11 August 2020

UPDATED: Coe dumps Liberal candidate for criticising acknowledgement of country, homosexual police "bias"

| Dominic Giannini
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Liberal candidate Peter McKay

Peter McKay described Indigenous acknowledgment of country as “animistic religions” in a 2018 submission. Photo: Supplied.

UPDATED 2:00 pm, 11 August: The newly endorsed Liberal candidate for Kurrajong Peter McKay has quit the race after his comments about Indigenous acknowledgement of country and a homosexual “bias” in ACT Policing were made public today.

Liberal leader Alistair Coe has issued a statement saying the comments do not accord with the standard that he expects of the Liberal team.

”Accordingly, earlier today I sought Mr McKay’s resignation as a candidate which has since been tendered and accepted,” he said.

”My vision of ensuring Canberra is the best place to live, work and raise a family, includes ensuring Canberra is inclusive of all people, regardless of their culture, ethnicity, faith, gender or sexuality.

”This prompt and decisive action underscores the seriousness in which I have taken this matter.”

But Mr Coe did not answer questions about whether the Party was aware of Mr McKay’s comments when he was preselected or its vetting process for selecting candidates.

Mr McKay made the comments in a submission to the Religious Freedom Review in 2018.

The ACT’s openly gay Chief Minister, Andrew Barr, who also came under attack in the submission, said the comments were a sad reflection of the values of the Canberra Liberals, and would be alarming to most Canberrans.

”This is now mainstream opinion within the political party. Its very, very regrettable,” he said.

He called the Liberal Party in Canberra an ultra-conservative party, and said Mr McKay was not the only candidate who held these sorts of views.

Earlier today, it had been revealed that Mr McKay, whose pre-selection for Kurrajong was announced on Sunday, took aim at the Indigenous acknowledgement of country and a supposed homosexual “bias” in ACT Policing in the submission.

He is the second Liberal candidate to resign from the Kurrajong race. He replaced Vijay Dubey, who resigned last month after falling out with the party. Mr McKay was a Liberal candidate in Kurrajong at the 2016 election, taking 2.6 per cent of the vote.

His comments appear to be at odds with the Liberal Party’s stated support for delivering the Acknowledgement of Country in Ngunnawal.

“The government’s adoption of animistic religious practices is to be condemned. The welcome to country ceremony does not accord with aboriginal practice and is a misrepresentation,” Mr McKay wrote in his 2200-word submission.

“The last one I attended included the acknowledgement and worship of aboriginal ancestors. This is similar to a number of animistic religions around the world.

“These religions did not result in the benefits of development that emanates [sic] from western civilisation (ie founded on the precents [sic] of the Christian world view).”

Mr McKay also singled out Chief Minister Andrew Barr – Australia’s first openly gay head of government – when criticising how authorities handled an attack on the Australian Christian Lobby’s office in Deakin in December 2016.

“In the case of the ACT all same-sex advocates are not the same,” he wrote.

“The man that used six gas bottles to bomb a secluded Christian organisation in Canberra had worked as an advocate in the USA yet the within 24 hours of the attack the ACT Police influenced by the homosexual Chief Minister and the strong lesbian influence in the ACT Police (yes, I could provide some names) dismissed the attack on religious thought by describing the cause as a mental health issue,” he wrote.

“This was ‘false news’ and diminishes trust in our authorities.”

ACT police told media after the event that while the driver detonated gas cylinders in his van deliberately, their investigations strongly suggested that his motives were personal rather than politically, religiously or ideologically motivated.

But ACL head Lyle Shelton said at the time that the attack has been prompted by “extreme left” politicians whose rhetoric had motivated “unhinged” people to act violently.

The perpetrator took his own life in 2017 and a statement from the man’s lawyer after his death linked his suicide with mental health issues.

In his public submission, Mr McKay also likened restraints on religious freedoms to the rule of Hitler, Stalin and Pol Pot.

“One would not wish to compare this government with Hitler however if the results of this review are cynically tokenistic without any real change, history will not be kind to the Turnbull government and the consequences not kind to the Australian people.”

While Mr McKay’s views were not presented to the enquiry on behalf of the Liberal Party, the Canberra branch has been criticised in the past for being too conservative compared to the ACT’s generally progressive voters.

During the same-sex marriage referendum, Canberra Liberals leader Alistair Coe was the only government or opposition leader in the country to declare their ‘no’ vote. The ACT recorded the highest ‘yes’ vote in Australia with 74 per cent.

The small size of the Liberal party in Canberra – with just a few hundred members – also allowed former opposition leader Zed Seselja, an ultra-conservative, to wrestle the 2013 senate pre-selection away from the more moderate former Chief Minister Gary Humphries.

Humphries and other moderates have since quit the Liberal party. Pre-selection voting in Brindabella for the upcoming election only attracted 34 votes.


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It’s like the ACT Liberals want to lose the next election

Of course they do. Opposition is easy money. How many policies have the Canberra Liberals developed in four years? Popping up for the occasional whinge is much easier than actually trying to be electable and governing.

It’s all about Zeds safe senate seat.

Does anyone know what he does???


HiddenDragon7:12 pm 11 Aug 20

It was fun hearing the local ABC reporting today “the ABC can reveal….” (what we read on the RiotAct yesterday) – clearly the ACT Liberals should sub-contract their candidate vetting process to this blog.

The Canberra Liberals are a hollowed out rump of petulant little brats and angry old men.

Capital Retro5:06 pm 11 Aug 20

“Gay” bias is unacceptable but “homosexual” bias is something else.

It is always bad for true democracy if there is no viable opposition. We end up with an entrenched party serving entrenched interests doing whatever it likes because it is unaccountable for its actions. The culprits for this state of affairs are a complacent electorate that fails to regularly refresh it’s own representatives with new blood, ideas and vigour. We get the government we deserve.

Refresh with new representatives? The last election saw 7 new candidates elected to Labor & 4 new candidates elected to the Libs.

Thanks for showing that it’s not just an issue for the individuals and their length of tenure, the woeful performance is clearly more of a problem with the political parties themselves.

Which is why people should shop around to other parties and candidates rather than simply voting for more of the same time and again.

The parties are complacent because too many people are rusted on voters.

I agree Acton – but I’m not sure what that has to do with this particular individual in question.

Just keep your head down Mark Parton

Mark Parton has excelled at retailing the world with his breakfasts and daily sunsets (and the Mark Parton Show) while demonstrating a complete disinterest in his actual job.

He should go back to radio.

Another irrelevant Lib dud.

Good idea getting rid of this bloke. He was obviously too far left for the Inner North!

Good. Might improve their voter base – marginally.

Speaking the truth gets you cancelled these days. Honk Honk.

Couldn’t agree more – Coe isn’t even in government and he is already enforcing cancel culture on us!

Gee the ACT really does scrape the bottom of the barrel to find political nominees on all sides of politics…. just another nutjob to add to the range already in there or up for election.

The religious fanatics and born to rule “conservatives” have well and truly taken over the Canberra Liberals.

Its a sad state of affairs. Labor not much better to be honest – some of their mob barely can string two sensible words together either.

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