So Parliament couldn’t sit this afternoon. Now the last time I couldn’t sit it was because a rather nasty boil on my buttocks, but the reason Federal Parliament couldn’t sit was completely…
Actually, when I think about it, it was a nasty, festering thing that caused the Liberals to knock off early.
Anyway, they felt that it was important to find out who the leader was before they got asked to pledge their support again, because backing Dutton one day then pledging your support for Turnbull the next then having to explain why you resigned from the ministry just a few hours after your pledge, doesn’t make you sound convincing when you next say, “Well, of course, I’m behind the PM. He has my full support… It is still a ‘he’, isn’t it?”
This afternoon, Malcolm came out and gave a press conference. In that typical strength and courage that we’ve come to expect from Turnbull, he announced that he wasn’t having a meeting unless he had to, but if he had to, then he wouldn’t be running. Or rather, he would be running. He’d be running right away and forcing a by-election in the seat of Wentworth because the new PM would need clear air, and nothing would give clean air like a by-election which would potentially lead to a minority government.
Turnbull went on to tell us that, unlike a few days ago when Dutton’s legal advice seemed enough to ignore questions about his eligibility to sit in Parliament, the matter had now been refered to the solicitor-general and we’d know by tomorrow whether Dutton’s eligibility would be a matter for the High Court. Let’s be clear here: If the solicitor-general says that they’re not sure, then it should obviously go to the High Court, which could lead to another by-election.
So let’s look at scenarios for tomorrow:
- Dutton doesn’t produce the 43 signatures. No meeting. The solicitor-general says that Dutton is in the clear. Everybody goes home, and we all pretend like this was just fake news.
- Dutton doesn’t produce the 43 signatures. No meeting. The solicitor-general says that Dutton needs to be refered to the High Court. Everybody goes home. Turnbull now has the problem of losing Dutton’s vote after the High Court ruling.
- Dutton produces 43 signatures, Turnbull looks at them carefully and notices that one of them says “Mickey Mouse”, he points out that over half of them are illegible and they all used the same pen. He says there won’t be a meeting. Everybody goes home.
- Dutton produces 43 genuine signatures. A meeting is held where Dutton is elected unanimously, because Scott and Julie realise that he has the numbers. On his way out, Turnbull points out that the solicitor-general’s advice means that he needs to go to the High Court. It’s generally thought that Dutton must step down till this is resolved. Scott Morrison becomes PM, but loses a confidence vote in the House owing to the fact that neither Turnbull nor Dutton are there to vote.
- Dutton produces 43 genuine signatures. A meeting is held which ends up being a four way contest between Dutton, Morrison, Bishop and Kevin Andrews. After the first ballot, Andrews accuses it of being rigged because he definitely voted for himself and so therefore must have received more than zero votes. After an investigation, it’s discovered the Andrews inadvertently voted for another candidate. In the run-off between Dutton and Morrison, Julie Bishop wants to know if she can get her hat back after throwing it into the ring because it’s a nice hat and she needs it to match her outfit for the Melbourne Cup. Morrison wins by one vote and in show of good will offers Dutton the Home Affairs portfolio. Dutton accepts and has ScoMo taken into custody under his special powers as Home Affairs Minister. Asking the reason for the arrest is deemed illegal and Dutton becomes our first PPM, or Permanent Prime Minister.
- Dutton produces 43 signatures. Turnbull chooses not to call the meeting, but isn’t locks himself in his room with comfort food for two days, before coming out and blaming Bill Shorten. The Liberals fail to elect a new leader because everyone nominates and there’s nobody left to run the election.
- Rupert Murdoch endorses Pauline Hanson as the best person to run the country.
Ok, some of these seem a little far-fetched. For example, who could believe that number one is a real possibility. But just remember you all thought that when I first wrote in 2014 that Turnbull would oust Tony Abbott, or that Donald Trump would spend most of his presidency saying, “You’re fired!” or when I told you that Scott Morrison was expecting Dutton to be the Trojan Horse that would open up the leadership and he’d just sail through on the slipstream.
Let’s be real, people. Now matter how ridiculous our speculation about tomorrow’s events is, the current mob can find a way to do something even sillier.