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The Liberals Have A Mandate So The Senate Should Just Go Home…

Ok, I’ve always thought that a politician’s mandate was to vote for the policies they espoused during the election campaign. Granted, circumstances change and they may need to compromise in order to achieve anything. Similarly, changing circumstances may lead to a politician reassessing their support for particular policies. To me, a mandate has never meant that all the other parties simply say such-and-such party won enough seats in the House of Representatives to form government so we need to forget the policies we took to the election and just go along with whatever they say. To me, I’ve always thought that those pesky minor parties managed to get senators elected had also been given a mandate to vote a particular way.

Sure, there were some anomalies when senators were being elected with a handful of votes. But let’s not forget that this was as a result of preference deals involving the major parties, not because of some coup d’etat. Once elected, we surely expect anyone to stay true to most of their stated principals. People wouldn’t expect, for example, a member of the Sex Party elected to the Senate to turn around and say that, as Cory Bernardi belonged to the party which had formed government in the House of Reps, then they’d be seeking his advice on all future votes.

But it seems that I’m wrong. Listening to the Liberals over the past few years, I’ve reached the following conclusions about what a mandate means:

  1. Labor never has one. All Labor Party policy is subject to review and should be blocked if it either isn’t something the Liberals like, or if it runs the risk of making them popular.
  2. The Liberals have a mandate if they win the most seats in the House of Representatives. Or rather, they have a mandate if they have the most seats when they combine theirs with the National Party. If Labor form a coalition with The Greens, this is cheating and parties shouldn’t be allowed to do that unless they already had a coalition agreement even if that coalition agreement gets renegotiated after the election.
  3. Even if Liberals/Nationals need independents to support them to form minority, then they still have a mandate even if they and the Nationals still don’t have most of the seats in the House. In this case, just the fact that they are government means that they have a mandate and nobody should block any of their policies.
  4. Even if they’re not the government, they still have a mandate, because Labor’s policies are so evil and wrong that they know that at the next election, they’ll be voted back in because, as Christopher “The Fixer” Pyne told us, they’re an “election winning machine”. If they’re returned at the subsequent election, it’ll be because of the media’s failure to explain that Labor should never be allowed to govern.
  5. If the Liberals do form the government, then their mandate extends to all the things that they intended to do but forgot to tell us about in the election campaign, as well as anything that they want to change their mind about because they’ve listened to the people. We may hear more on this last one when it comes to superannuation. In the next few weeks, the government may announce that they’re not proceeding with some of their changes on super because they’ve realised that there’s even more savings to be made by cracking down on welfare than they suggested in the week before the election, as well as concluding that there’s no point in educating people at public schools because they’ll all be unemployed anyway.

All in all, while some might conclude that each elected representative has a mandate to stick to their principles, that isn’t the way the Liberals see it. The Senate, the Opposition, the independents and The Greens are all just examples of the sort of red tape that stops entrepreneurs being able to make a bucketload of money, and, after all, that’s what’s important. If a thing isn’t profitable, then it shouldn’t be allowed. Private operators make money out of TAFE, so they’re ok. All right, it might have been better if some of them had actually trained some of their students, but that would have involved a whole lot of complicated paperwork.

Whatever, I’m looking forward to Turnbull’s legislation to protect the CFA. Given the Liberals strong opposition to big governments and nanny states, I’m wondering how it can be worded without seeming like a direct contradiction of their core values.


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  1. Peter F

    ‘I’m wondering how it can be worded without seeming like a direct contradiction of their core values.’ How can anything be a direct contradiction of something which doesn’t exist?

  2. susan

    Everything in this article is absolutely true without even the slightest exaggeration. I just can’t believe Australia wanted to repeat the last three years.

  3. Jack Russell

    Never bring your kids up with versions of the authoritarian “Because I said so!”.

    That kind of conditioning plays straight into the agenda of the born-to-rules . . . and played a large part in the re-election of the bullies-in-nice-suits by people who react viscerally instead of thinking critically.

    Mandate?! Pfffft!

  4. wam

    I am sure corey and the rabbott will be furious. They thought they were waiting for a plebiscite before deciding on a man date?
    Still they have a mandate for jobs and growth. So labor gird thy loins and tie every move back to jobs and growth.

  5. Freethinker

    The only mandate that they have is to respect the senate.
    I hope that they will not last 2 years in power.
    All the parties have to continuing to be in election mode to remove this mob.

  6. Garth

    @susan … without the betrayal of the Australian people by the Australian MSM there is no way these mongrels would have been elected at this election. Sometimes Labor are so on the nose the MSM just play a supporting role but this time they really screwed us. If policy was properly evaluated and critiqued in the MSM without bias, no way would the coalition have been able to get over the line in 2016. And Rossleigh’s accurate piece above illustrates the contempt in which the coalition hold the electorate – without the MSM running interference, all voters would be well and truly aware of this.
    And i’ve never thought talk of a mandate was anything but rubbish. The only mandate is for every MP to vote according to the policies THEY took to the election. In any case, we elect MP’s to use their own best judgement in certain situations so to think that everyone just runs on autopilot for 3 years is ridiculous.

  7. wakeupandsmellthehumans

    When you are afflicted by the born to rule mentality you always will be deluded that you have a mandate to be in absolute power.

  8. Carol Taylor

    Indeed Garth, I wonder how many of the public knew about Morrison’s ‘zombie measures’ left over from Hockey’s failed budget? And that upon winning, that the government had every intention of forcing them through the Senate. As far as I’m concerned the only thing that the government has ‘a mandate’ for is Jobs & Growth and anything that does not contribute to the aforementioned they do NOT have a mandate for. If any of their promises equal J&G then I want to see something the Libs are very reluctant to provide – independent modelling (as compared with modelling paid by either lobbyists, the Libs or both).

  9. Wayne Turner

    Remember Turnbull’s words: “My FIRST order of business if the LNP are re-elected is the “fix the CFA situation”. That was a real quick LIE.We are waiting? IE: We will be waiting for a long time.Only the gullible would have believed this LIE.Sadly there is plenty of them.

    We are NOT a democracy.We are a mediaocracy,in which the media are owned by too few,and are the promotional wing of the LNP.The gullible and idiot fell for the usual MSM campaigning for the LNP,and that got them over the line.

    The mediaocracy continues….

  10. Wayne Turner

    Mandates are another LNP LIE.They only have a mandate to form government,by having a majority in the house of reps.We the public do NOT vote on each and every policy at elections,so there is no proof that we the public agree with every policy.

  11. Jack Russell

    Such a pity that high school graduates don’t emerge with well-honed governmental/electoral/economic savvy. Political lies would die on the vine and we’d all be the better for it.

  12. Steve Laing

    Love it Ross. And a perfect interpretation of how they actually think. Scary, but true.

  13. paulwalter

    No, the Senate does not go home. It is a house of review, and intended to be so from Federation.The further meddling with the system by people like Turnbull and Brandis will continue but the Senate has lasted because it bells cats not belled by the duopoly downstairs. Per head of population, Greens supporters, say, are less well represented for the number of votes they receive, with only a lower house seat or two despite the numbers of people nationally who vote for them, but Upper House quota systems ensure that a bloc of like minded people can get a representative to present a viewpoint..adds critical diversity to something dangerously close to being anemic

  14. keerti

    Mandate.? Forgive me if I laugh. Parliamentarians are elected to represent their costituants. Prper representation would mean that they continually consult with their electoratevfor instruction. At prsent we have a bastardisation of democracywhich disenfranchises anyone who hasn’t voted for the rep

  15. Peter F

    Abbott claimed that he had a ‘mandate’ to oppose everything.

  16. auntyuta

    Jobs and Growth for whom? For everyone? And how is this going to be achieved? Has this been explained?

  17. mark

    Wayne Turner -the liberal government is not in power yet as they need to be sworn in by the Governor General before forming office. He is overseas so Australia is in caretaker mode. Jumping the gun a bit by saying Turnbull has lied on the CFA.

  18. colg

    This nation of mandate is utterly fraught. I remember the Howard GST election where I made a deliberate and strategic decision to vote for the Democrats in the upper house with the clear notion that I was giving them the balance of power to block the thing. And Meg Lees folded.
    No party that has not achieved a stunning victory in both houses can claim a mandate for anything. This election as a double dissolution should have been about the Coalition desire to further gut the union movement and reintroducing the ABCC but was the issue even mentioned during their campaign?

  19. Wayne Turner

    Another reason it’s a LIE: It’s a state issue.What can and will the federal government do about it? It’s also a LIE because they can’t (and you watch won’t) do anything about it.

    Also,I still stand by my statement.For his “first order of business”.Turnbull has stopped talking about it,and NOT said what he would (and even could do anyway) about it.For “first order of business” NOT talking about it anymore isn’t a good sign.Plus,why should I believe him to begin with?,when Turnbull is a known LIAR eg: “advocacy and NOT slogans” = more slogans such as “jobs and growth”.

  20. Jaquix

    Before the CFA was pronounced his first order of business, Turnbull announced the ABCC was going to be his first order of business. Instead we find that superannuation “reform” is dominating the headlines, along with challenges from within to put Abbott back in play, and warning shots from all over the place on gambling reform. Quite an exciting time to be Prime Minister !

  21. Wayne Turner

    Indeed Jaquix an exciting time to be a LYING PM (“advocacy NOT slogans” = more slogans.Along with so many “first orders of business” that most likely nothing will happen FIRST or at all.),with many of his own party continuing to under mind him already ie: Asking him to bring back Abbott into the ministry lol – I bet the Malcolm NoBalls will,ha,ha,ha….. Then Abbott will next try to get the PM job back lol.

  22. DisablednDesperate

    Wayne someone here I think found that the Liberal party had bought the domain name of handsoffthecfa back in April. It is classic astroturfing. Rossleigh brilliant as always.

  23. Wayne Turner

    That’s what the LNP love to do – astroturfing eg: Like the BS with truck driving companies.Of course aided by the biggest astroturfers: The MSM. Plus of course the ignorant and gullible falling for it.

  24. Möbius Ecko

    Jaquix I think under the Double Dissolution convention Turnbull doesn’t have the numbers to implement the ABCC now, the reason for the DD. He will have to table the legislation as part of normal business and that’s likely to be quashed by the Senate. He can go to another DD on it but I think he’ll run from that option.

  25. OldWomBat

    “.. a direct contradiction of their core values.” The only core value that the lnp retain is self-interest – they couldn’t give a stuff about Australia or the vast majority of Australians.

  26. Kyran

    Once upon a time, “There were some anomalies when senators were being elected with a handful of votes.”. Then along came papa talcum, who issued an edict. An edict that all of the senators would be held to account. All at once, instead of once every six years (or three years in the territories). He got rid of those nasty senators who got elected with a handful of votes, replacing them with a new senate. A new senate where those elected only required half of the votes needed under normal circumstances to be elected.
    All hail talcum. In his wildest dreams, he could not have imagined his brilliance. I am left imagining his brilliance. It’s substance remains in my imagination to date.
    Surely all will hail his brilliance? Ok, maybe the reason he offered this balm to an unruly senate, the ABCC, is no longer worthy of mention. Let’s be realistic, it never was. It’s not like we need a federal ICAC or anything. It’s not like our ruling elite need oversight or anything.
    All hail talcum. The new senate, subject to their own conventions, have to decide which of them goes back to the poll’s in three years and which get to stay for six years. Keep an eye on that ‘bunfight’.
    All hail talcum. The Brothers Grimm could not have envisaged the ugliness of the new senate.
    And they all lived happily ever after. Thank you, Mr Brisbane. I’m off to make a hot chocolate, contemplate my core values and have a nightmare. Hopefully, the next nightmare won’t be three years long. Take care

  27. TuffGuy

    They would also have you believe you should just trust them to do anything they want because they are the adults and the better economic managers. I mean look how their superior economic management got us out of the budget emergency by tripling the deficit….

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