Dutton also has a problem understanding the unrepresentative swill are proportionally elected by State electors.
    iv) He's there fro six years, suck it up and get on with the job.

    Its about time Australian tax payers saw the real Turnbull call the Nationals bluff and start leading.
    7th Feb 2017
    Senator Bernardi was elected as a Liberal so he should resign rather than change allegiances. Can a footy player, mid game, just pull on another team's jersey and switch sides? Been happening in Australian politics for decades....need to stop the rort and fix it now. Simple.
    7th Feb 2017
    No surprise. Combine the Adelaide PAC privileged background, SA Liberal support, monumental ego and a stint with Trump and co on the public purse, he was always going to seek the limelight elsewhere, in an ultra-right wing endeavour.
    Add in the growing far right wing support with heaps of money to endorse the movements of climate change denial, coal proliferation and gas export, he may be out of favour with the LNP, but is looking further ahead.
    Of course he will get support, just as Pauline Hansen has picked up our equivalent of the "rust belt" disenfranchised people who cannot move into the 21st century.
    Happily retired early
    7th Feb 2017
    The Labor and Liberal parties haven't learnt a thing from the Trump experience, the electorate is speaking loud and clear, the two party system is over and Bernardi like him or not is jumping the sinking ship getting in early and he won't be the last. Politics in Australia has been way to left for far too long and now it's going to go way to far to the right.
    How about all parties moving closer to centre and satisfying the majority, that would be a nice change.

    8th Feb 2017
    I read that Bernadi believes he stands for integrity and ethical conduct, yet I don't see much integrity or ethical conduct in his defection given that he stood and was elected as a Lib. However, I'm delighted to see the further weakening of the two-party system. Bring it on! I think destroying the power of the two major parties is the only thing that can save Australia.
    8th Feb 2017
    Conservative values. Perhaps. Does Mr. Bernadi or Mr. Trump really want stasis, no change, maintenance of the status quo? Does anybody really want that? Things change. An indication of values is important but the label clouds the issue as it applied generally. Any party which does not regard itself as progressive in the way it meets change and positions to further the quality of life for citizens would be better to equate itself with prison warders than government. Progressive attitudes are discernable perhaps in every party and it is these you would hope they would sell themselves by.
    8th Feb 2017
    I think Bernardi is on the right track,how could you support a Liberal Party that believe Australia can support unlimited population growth. Australia is the driest continent in the world and the will suffer more from climate change than any other.Wake up Australia and think about our Kids.
    8th Feb 2017
    Bernardi says that his defection is the wish of his constituents, PROVE IT!!!. This malcontent was elected to the senate under the Liberal party banner just six months ago, knowing full well who comprised the leadership of the party, now he has six years to wreak havoc in the party that got him elected. Do the right thing Bernardi. Resign from the government, form your own party and stand for election at the next opportunity under your own banner. I bet you haven't got the guts.
    8th Feb 2017
    Prove it....Cory has a support base of 50000 very angry conservatives that the Turnbull train wreck has ploughed straight through.
    That support base has urged for the break away as it has become apparent that no conservative has the numbers to topple Turnbull and his leftist mates in the LNP.
    He has not defected he has abandoned the LNP to form a new party that offers Conservatives a truer base.
    9th Feb 2017
    PROVE IT!!!

    8th Feb 2017
    Something not well known about Senator Bernardi , is that he may be part Aboriginal , his grandmothers birth certificate reads "Native"
    I wish Senator Bernardi well. I too would like to see smaller Govt and lower tax.
    I like President Regans quote . "
    " Govt is not the answer to the problem , it is the problem "

    8th Feb 2017
    Here is the website of the new party for those who are wishing to know more.
    Good for us if this party along with One Nation gets seats in next Parliaments Fed and State as this will bring back common sense and openness.
    WE are seeing it bit now with Senate allowing us to know where our hard earned tax dollars are being spent or a million or so of them - to one man running AusPost. Only the tip of the ice burg I reckon anyway.

    9th Feb 2017
    Should his new party be called .

    Tory Bernadi Conservative Party .

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