The Elephant In the Room.

Every now and then, I remember the story of the emperor’s new clothes, where it takes a child to point out what everyone should be able to see. It’s always worth asking what’s so bloody obvious that we miss it in the casuistry of political debate.

So there’s only one woman, says Abbott’s defenders, so what. In this party, we appoint on MERIT, we don’t have some artificial quota system. Would you have someone less able appointed to a position just BECAUSE she’s a woman? 

Abbott’s detractors, reply by saying that it’s a sad state of affairs if you don’t have any women of merit. And so on. 

To the observer, both arguments have some superficial appeal. The trouble is that the Liberals are lying. 

How can you say that ALL appointments are on merit, but a number of positions are reserved for National Party MPs? Isn’t that a quota system? 

That’s different, someone will say. How? I will ask. Well, they’re a separate party and as part of the Coalition they’re entitled to a number of Ministerial positions.

Oh, so how does that sit with this?

Mr Abbott again ruled out becoming the leader of a minority coalition government, if the September 7 federal election results in an outcome similar to that in 2010.  

Herald Sun  August 5th

 

So the Nationals are part of the Liberals when it comes to talking about minority government, but they are separate, when it comes time to appointing the ministry and are entitled to some positions because they’re Nationals. So don’t call it a quota system. 

And, of course, Labor’s “coalition” with the Greens and Independents was an evil conspiracy, but the Liberal’s coaltion with the Nationals is the natural order of things. Just like having “the grown-ups back in charge”.  

 

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22 replies

  1. And the likes of kevin Andrews are there on merit?

  2. Now, Ross, you’re not suggesting that the likes of Dutton and Joyce weren’t necessary selected on merit, are you? Hush your mouth Sir! But seriously, given the many and varied political forces involved in selecting a Cabinet, the argument from merit is a monumentally dishonest one, which only the most foolish or politically ignorant of persons could fall for.

  3. I have a feeling that he meant he would not be part of a coalition he could not dominate. Still , whatever Abbott does is good, whatever the opposition does is bad. Surely you understand this simple concept? ‘We are calm and reasonable’- ‘They are bad and a disaster’

  4. It’s often intrigued me. If people in other areas had wandered round behaving like the Liberals, we’d be disgusted. Imagine a dumped ex-lover who went round saying that I’m just great and the person I got dumped for doesn’t know what they’re doing, and they’re really making a mess of everything and my ex should take me back because I do everything so much better. As for putting that Christmas present on the credit card…

  5. The big problem is, we are talking to people who aren’t listening, and even if they were, they are not interested, they don’t take it at all seriously, they have their opinions based on what they hear the most from our current toxic MS media situation, and the popular stand is to put shit on Labor and any woman who represents Labor. So basically, in an uninformed, disinterested, ‘go with the flow’ numbed majority wins environment, they [we] got what they deserve. Too sad.

  6. I think the the LNP really are afraid of a Labor/Green Coalition purely on the basis of numbers hence their vitriolic opposition to the idea. ‘The Australian’ similarly sees the ‘danger’ to the LNP’s ‘born to rule’ manifesto as evidenced by their hatred for the Greens.

  7. I recall the 1996 election campaign, just prior to the ALP Governments defeat, when John Howard claimed, that Paul Keating, in his zeal to have Australia integrate with the global economy, and become more open to foreign investment, had created a situation in which Australia’s most cherished companies were being bought up by global corporations based abroad and owned by foreigners. Howard campaigned with the usual media suspects, that we were losing our national icons, indeed our very sovereignty and identity, to the global marketplace, even though Keating was improving our economy. These nationalistic appeals to the average Australian voter helped Howard win government and when into his second term he signed off on the Australia U.S.A. Free Trade Agreement with barely a whimper from the ALP, although Mark Latham as I recall it did win a few concessions in order to maintain our sovereignty. Context today; Barnaby Joyce MP et al, concerned about foreign investment land ownership in Australia. Where is the ALP? In the USA, States like Indiana you’ll see huge factories built upon green-fields producing cars like Subaru. But in Australia, foreign investment in food production… So back to the elephant in the room.

  8. I believe there are 4 parties that form Coalition Government – they are not just in with Nats.

  9. That’s correct Michelle. They are the Liberal Party, the National Party, the Country Liberal Party (CLP), and the Liberal National Party (LNP). Mind you, the last is just the Libs and Nats together.

  10. Abbott is contradictory in nearly everything he talks about and will say anything for political expediency. Nothing new here. The challenge is to convince people that this kind of behaviour is unacceptable. It’snow time for “wayne” to turn up here and write in CAPS about Julia Gillard and the carbon tax because we never get tired of debunking that bit of nonsense.

  11. It intrigues me too, and I’ve spent my professional life in the human behaviour business. I find myself dissecting everything Abbot says and not much of it makes any sense at all, take the statement ‘we will govern by values not ideology’. Then In a flash he sacks 3 highly respected APS staff who apparently do not share his ideology, obliterates the climate change organisations in another clearly ideological decision. His life seem governed by his ideology, so what an idiotic statement to make.

    And yes, the behaviour is appalling, but then they don’t think so. Slightly sociopathic don’t you think?

  12. Sociopathic for sure. I just wonder where his ideology stems from? Is it his catholicism, his elitism, or his lust for power funded by the fossil fuel industries? All of the above?

  13. What a fantastic article. Shame it, s not front page on our national newspapers for all the lemmings to peruse!

  14. If this group includes those with greatest merit how bloody crook are the rest of the dolts.

  15. without the nationals, the libs can’t govern, they don’t have the numbers.

  16. trev most of the time that’s true but I think that it was Howard who once got enough votes for the Liberals to rule in their own right without needing the Nationals.

    That the Nationals increased their vote under Abbott and the Coalition only got a handful more votes this election than they did in 2010 says more about Abbott’s failings than anything else, even the media needing to prop him up.

  17. I thought Phoney Tony said prior to the election, that he’d never tolerate heading a Coalition government??? He obviously doesn’t count The Nats as a separate party, but what his reasoning is on the just what the rest of the supporting parties is, I have no idea????????

    Really, his only claim to fame as a leader coming into the election was that he was in charge of the ‘Nippers’ at the surfclub as I understand it.

  18. Makes it harder for people to admit something wrong here, when they were conned into voting voting for Libs by Abbott’s continual double speak and an aggressive MSM! This same MSM is still treating Abbott like the Messiah, listen to the hushed,reverent tones when ever any of his actions are described. The swearing in ceremony a case in point! The rich are not going to be too worried by his actions it will take business suffering when the less well off have no money to spend and we head for a recession. The other worry is his arrogant and completely irresponsible approach to Indonesia!

  19. No elephant in that room!

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