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"Australian Politics"

Our political system continues to lurch from one disaster to the next; in July 2015 Malcolm Turnbull [Malcolm Allbull], Minister for Communications in the ruling (Liberal) government, successfully challenged Prime Minister Tony Abbott [Tony Rabbid (The Mad Monk)], and took over as Prime minister. He never managed to establish his credibility, and in July 2016, in an attempt to do so, called an early election. Normally only half the Senators would have had to stand for re-election, but in an insane act of desperation, he called a double dissolution (on a ficticious excuse which was never mentioned in the campaign), and this meant that all the Senators had to stand for re-election, and halved the quotas they required to be elected. Unfortunately we have an ill-conceived preferential voting system, under which preferences can be redistributed repeatedly without devaluation, and several "preference whisperers" were able to scam this, with the result that several senate candidates with a negligible primary vote (like Derryn Hinch -in my opinion a ratbag with a swollen head: 1.93%) were elected.

The Liberal Party was able to manufacture a fragile majority by making deals with representatives of various minor parties, but has been subject to continuous sabotage since, primarily by conservative members of the ruling coalition, especially the Liberal Country Party in Queensland, egged on by Tony Abbott, and did not manage to achieve anything. In July some idiot in the Liberal Party looked at Section 44 of the Constitution (which prescribes completely unworkable requirements for eligibility to stand for parliament) and decided they could use it to get rid of a couple of those pesky Greens. However this backfired spectacularly and many members from all parties stood down, or were ruled ineligible to hold their seats, with catastrophic effects.

It looked as if the year had ended on a relatively good note for Turnbull, when, after an absurd (and very expensive) voluntary postal survey showed that, as everyone already knew, 60% of Australians were in favour, he managed to get The Marriage Amendment (Definition and Religious Freedoms) Act 2017 carried just before Christmas. This removed the restriction added by John Howard in 2004 that a marriage could only be between a man and a woman. I am not sure why this was considered so important; the only one of my children who is not married is the only one who has children, but I suspect that it is the old principle that things become important when you are told you can't do them. But then Barnaby Joyce threw another tantrum, and re-arranged his part of the Cabinet by promoting various dead heads from Queensland, at the expense of more talented people from the South, who are now threatening to defect, and destroy Turnbull's tenuous majority.

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 © Roger Riordan 2004-2019