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Day to Day Politics: What a week it might turn out to be.

Monday 16 October 2017

Three very important issues will confront the parliament this week.

The High Court will decide the fate of 6 Senators and 1 Lower House MP in respect to their dual citizenship. I’m still of the view that the court will rule that it was up to them to check every possibility and that at the time of nominating they held dual citizenship.

The government will also release its decision to kick the renewable energy market over the edge of a cliff somewhere in central Australia. My prediction still stands that the Coalition will go public the same day as the High Court decision, allowing the issues to merge and become fractured in the media.

The much hated and negative Tony Abbott, who stands at the centre of disunity and dissent within the Government will be the winner. He is the symbol of most of what is wrong with the government. Trying to force a credible energy policy through the Parliament with the odds stacked against you is a formidable task.

If the fight gets too hot, then Turnbull might make good on his promise to cross the floor. Would he? Well, no one can know that, but he desperately needs something to back his words that:

“I will not lead a party that is not as committed to effective action on climate change as I am.”

Some spokespeople still contend that the ministry is united and cohesive, however, this is a bit rich when one looks at the media response every time Abbott makes an appearance. It would appear that he is doing his best to undermine both the country and the government.

On top of that we have a Chair of the Backbench Environment and Energy Committee (Kelly) openly and repeatedly lying that coal-fired power will always be cheaper than renewable energy.

Abbott is fast becoming, make that is, an embarrassment to the government. A dangerous loopy individual full of hatred and a mission to destroy the Prime Minister regardless of who or what gets in the road. He is in the mould of Trump.

We shouldn’t forget that in his final report Finked recommended a 43% clean energy market. Labor could live with that, or at least negotiate, and at the time Turnbull welcomed it. At this week’s energy summit, Bill Shorten reminded everyone that Turnbull said it had “very strong virtues”, “a lot of merit” and “would certainly work”.

The third is the ongoing conjecture of the postal survey on Marriage Equality and what can be read into the returns so far. Abbott is the highest profile politician working for the NO side of the mis-named plebiscite but on the evidence so far it’s an argument he cannot win. The YES vote will romp it in.

This of course was another one of Abbott’s “distraction decisions” foisted on Turnbull by the National Party, designed to delay a certainty. It hasn’t worked for him. To repeat my view, I think the significant turn out indicates a protest vote of sorts: One that is telling Turnbull that we are sick of all the shit and we want better governance than we are getting. This survey is the best way of telling him so.

Will Turnbull get any kudus for seeing it through? Well, it’s rather hard to say. He may say that he did what was right, he had a plebiscite (of sorts) but everyone knows that it should have been done in the Parliament and we could have saved $122 million. That’s what Shorten will say in an “I told you so“ manner.

But I’m sure Abbott won’t let it rest there. He will raise the issues of freedom of religion, free speech and anything else that enters his nefarious head if the YES vote wins. Of course the NO vote might get up, but they face a monumental task given the response so far.

What a week it might turn out to be.

My thought for the day

“When our voices are silent against unfair,deceitful and dishonest government we get what we deserve. Change is a process, not an event.”

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  1. Möbius Ecko

    Latest (stacked) Newspoll is interesting on several fronts, not the least its loaded polling on paying for clean energy. What’s missing is a counter question on whether people would be willing to subsidise fossil fuel energy like coal. My thought is that the average Australian hasn’t a clue on how much they subsidise that industry.

    On the eve of the government maybe announcing it will scrap the CET, out comes the head of the ACCC to say a CET probably won’t lead to cheaper energy prices, and it’s only being imposed for environmental reasons.

    Coincidence? Methinks not.

  2. Kaye Lee

    From the ACCC report

    The ACCC’s preliminary findings are that, on average across the NEM, a 2015-16 residential bill was $1,524 (excluding GST). This average residential bill was made up of:

    network costs (48 per cent)
    wholesale costs (22 per cent)
    environmental costs (7 per cent)
    retail and other costs (16 per cent)
    retail margins (8 per cent).

    In other words, environmental costs are the smallest part of our bill but hey, they are an easier target than admitting the contracts the government signed guaranteeing profits for poles and wires we didn’t need are the real cause of our rising costs.

  3. Joseph Carli

    While I would be reluctant to put money on it, I am of the opinion that the High Court will, after furious overt and covert lobbying from “mates behind the scenes”, sink the boot into those it can offer up as public sacrificial lambs and allow those LNP “essential persons” to remain…of course, we on “lefty” social media will spit the dummy something chronic and scream and kick against such a decision, but a suitable…VERY REASONED analysis will be given to the general public.

  4. Terry2

    Möbius Ecko

    It does seem odd that at this critical juncture Rod Sims would pour cold-water on the value of a CET which basically gives the government a get out of jail card to do absolutely nothing.

    So the energy policy going forward seems to be : you turn off your aircon on a hot day and get a free movie voucher and if anything goes wrong you blame Blackout Bill.

    Spare Me !

  5. Harquebus

    It is a mistake to measure energy production profitability in currencies that are intrinsically worthless. Measuring in joules, Btu’s or Boe etcetera would provide a more realistic measure of return on investment.
    It should be an interesting week with no real solutions provided because, our politicians do not understand the energy problem. Increasing debt can only cover energy deficits for a limited time and that time is almost up.

  6. Ella miller

    Kaye Lee, thank you for that information. I am so over the LN P bullshit about reliability etc etc.No one is talking about the elephant in the room, in relation to energy prices. How hard would it be to increase the input tariff to people who have solar panels? With so much sun in Australia and batteries becoming cheaper …why NOT promote solar panels? Why not make it more worthwhile for people to put more solar panels on their roofs? Unless of course it is to protect the LNP’s vested interests??

    So OVER this government.

  7. king1394

    “I will not lead a party that is not as committed to effective action on climate change as I am.” said Malcolm Turnbull, but it turns out that his commitment to effective action on climate change is nil. I suspect he was speaking the truth as he saw it at the time, and this pronouncement joins others where semantics trumped meaning. I am somehow reminded of Malcolm Fraser’s long ago commitment to ‘Maintain Medibank’ which turned out to mean keeping the name and corporatising it. It’s an Alice in Wonderland world where ‘I say what I mean’ is not the same as ‘I mean what I say.’

  8. Rossleigh

    king1394: Ah, but you see nobody could possibly accuse Malcolm of leading the party, so he’s certainly got an out on that promise.

  9. Terry2

    The 21st Newspoll in a row shows Labor leads the Coalition 54 to 46 per cent on a two-party preferred basis.

    Mr Turnbull cited Tony Abbott’s loss in 30 consecutive Newspolls as the reason for rolling him as prime minister two years ago.

    Massive swings against the Nationals in NSW.

    Not such a bad start to the week !

  10. helvityni

    Joseph Carli, I fear the same: Barnaby, his deputy and the accidental Italian will survive….

  11. David1

    Thanks John, a great food for thought article as are the comments. Have a good week everyone…oh and finally the decision as to who will form the new Government in NZ is also expected this week.

  12. metadatalata

    The High Court ruling on the foreign imposters in the senate will be an interesting one. If they allow any of them to remain as senators, it would be akin to you or I saying “I’m not paying that $1000 speeding fine because I was unaware that I was breaking that law”. If ignorance of rules by politicians is acceptable to our highest courts, it sets an interesting precedent for all other laws. I will be looking in interest and amusement as to how this all unfolds.
    With Adani, the LNP would be keenly aware of the knife-edge that Adani are on. I think their end-game is to start these mining support projects using Adani as a front, wait for them to go belly-up and then sell off their assets at a pittance to Gina and other international mining corporations. LNP seem stupid but there is always corporate profits and personal benefits guiding their decision-making.

  13. Terry2


    It appears that the High Court will rely heavily on the reasonable steps precedent and the need for anybody aspiring to public office in our parliament and who was born overseas or has a parent born overseas to make fundamental enquiries and take reasonable steps to ascertain if they have acquired dual citizenship by birth or descent.

    In the Heather Hill case she was born in the UK and was an Australian citizen and she argued that the allegiance to a foreign power could not apply to the UK as we share the same Head of State. But the High Court took a narrow interpretation and deemed Britain to be a foreign power and she was found not to be capable of sitting in our parliament.

    Unless the High Court take a broader view, I cannot see that any of them, with the possible exception of Nick Xenophon, have taken reasonable steps.

  14. pierre wilkinson

    Baaarnaby famously uttered the prophetic words “ignorance is no excuse” in regards to the Green’s senators being dual citizens, yet now decries the unfair fate of being hoist on his own petard.
    Regrettably, I fear that the High Court may not play fair though for our legal system’s sake, I hope that they are all expelled from parliament.

  15. kerri

    “I will not lead a party that is not as committed to effective action on climate change as I am.”
    Turnbull is completely accurate on this statement.
    He is not leading the party.

  16. jimhaz

    Craig Kelly would have made a good member of PHON – I don’t think he has a brain in his head.

    Also I don’t think Kelly O’Dwyer has even made a contextually honest statement in public. Same type of person as Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

  17. Florence nee Fedup

    Suspect Kelly’s problem is that she is naive, along with ignorant, easily taken in by shit she espouses.

  18. Roswell

    kerri, that was brilliant. Gave me a chuckle.

  19. Möbius Ecko

    Just heard a Liberal minister, couldn’t care less who he is, spend an entire interview attacking Labor on two policies the government are introducing or re-introducing.

    When are these hackneyed attacks against their oppositions on everything going to stop? It seems for the Liberals there’s absolutely nothing that’s not Labor’s fault, even policies that the Liberals introduce are framed as attacks against Labor and/or the Greens, not as policies for the betterment of the nation and its peoples.

    This is not a government, but an opposition sitting in government pretending (badly) to be a government.

  20. David1

    Re the Court decision on ineligibility of Senators and MP’s to be members, Do not underestimate the ‘iinfluence of the AG”, he has ‘suspected’ form.

  21. Matters Not

    David1 re:

    Do not underestimate the influence of the AG”, he has ‘suspected’ form

    Important also not to overestimate the relative powers in play. Any attempt by Brandis, or any other politician, to ‘heavy’ the Judges on the High Court (apart from public, legally argumentative submissions) would be counter productive. Indeed, would be a gross error of judgement. Even Brandis knows that.

    My bet is that the Judges will kick out all seven. While some may want to engage in ‘judicial activism’, the majority won’t. A literal reading of Constitution is the safest bet.

  22. Roswell

    Have to agree with your every word, Matters Not.

    You can’t mess with the High Court.

  23. Maters Not

    Roswell, Labor appointed 3 of the 7 Judges on the High Court – the other 4 are down to the other side. Nevertheless, when Judges of the High Court are ‘enthroned’ they become extremely conscious of the Separation of Powers doctrine. They are not for the ‘buying’. They become very conscious of their (potential) legal legacy.

    History and all that.

  24. Roswell

    Matter Not, if you’re wondering why your comment was caught in moderation it was because the system didn’t know who Maters Not is.

  25. Barry

    The people of this country seems to have a history of voting against their own best interests for some reason I can’t fathom and I’ve given up trying to work out why. Labor seems to be taking kiddy steps towards where it originally came from but is it enough? The thing that bugs me about Bill Shorten and the rest of his team is this thing about trying to distance the party away from the unions. FFS!!!! if it wasn’t for unions there wouldn’t be a friggin Labor party!!, but saying that some unions are bad news and I’m thinking of the shoppies, that is one organisation that doesn’t deserve and shouldn’t be linked to the Labor party.I believe the only reason they get a look in is because of the dollars they donate and if the party tells them to pdq that would raise their stakes in some peoples eyes (just a clarifier I’m a life long unionist but I wouldn’t join the shoppies as long as my arse points towards the ground, the organisation is a blight on the union movement and society) Anyway if anyone reads this dribble, thanks for taking the time. It’s a rambling rant, my back is giving me gip and I can’t sleep. Everyone that comes to this site have a great day and if you can’t be good be careful.

  26. David Bruce

    I despair what is happening to the people of Australia now.Some would say it is the fluoride in the tap water having the desired effect! I am encouraged by the AIMN articles on so many different areas, particularly those having an impact on the health and well being of all Australians. When we look at the costs of fossil fuels, we only see the direct costs to the consumer. We don’t see the costs to our environment nor to our health and well being. On the issue of changes to the Marriage Act, there is sufficient public support to see the Yes vote succeed. My concern is that changes to the Marriage Act will encourage other groups to lobby for further changes. I can foresee a time when Muslims may wish to change the Act to allow for polygamy, for example. Then animal lovers might decide they want to “marry” their pet. The mind boggles. If it is the desire of the majority, then so be it, that is what we have been taught is a democracy in action. Apart from the AIMN, the only other newsletters I read are from contrarians involved in money matters! It helps to keep my life in balance!

  27. Michael Taylor

    I’m very pleased to hear you like us, David. It’s people like you who keep us inspired.

  28. wam

    No Australian judge will accept that a foreign government can legislate to rule that a person born in Australia is a foreign national. What would happen if NZ or china or indonesia, declared everyone who has set foot on NZ soil is a citizen? So the foreigners out the Aussie born in. Except if the thicko cavanan, or his mum, has sought italian citizenship

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