The story of Moira Deeming, a Liberal MP in Victoria, has become a clash between those seeking to revive the party’s values and those advocating for a further shift to the left. Deeming attended a Let Women Speak Group rally in Melbourne, which the group’s leader, women’s rights campaigner Kellie-Jay Keen-Minshull, organized to object to the participation of trans women in female sporting events and the use of women-only facilities. At the event, a group of neo-Nazis disrupted proceedings by performing the Nazi salute. Victorian Opposition Leader John Pesutto responded by proposing to expel Deeming from the parliamentary Liberal party. However, after providing party members with a 15-page document outlining the reasons for the proposed expulsion, Pesutto backtracked and instead decided to suspend Deeming for nine months. The suspension, however, serves to muzzle Deeming’s right to free speech and suggests guilt by association. This event could have been an opportunity for the Liberal Party to reaffirm its support for free speech. Still, instead, it has compromised its principles by perpetuating internal conflicts and losing sight of the need to hold one of the worst state governments accountable. Overall, the Deeming saga has damaged the authority of the opposition leader and compromised the Liberal Party’s commitment to individual freedom and free enterprise.
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