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

some humour « Previous | |Next »
September 22, 2010

I'm on holidays down at Victor Harbor trying to do some large format photography. So postings will be light this week.

A little humor:


I notice that the Coalition would not support a paired Speaker, and that it has walked away from the parliamentary reform agreement that they signed when negotiating with the Independents to form government. It's not in the Coalition's self-interest to stick to the agreement, as the aim is to put as much pressure as possible on the minority Labor government. The Coalition's interest is in instability. So their tactics will be to foster it.

This is not going to be a parliament where legislation is improved by consensus and is reviewed by different parties on its merits through argument. What we will have is The Coalition's attempt to destroy the workability of the new parliament in order to paint a picture of Labor stuff-ups.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 5:37 PM | | Comments (19)


...and once again Labor has somebody to blame....yawn

Hey, we wouldn't always have to blame them if they weren't always wrong.

Not just Labor Les. On Lateline Tony Windsor said:

I think the Rob Oakeshott speakership arrangement is really part of a two-part story now: that this was about not pairing any Speaker, not just an independent Speaker, so I think Tony Abbott's had his mind made up right from the word go on this and probably been trying to stretch it out to get as close to the start of the Parliament and maybe potentially wreak some havoc.

And given the fairly unique nature of this Parliament - and I'm just disappointed that what we seemed to be putting together was an arrangement where both sides would recognise the difficulties that whoever the Government was was going to have in terms of the speakership, and now we've sorta reverted to the old game of, "You be the Government, we'll be the Opposition and our job is to destroy you." Well, I'm not quite sure that's what the Australian public would want out of a hung parliament at this particular time.

He adds that he thinks that the background noise that "I was hearing that if they had become the Government, that they would've looked for an early outcome in terms of an early election. I think those sorts of rumours and telephone calls have been vindicated by the pathway that Tony Abbott's taking now."

Now Bob Katter is saying the same thing as Windsor. It's an obvious destabilising tactic, but it seems pretty stupid to get all of the independents offside this early in the piece. Surely with all the air time they'll be getting the last thing you'd want is for them to be telling people Abbott can't be trusted? Surely if the current parliament goes down in a screaming heap it will take Abbott with it?

According to the Age website the bruiser is also going to scrap the long-standing convention where allowances were made for the absence of Ministers who are away on important business.

Abbott is making the new parliament a place of uncertainty. So where are all those business commentators who harped on about business not liking uncertainty during the post-election period? Why isn't Abbott being pilloried by the Business Council of Australia, and other peak business bodies, for creating uncertainty?

I reckon Abbott's got about 18 months to force a new election or his goose is boiled. There'll be no forgiveness for an unsuccessful 18 month long destabilisation within his own party. Labor just needs to get to the 18 month mark in reasonable shape.

I see that Liberal MP Alex Somlyay told The Age he was prepared to back the Gillard government on confidence and supply and that that he will be contesting the nomination for the position of Deputy Speaker in the Coalition party room on Monday.

The Liberal leadership cannot be too happy with Somlyay being prepared to offer Labor the same arrangement as the two regional independents. Apparently Somlyay is breaking ranks because he wants to reform the processes of the Parliament.

There will be lots of these little power tizzies from all sides over the term of this government. I wonder if stoning is legal behind closed doors between consenting pollies.....probably is.
Didnt we used to put boxing gloves on kids to stop them scratching the pox scabs?

The pressure on Alex Somlyay from the Liberal Party will be enormous. He will stagger from the body blows. They are already compared Somlyay to Labor "rat" Mal Colston. They will kneecap him. So much for the group hugs.

Abbott is very good at targeting the Labor government's weaknesses and then punishing them. I suspect he reckons that the Gillard Government does not deserve to be given another term and he will do whatever he can (baring blocking supply) to bring the government down.

Some sections of business will be right behind him.

no doubt Abbott reckons--has calculated-- that he can survive the wreckage by playing the wrecking ball and that he will be able to pick up the pieces.

No doubt the Opposition is seething with "righteous anger" at being denied government by the regional Independents.

The Coalition reckon they they were very unlucky in not gaining power. They are determined to reduce Labor's majority on the floor to a threadbare 75 seats to 74.

Then they increase the pressure. Hence the Liberals saying they will grant a pair only when the absence is due to sickness, another compelling personal reason, or duties perceived to be in the national interest. The Coalition will decide what is in the national interest.

They are out for a kill. They reckon Gillard's Government will collapse within a year from their pressure.

They probably will collapse.
Their defence against Abbott will be to destablise his leadership by flaming the Turnbull as leader issue. Remember he only lost the ballot by a small number of votes and he (did) love the ETS and Broadband. So the way forward for Labor is to role Abbott.

Abbott+ Co are saying that they "won the election in every sense except we didn't form a government".

They must reckon that they stand a better chance of winning an early election. Hence the confrontational tactics. They are already campaigning. Pyne is going on and on about Labor's broken promises to introduce a carbon tax as another example of a bad government. Gillard is not honouring her election promises.

Why does the Coalition reckon they would win an early election opposing climate change the national broadband network and the mining tax?

re your comment "So the way forward for Labor is to role [roll?] Abbott."

Bruce Hawker is doing so in The Australian. He says that Abbott should be careful of what he wishes for. If he were to engineer an early election, he might not get the result he expects.

And while his special brand of confrontational politics -- born out of his days in student politics -- may suit his party now, he could find that it sits uncomfortably with the Liberal leadership when the next election looms.Turnbull -- or someone else untainted by the negative strategy Abbott is running -- is well positioned to make a run at the opposition leadership some time in the 12 months leading up to the next election.It may be that Abbott does all the dirty work but is forced out by a leader who can present some sort of Liberal vision to the electorate.How ironic would it be if Abbott proved to be Turnbull's stalking horse.

Will this destabilizing tactic work?

re "Why does the Coalition reckon they would win an early election"

A uniform national swing of 0.9 per cent at the next election would put the Coalition into power.It will not take much to achieve that. Hence the relentless " the Gillard Government is a bad government that gets worse" attack from the Coalition.

Abbott's antics must be upsetting a lot of people in his own party.

He reneged on a written agreement, has put all of the independents offside, issued a statement from Somlyay without telling him, has put senior people in the position of having to defend his and Brandis' embarrassing arguments about the constitution, and given Labor the opportunity to label the whole party as wreckers. Some must be miffed at his forbidding their involvement in the climate change committee as well.

For all the talk of Labor falling over if someone is away sick, it's a safe bet that some members of the opposition will arrange inconvenient absences at crucial moments.


It depends on how the media goes for both sides. Who drops the ball most times and allows the others to win the 20 second news grabs.
I am inclined to think Abbott had a good go and just got beaten and is unlikely to get another go. So its up to Turnbull or Hockey to be in the right place at the right time and play for luck.
The election will be sometime between now and.......

How far will Abbott take the destabilising tactics?

As far as the opposition Republicans in the US, who essentially held the Democrat government hostage by using procedural tactics to prevent the government from performing even the most basic duties.