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Day to Day Politics: Relax, the Nationals are in control.

Tuesday 12 September 2017

The National Party of Australia (also known as the Nationals or simply the Nats) is an Australian political party. Traditionally representing graziers, farmers, and rural voters generally, it began as the Australian Country Party in 1920 at a federal level.

It would later briefly adopt the name National Country Party in 1975, before adopting its current name in 1982.

It is the junior partner in a coalition with the Liberal Party. In the 2016 election it attracted 4.29% of the vote. 554,268 people voted for them. This compared with 1,116,980 people who voted for the Greens (at 8.64%) of the vote. In the last three elections the National Party vote has hovered between 3 and 4%.

So have you ever wondered why the Nationals have seven times as many seats as the Greens with less than half the votes? It’s all in the Gerrymander. Well, it’s all explained here.

However, on the surface you would agree that it seems wrong that one party, the National Party, can receive half the votes of the Greens yet end up with so many seats.

Yes, it seems unfair that a party that only gets 4% of the vote can be gifted with so much influence and power. Obviously if the principle of parties coming together to form coalitions were not allowed then the Liberal party could not govern in their own rite.

But there we have it, and we have to accept and campaign in spite of it. To say the least the Nationals seem to attract the odd balls of Australian politics and the ones with questionable intellect like their leader, Barnaby Joyce who seems unfit as Deputy Prime Minister to lead the nation. Then there are the religious nutters who cling to the past as though they want to be concreted into a certain date and time.

This weekend past this conservative party voted to repudiate the central finding of the Finkel Review for a clean energy target and eliminate subsidies for renewables.

Here we have a party whose members have adopted to technology to enhance the volume of the crops they produce. In fact they are among the best adopters of technology in the world and farming practice proves it.

Unfortunately, the dunderheads who represent them are amongst the worst feral politicians who are yet to take their heads out of the sand and recognise that farming needs best practice technology if it is to compete with the demands of the future.

Take the internet for example. Farmers of the future will depend on a world-class broadband network if they are to overcome the effects of climate change in the future.

However, their leaders in an act of gross negligence sold out their members to join with like-minded people in the Coalition who thought it was just a plaything for grownups. If the reader can point to any monumental gains, other than stealing water, or living in Joyce’s electorate, it has won for its members I would like to know them.

At the conference — the first in three years —Joyce said the motion “reflected the deep angst in regional ­communities about the affordability of electricity and took aim at the “heroic sort of fantasia” position of the Labor Party on renewable ­energy”.

Well, he would say that of course. He is but one of many climate deniers in both parties who cannot see that the energy future of the country will be provided by renewable energy. It is high time he started representing the country and acknowledged that as Bill Shorten says; “ts adoption would help avert a forecast 1000 megawatt shortfall in baseload power by 2022”

But no, with the Prime Minister under enormous pressure to come up with a Renewable Energy Target (Finkel proposed a clean energy ­target of 42 per cent of renewable energy by 2030) these old buffoons decided to reject it altogether and throw out any subsidies.

Whilst we aren’t privy to what happens in the party rooms its impossible to avoid the fact that there is enormous conflict within both parties. That those who support coal have enormous influence and more importantly the National Party has some sort of ownership of Turnbull. This has resulted in a four-year waste of our future.

All the issues being spoken of are issues that have been known for years but this government of tertiary educated men and women have sat on their behinds and done nothing.

Yesterday the Prime Minister, together with the Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg met with AGL boss Andy Vesey to discuss the future of the company’s coal-fired Liddell power station in NSW, due for closure in 2022.

The government wants to extend its life by another five years which may or not be the right thing to do.

Mark Butler, Labor’s shadow Energy Minister said; “The challenge for the Prime Minister and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg to get a clean energy target through the Coalition partyroom becomes more difficult every day.”

Ron Boswell, a Christian man of my vintage proposed the motion saying that “If the Liberal National party get this electricity issue right and “Blackout” Bill Shorten keeps pushing his high subsidies renewables line, we will win the next election.”

Former resources minister Matt Canavan told The Australian it was “ironic” the Nationals were the party now railing against ­subsidies. Dare I mention the subsidies given to the mining industries?

“We have to, at some point, wean ourselves off the billions of dollars that are provided to the renewable energy industry every year.”

Josh Frydenberg then jumped in to remind Senator Canavan who was in charge, after the former cabinet minister described renewables as a “short-term sugar hit”:

“Renewables are coming down in price significantly,” Frydenberg said.

Talk about your left hand not knowing what your right is doing. But then again the National Party has always had more than its share of half-wits.

I guess the remaining question now  is just who is running the show?

My thought for the day.

“For a Ministry with diploma’s from the greatest learning institutions in the world its difficult to imagine how so many brainless buffoons could gather around the same table at the same time and cause so much havoc.”



  1. Terry2

    At a time when the coalition government is under pressure for the lack of planning and leadership on a national energy plan, they turn to their advisers and spinners to try and put blame on the previous Labor government or anybody apart from themselves.

    It seems that even these highly paid spinners are running out of ideas : what do they come up with ?

    Well, how about we call them silly names : Electricity Bill Shorten has now morphed into Blackout Bill Shorten and Energy Shadow Minister No Coal Joel Fitzgibbon.

    There, that should fix it just call them silly names !

    Australia, we are being very badly served by this sham government.

  2. Harquebus

    “He is but one of many climate deniers in both parties who cannot see that the energy future of the country will be provided by renewable energy.”
    I am not a climate change denier nor a supporter of coal and I can not see ‘renewable energy’ providing even our current energy requirements let alone that which is needed to perpetually grow the economy.

    None of the energy problems that we are facing come as a surprise to me and still, I am told that I don’t know what I am talking about. Yeah, right. Think about that next time you pay your energy bill.

    As the political classes continue to fail in energy policy, the excuses and blame shifting will intensify. Interesting times are very definitely ahead.

  3. Kaye Lee

    Our Strong Leader has given AGL 90 days to come up with an energy policy for him. The ridiculous notion that he can bully them into an uncommercial decision is evaporating. When will they realise that NO-ONE wants to invest in coal. If you didn’t want market forces to determine the future then you shouldn’t have privatised our electricity grid.

    How can they talk about subsidies for renewables when we spend billions on subsidies for fossil fuel companies who then pay no tax.

    Exxon, has paid almost no tax in three years on more than A$25 billion in revenues in Australia. ExxonMobil Australia has got away with this by “debt-loading” itself with A$17.6 billion in related party loans so A$600 million gets funnelled offshore before tax is paid on it. Its auditor is PwC.

    Rival oil giant Chevron got an income tax refund last year of US$89.6 million.

    Interestingly, the revenue for Chevron Australia Holdings is US$1.6 billion and finance charges from its US parent company were just shy of revenue at US$1.4 billion thanks to interest on the leviathan US$42 billion in related party borrowings. Its auditor is PwC.

    Chevron lost Australia’s biggest ever transfer pricing case in April and was ordered by the Federal Court to pay A$340 million in taxes and penalties. It is seeking leave to appeal to the High Court as much is at stake. The case revolved around a money shuffle in which Chevron borrowed money in the US at less than 2% and lent it to its Australian business at around 9%.

    But that was just US$2.5 billion in loans. There is another US$40 billion to be assessed so the stakes are very high.

  4. Peter F

    I sense that the coalition is coming to terms with the fact that they have lost the argument. It is now only a matter of time before they are removed from office.

  5. wam

    Loved your example of lying by omission Lord!!!!!!

    Perhaps you put it there to see if we were reading for meaning and could understand the simple arithmetic trick used to achieve your end?(still chasing the cash is acceptable)

    The gnats will eventually get a leader, (two of my friends who, amongst other scary ideas, are firm in beliefs like the NBN is beyond 90% of workers and a complete waste of time and resources, all welfare should be cashless would apply) who will make the libs realise that they are unable to govern on their own.

    What happened to your ‘vote YES? Sadly, like climate change, the enthusiasm has waned as the nastiness increases??

  6. Terry2

    Slightly off subject but I’ve heard various NO campaigners talking about the original Howard amendments to the Marriage Act in 2004 were supported by Labor in the Senate and the changes passed accordingly.

    I thought I would check this out, as undoubtedly Labor did not have the numbers to roll the Bill in the Senate but what were the voting patterns. Because the Senate is the States House the votes are not recorded by party. In the event, the vote – in a Senate made up of 76 Senators – there were 38 votes for the legislation and 6 against :

    The Senate (Quorum) Act 1991 requires a quorum of one quarter of the whole number of senators (currently 19 out of a total of 76) to be in the Senate for legislation to pass. So, there is no doubt that there was a quorum for this vote and that some Labor Senators did vote for it. But, if only 44 Senators voted, that means 32 Senators or 42% either failed to vote or abstained.

    Just saying !

  7. johno

    On the subject of fuel subsidies how about we end the concessional rate of excise levied on aviation gasoline and aviation turbine fuel ($1.24b)

  8. Möbius Ecko

    I can in part understand the senior demographic voting for the Liberals. It’s based on a long standing exploitation of fear riding on the back of the false “better economic managers” that’s been run by the Liberals and their media mouthpieces for a long time now.

    I’ve never understood rural voters being core National/Liberal voters, especially at the State level. If you research you will find that Labor State and Federal governments have been better for the rural demographic than most Liberal/National ones. The area where the Liberals do better is in pork barreling, and that’s by a massive amount. Billions have been thrown away by the Liberals in porking country seats.

    First. Talking of “better economic management”. The last Fairfax/Ipsos poll again overwhelmingly had the Liberals as the “better economic managers”. I honestly don’t know how this blatantly false welded on premise can be expunged from the Australian psyche. You can throw out all the facts you like, and in my circle I have many times, but better Liberal economic management is always thrown back at me, even from anti-Liberals. I often get; “let’s face it, Labor aren’t good economic managers,” from Labor supporters.

    Second. Talking of pork. It’s been recently revealed that Turnbull spent 138:1 on Queensland Liberal marginal seats in pork barreling during the last election. That’s $138m for Liberal seats for every $1m on Labor seats. It’s the largest disparity spend on record. NSW, though not as prominent as Queensland, also had a record disparity spend on Liberal pork. Like his own donation to the Liberal party, that was all about keeping himself in power.

  9. helvityni


    Yes, wam, here we talk endlessly about the latest issues concerning the country, but very often after all the talking no action follows.
    be it CC, education, homelessness or housing, asylum seekers, social security, unemployment, whatever; into the ‘ too hard basket’ they go….

    Maybe the SSM will end up there as well….

    Next one, please…back to the favourite: Border Protection (BP)…..

  10. Möbius Ecko

    What happened to your ‘vote YES? Sadly, like climate change, the enthusiasm has waned as the nastiness increases??

    ps. Not so. Shows you should look into polls. Another poll out yesterday shows that 68% will vote and out of that 68%, 70% said they will vote YES, with 25% saying they will vote NO. Don’t know what the missing 5% is about.

  11. helvityni

    Möbius Ecko
    September 12, 2017 at 8:52 am
    I can in part understand the senior demographic voting for the Liberals. It’s based on a long standing exploitation of fear riding on the back of the false “better…..

    That’s true, but I can never understand why any poor pensioner would want Liberals in power, but some do; maybe it gives them some status… the feel they they are better off…a bit delusional… 🙂

    Self-funded retirees is a different matter altogether, but poor pensioners,,,???

    PS. all that talk about pork, has made me hungry for Swedish meatballs, pork and beef/ veal combined….

  12. @RosemaryJ36

    Harquebus: I live in a 2 bedroom unit in an independent living complex. The 12 solar panels on my roof are putting me in credit with my power supplier.

  13. Harquebus

    The pollution that your panels have caused will last for generations, they sponge of those that can not afford the same environmental destruction and I will bet that, you have not considered the decommissioning of your panels which, will most likely leach toxic chemicals from landfills also for generations to come.
    By installing your panels, you haven’t done any good at all except, to benefit yourself only.

    Something from today’s reading list that some might be interested in.

    “He gathered his cabinet at Camp David and said there was no time to waste. With Hurricane Irma set to potentially devastate huge swaths of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina, now was the time, he said, to rush through massive … tax cuts.”
    “It’s not a rejection of the science, but a rejection of the consequences of the science. Put simply, if the science is true, then the whole economic project that has dominated American power structures since Ronald Reagan was president is out the window, and the deniers know it.”
    “And, of course, this is not just about Trump — it’s about all the climate-denying Republican governors whose states are currently being pounded. All of them would have to junk an entire twisted worldview holding that the market is always right, regulation is always wrong, private is good and public is bad, and taxes that support public services are the worst of all.”
    “In short, climate change detonates the ideological scaffolding on which contemporary conservatism rests. To admit that the climate crisis is real is to admit the end of their political and economic project.”
    “To avert climate chaos, we need to challenge the free-market fundamentalism that has conquered the world since the 1980s.”
    “Trump and his fellow climate change-deniers (and climate change-minimizers) see this challenge to their worldview as a crisis so existential, they are unwilling to let the possibility enter their brains.”
    “the rest of us should be wide awake to the reality that stopping him, and the worldview he represents, is a matter of humanity’s collective survival.

  14. Jaquix

    Just looking at the weekly Essential Poll which has Labor up 1% again from last week so the 2PP this week is 54-46%. Havent seen this reported yet in the media! The approval of doing their jobs is pretty close with Mal on 41% approval, Bill close behind at 36%. What is amazing though is that apparently 43% consider Mal their preferred PM, as against 28% for Bill. But theyre not going to vote Mals party back in, which is good news, and has been the case ever since the last election. Clearly ciritical thinking is not being applied in Australia and I believe it should be taught in schools from the 1st year of schooling, to counter the effects of media manipulation.


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