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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

Queensland backlash « Previous | |Next »
August 20, 2005

Telstra is a bedrock issue and the Nationals may well have problems with their constituents in regional Queensland about agreeing to the sale of Telstra:


Barnaby Joyce, who was bloodied by Canberra politics last week defines his room for movement:

"I will take it back to Queensland, put it on the table and say, 'fellas, this is the best I can do' ... If at the end of the day they don't want it? Beauty. Unreal. Piece of cake. We'll wander across the chamber and do it. That would be the easier choice."

Joyce rightly understands that the obligation of a federal Senator is to the public who vote for him or her, and not to the party room. After all the survival of the Nationals in Queensland is at stake on this issue, and the Nationals are right to fear their long-term decline into irrelevance.

The talentless Nationals have basically been the loyal rump of Howard's Liberals, and they have got very little out of being in coalition with Howard's Liberal Party in government.

My judgement is that the Liberal strategy is to allow the Nationals take all the political flak on Telstra, and then they will pick up the pieces from the fallout after the next election. The same thing happened with the Democrats and the GST. See the comments on the experience of negotiating with the Howard Government by Andrew Bartlett.

In the meantime the Nationals will continue to demand and extract from the Liberals a price for the continuation of the Coalition. Barnaby Joyce shows how to live off the political fat of the Liberals. Some Liberals are not happy about the price they have to pay.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:18 AM | | Comments (0)