March 8, 2005

PUTTING FAMILY FIRST FIRST:

PM gives Family First preference (Misha Schubert, March 4, 2005, The Age)

For an infant party with just one senator and no balance of power clout, Family First sure commands a lot of attention.

Prime Minister John Howard gave them almost 90 minutes of his time yesterday - and another hour with his top policy advisers - in a clear sign that Coalition heavyweights believe the fledgling political force has a potent future.

Senior ministers have also showered the new party with attention in recent months, as Treasurer Peter Costello, Health Minister Tony Abbott, Finance Minister Nick Minchin and Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews cultivate key figures in the party aspiring to become a permanent third force in Australian politics.

In a "warm" meeting with Mr Howard in his Parliament House office yesterday, Family First chairman Peter Harris and Victorian senator-elect Steve Fielding pressed for Government concessions on a lengthy shopping list of issues.

Afterwards they declared their conditional support for the full sale of Telstra, urged tough new laws on internet pornography and demanded legislation to impose time limits on processing asylum seeker claims.


Such a party would replace the British Tories within a decade.

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 8, 2005 11:22 PM
Comments

They were anti-war, high-tax and high-spend. Who needs 'em?

Posted by: Bart at March 9, 2005 6:33 AM

Australia.

Posted by: oj at March 9, 2005 7:29 AM

Small government conservatism not your thing?

Posted by: Bart at March 9, 2005 11:33 AM

No.

Posted by: oj at March 9, 2005 11:58 AM
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