Liberal pollster: we’ll keep drinking the Kool-Aid

kool-aID jonestown tony barry

Former Liberal strategist and pollster Tony Barry didn’t pull any punches about yesterday’s Victorian Liberal Party election loss. He described the party as looking a bit like Jonestown and said he suspected they’d keep drinking the Kool-Aid.

‘Drinking the Kool-Aid’ originated from the 1978 Jonestown massacre in Guyana. Jim Jones, the leader of an American Christian revivalist cult convinced, coerced, or forced members to drink cyanide-laced Flavor Aid. Over 900 people died, over a third of them children.

As the results came in from yesterday’s election, Tony Barry succinctly summarised his party’s main problem.

“The Liberal party room is beginning to look a little bit like Jonestown. And I suspect we’ll keep on drinking the Kool-Aid next term as well.”

During the election campaign, Liberal leader Matthew Guy had to defend the endorsement of anti-trans and anti-abortion senate candidate Moira Deeming. Later, he announced another Liberal senate candidate would not be allowed in the party room over her affiliation with a conservative church accused of stacking Liberal branches to influence preselection. Then, a further controversy over another candidate’s comments on Aboriginal recognition, climate change and abortion.

Today, on ABC Radio, Tony Barry described a ‘fundamental values disconnect between the Liberal Party and the community’.

He’s right, and the Libs won’t change. After progressive political forces (Labor, Greens, Teal) wiped the floor with the Liberals in this year’s federal election, there was some momentary reflection on how the party had to change. Calls for the party to stop living in the past and catch up with modern sensibilities.

Peter Dutton

Party elders thought about the best way forward… and replaced Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister for Everything, with Peter Dutton!

There’s nothing new about loud, angry voices insisting they are the majority. We’ve heard the bleating about every change heralding the end of civilisation for generations.

The right said the same about votes for women, scrapping God Save the Queen as the national anthem, and compulsory seat belts. But mainstream political parties usually evolve to reflect changing community attitudes. Not the Libs — home to politicians who insist everyone call them ‘the honourable’ while moaning that people choosing their own pronouns will usher in end times.

And sadly, those troglodytic voices are amplified by a Pravda-like mainstream media. Much of it controlled by a 91-year-old American businessman with a 60-year history of influencing elections in his own favour.

Indeed, if the Libs don’t start reading the room, the Greens will overtake them as one of the two natural parties of government. They’ll then be reduced to a rump playing second fiddle to a newly dominant Nationals coalition partner.

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Destiny Rogers

Destiny Rogers embarked on her career in the media industry immediately after high school, initially joining Mirror News, which later evolved into News Ltd. She fondly recalls editing Ian Byford's 'Passing Glances: A History of Gay Cairns' as one of her most fulfilling projects. Additionally, Destiny co-researched and co-wrote 'The Queen's Ball', chronicling the history of the world's longest-running continuous queer event. Her investigative work on the history of Australia's COON Cheese and Edward Coon culminated in the publication 'COON: More Holes than Swiss Cheese', a collaborative effort with Dr. Stephen Hagan. Destiny's journey at QNews began as a feature writer, and she was subsequently elevated to the role of Managing Editor of QNews Magazine in 2018. However, in July 2022, she decided to resign from this role to refocus on research and feature writing. For contact, please reach out at

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1 Comment

  1. Peter Turner
    30 November 2022

    It’s been amusing watching the libs sliding into irrelevance.
    After their fling with right wing religious fundamentalism under Morriscum and his seven mountains mandate you would think they’d have learnt their lesson.

    It seems nothing can stop their further slide into oblivion.

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