An Adelaide based conservative politician and Liberal Party senator. He is a leading figure in the hard right wing of the Liberal Party and was a trusted ally of former conservative Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s. Bernardi has long been known for his staunch conservative values, and is rumoured to be the potential leader of a conservative party to split from the Liberals following the rise of Malcolm Turnbull.
Bernardi is controversial among mainstream conservatives to say the least. I mean, when a senator openly supports domestic violence against women, which he claims is acceptable in certain cases, should be an early warning sign. Not many sane people do, except MRAs, neo-Nazis and patriots.
Bernardi is connected to a series of grassroots conservative groups that make up the New Right conservative movement in Australia. Bernardi serves as a key figure in groups such as the Australian Taxpayers Alliance that are active in opposing Aboriginal land rights, denouncing both global warming and the entire enviro/conservation argument as a sham, opposing liberal influence in media and culture and promoting “family values” that suit Bernardi’s Catholic views, going so far as to compare homosexuality to beastiality. In 2009, Bernardi established the Conservative Leadership Foundation, a hard right satellite of the Liberal Party, to promote Bernardi’s brand of reactionary politics.
This nasty piece of work is also at the forefront of the Liberals’ anti immigration policy as well as being an outspoken critic of Islam. Bernardi was central in bringing Dutch far right politician Geert Wilders to Australia in 2013 and personally met with him on a number of occasions. He will most likely play an important role in Wilders’ return to Australia this year.
As predicted, Bernardi was one of the countries most vocal critic of the Safe Schools program, designed to prevent transphobic bullying through education. Bernardi helped organise a petition to eliminate state funding to the program, claiming it was sexualising children and furthering the “homosexual agenda”. He was even behind several inappropriate emails sent to mothers supportive of the program. As a result of his blind ideological bigotry, Bernardi’s office was targeted by local student groups in early 2016 who took it upon themselves to redecorate.
In an effort to maintain his title as the most predictable politician in Australia, Bernardi jumped on the Trump bandwagon during the US presidential election. Despite the fact that no one in the States could give a shit about some senator from Adelaide, Berardi wasn’t deterred from the temptation of buying a stupid little hat so he could feel part of the conservative revolution he could never build.
Fresh on the scent of political opportunism, Bernardi has launched yet another conservative organisation. The new one, Australian Conservatives, seeks to create a “united voice” for conservatives, by pressuring the Liberal leadership internally and externally. Bernardi claims the group is to rival the progressive GetUp! organisation.
Bernardi and his close political ally George Christensen have announced their support for far right anti Islam campaigner Kirralie Smith, whom Bernardi has called a personal friend. Smith, leading figure in anti Islam organisations Australian Liberty Alliance and Q Society is facing charges of defamation, for which Bernardi and his allies intend to fundraise for by organising nationwide conferences.
After years of back bench whispering and polie gossiping Bernardi finally seems ready to spread his wings and form this conservative movement. He has announced the formation of a new initiative Australian Majority which he seems to intend to launch as a right wing populist party. After he met with members of Trump’s presidential staff, Bernardi seems invigorated to launch a conservative split from the Liberal Party, which has brought him into conflict with former ally Tony Abbott. Bernardi has also been in communication with far right party’s including the Australian Liberty Alliance and Pauline Hanson‘s One Nation who have voiced support and enthusiasm about the formation of such a party. Also lining up to back Bernardi include Eric Abetz, his old ally George Christensen as well as mining tycoon, billionaire and personal friend Gina Reinhardt, who will most likely be bankrolling the party.