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Malcolm Turnbull does NOT have a majority

Let’s be clear about this – Malcolm Turnbull is not leading a majority government. The party he leads only won 60 seats while Labor won 68.

In order to form government from this minority position, the Liberal Party will have to sign an agreement with the Nationals Party which won 17 seats.

This written agreement will have a significant influence on the direction this government takes and, that being the case, the electorate has every right to know what is being agreed to, just as we did when Julia Gillard negotiated to form government with the support of the Greens and Independents.

This is not secret men’s business. It’s not an exclusive club where only the members know the password. These people have been elected to represent us and we are entitled to know their intentions. It is our money they will be spending and our lives that will be affected by their decisions.

Why the insistence on secrecy Barnaby? What are you hiding? What are you too scared to let the people know?


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  1. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Good questions, Kaye. Yes Bananababy, what have you got to hide?

  2. Matters Not

    Might be difficult to put a ‘wink and a nod’ on paper.

  3. Peter F

    You ignore the fact that this is the only legitimate COALition

  4. terry charlton

    About time some one pointed the Liberal/ National alliance. I have been waiting for Labor to jump on the coalition, the joining of two parties to defeat one party. Liberal are pointing out this is the lowest primary vote for labor since 1931. Why hasn’t a laborite looked into the Libs and Nats separately, as one party of each and do the comparison.

  5. kerri

    Totally irrelevant point, but why do so many pics of Barnaby shiw him with a beer in hand?
    Last nights email from Schwartz media by Sean Kelly discussed the hypocrisy of Joyce who earlier this year refused to countenance a figure on women in the parliament claiming the old merit argument and his refusal to appoint on the basis of mathematics! Yet now he has more seats he demands more ministeries??
    Seems the merit argument only applies when women are part of the story too??

  6. Freethinker

    What Barnaby it is try to hidden is that “business is at usual” the Nationals are there to keep their seats and go along with the liberal policies instead of protecting the people in the bush.
    They have been doing this for years and they got the votes just because tradition and few promises in every election.

  7. @RosemaryJ36

    I suspect that we end up with even more conservative policies as a result of the coalition with the various National parties. We need a revived Australian party for Liberty and Progress.

  8. Kaye Lee

    “Why hasn’t a laborite looked into the Libs and Nats separately, as one party of each and do the comparison”

    According to the AEC at this stage, on first preferences

    Liberal 3,662,784 28.61% Swing -3.41
    Liberal National Party 1,099,504 8.59% -0.33
    The Nationals 600,907 4.69% +0.40
    Country Liberals (NT) 32,086 0.25% -0.07
    Australian Labor Party 4,460,478 34.84% +1.46
    The Greens 1,282,989 10.02% +1.37


    7 out of 22 of the elected LNP identify as Nationals.

  9. DisablednDesperate

    And as I noticed yesterday the donkey got more first preferences than the Nats yet they keep saying how well they did. Thank you Kaye Lee as always for your thoughtful articles. The whole “we can be a coalition but woe betide if Labor did it with the Greens” drives me insane. The hypocracy is gobsmacking.

  10. Kaye Lee

    ” instead of protecting the people in the bush.”

    You can be absolutely certain that Barnaby will be fighting tooth and nail for anything Gina wants. She has bankrolled his campaign for the last two elections. She flew him over to India to meet her Indian coal business partners. She founded ANDEV wanting a special economic zone in the north and lots of dams and infrastructure built for her. We now have a Minister for Northern Development, a $5 billion development fund, Barnaby and Katter wanting dams built, and tax cuts for companies. If you want to know what Barnaby is signing up to, ask Gina.

  11. Kyran

    Your reference to “This is not secret men’s business.” made critical analysis of kerri’s observation “Seems the merit argument only applies when women are part of the story too??” an amusing distraction.
    As best as I can work out, our last government had 28 ministries, twelve of which were administered by six females, Bishop, O’Dwyer, Cash, Nash, Ley and Payne. So, six females occupied twelve ministries. Is that that multi tasking thing, famous in folklore?
    The outer ministries had twelve positions, only one of which had a female minister, Fierravanti-Wells.
    If these are females of merit, the word ‘merit’ requires re-definition. As does the word ‘Honourable’. After all, all of the ministers are referred to as ‘Honourable’. Cast your eyes upon the list of male ‘Honourable’ members.


    I would defy anyone to describe any of those male members as honourable, let alone meritorious.

    Clearly, honour and merit are out of the equation in terms of our new government, regardless of gender. Of the 76 elected members to the IPA/ACL/LNP ‘new’ government, 13 are female.
    An article well worth looking at;


    Regrettably, the article that made most sense in explaining the dichotomy was from a comedian on the soon to be extinct SBS;


    My bad. I get distracted easily. Thank you, Ms Lee (and kerri). The distraction was far more pleasant than the reality. Take care

  12. lawrencewinder

    Ahh… the ruling rabble Mk2…. and not only less in number but less competent to boot. With the heavy hitters like KPMG and BCA et al, all singing the same refrain from the “free-market’, IPA songbook, am I the only one who senses a whiff of early desperation that the simmering anger in the electorate over the Rabid-the-Hun/Eleventy Hockey/Do-do Dutton /Slasher Ley/Horseshite Cormann cabal has not diminished but has in fact, expanded since the election?

  13. white

    Lay it on the table if you have nothing to hide – Barnaby, as we can not trust the liars in power going on their past promises, and I am sure you don’t want to be accused of being part of that against your parties wishes, or do you?

  14. Jack Russell

    The neo-conservatives have been busily forging and shoring up legal enhancements for their own unaccountability over decades. They now now think they’re in the position of being able to do and say anything they like and get away with it.

    Peel away the layers and you will find snivelling cowards at the core.

    The time will come when their sneeringly arrogant raised middle fingers won’t save them.

  15. brickbob

    Barney spent the whole election campaign running around his huge electorate handing out cheques to every club and organisation who would let him through the door at the same time telling outrageous lies about Tony Windsor and his wife, and he and his whole party are a bunch of grubs.

    This ” secret” agreement is just slush fund a la pork barrelling for his Agraian socialist mates and cow cockies,all these Nat leaders do it and in the next three years Joyce will give away billions of tax payers money for the sole purpose of getting re elected and will also wreck every piece of agriculturial land for his rich mining mates,the bloke is a carpetbagger and a filthy lying two faced crook,and as long as those idiots keep voting for him well they deserve everything they get.””””””

  16. Terry2

    Doesn’t it seem a bit strange that one of the reasons the Nationals want greater representation in the Turnbull rag-tag government is because they stole the Liberal seat of Murray following Sharman Stone’s retirement.

    A bit like a thief stealing your bun and then saying ‘can I have the cream, you won’t need it now’..

  17. my say

    The trouble is brickbob ,We all have to suffer because of all those idiot’s that voted for him

  18. Mic the Heretic

    Let’s make the “Record of Foreign Ownership” open to the public, as it should be, and find out just how much of our Country has been sold off.

  19. Andrew

    Oh come on, there a coalition, everyone knows there a coalition, they don’t run against each other in seats held by the other party because there a coalition. Are you serious going to insult the intelligent of people by writing this rubbish, independent, yeah sure you are. Then again 20 or so of your readers have bought it, so I guess you know exactly how intelligent your readers are.

  20. Pingback: Election 2016 – 8 Daze Later | The Max Gross Archive

  21. Kaye Lee

    That is exactly the point Andrew. Malcolm Turnbull’s party does not have a majority. He needs to sign a deal with another party to form government. What concessions will that other party ask for and why can we not be told about them? But then again….I already said that didn’t I.

    Perhaps the Nationals are lickspittles who won’t demand anything at all other than a chance to sit on the government seats. Or maybe they will back Pauline Hanson’s demands for a Royal Commission into Islam and another into the CSIRO and BoM. Maybe they will want Gina’s tax free zone in the North. We are entitled to know.

    Tell Sophie Mirabella that they don’t run against each other.

  22. Möbius Ecko

    …they don’t run against each other in seats held by the other party because there a coalition.

    Wrong. They certainly do run against each other at times, and quite often, like Murray in this election where the Nats won a seat held for 20 years by the Libs.

    Indeed many Libs don’t like the Nats as they take senior portfolios above their representation including automatically getting the deputy PM gig, which many Libs think should be theirs.

    Conversely the Nationals often screw their rural constituents as Liberals policies the Nationals automatically support are detrimental to country areas, but they do get huge amounts of wasteful public money in pork barrelling, which is another bribe the Libs used to keep the Nationals placated.

    If the Libs could get rid of the Nationals tomorrow they would at the drop of a hat, as Kennett did in Victoria, which ended up decimating Victorian rural services and infrastructure and won Labor country seats and an election.

  23. Timothy Nicholson

    The party he leads only won 45 seats while Labor won 68.
    In order to form government from this minority position, the Liberal Party will have to sign an agreement with the Nationals Party which won 10 seats and the Liberal National Party that one 22 seats for a total of 77. – get the figures right Australian Independent Media

  24. Kaye Lee

    Timothy, 15 of Queensland’s 22 LPNers identify as Liberal…7 as Nationals. That is where the figures came from. Check the Nationals site to see who is who from the LNP – when they get to Canberra they sit in different party rooms.

    Members, Senators and Candidates

  25. Alan Mac

    Hey Andrew, “Oh come on, there a coalition, everyone knows there a coalition, they don’t run against each other in seats held by the other party because there a coalition. Are you serious going to insult the intelligent of people by writing this rubbish”. I am pleased you don’t want to insult intelligent people. “they are = they’re”. I think you’ll find that “there” is talking about something “over there”, a bit like your intelligence.

  26. townsvilleblog

    Kaye, I love the way that you put the ignorant in their place, I admire your integrity and your wordsmith ability, and really hope that you also send your articles to the major newspapers in Australia as well, your words are true and very powerful.

  27. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Read Ross Gittins’ article http://www.smh.com.au/business/the-economy/think-twice-before-throwing-open-the-government-coffers-20160715-gq6dkw.html

    A great insight into why outsourcing is a failed government experiment, which Malcolm Muck would be wise to take heed of, as well as Labor if it – ever – manages to get back into office.

    Maybe someone will finally say ‘f**k off’ to all the Job Services job ‘provider’ contractors, who act like hitlers to the most vulnerable in the community, who have the misfortune of being stuck on Newstart.

  28. Freethinker

    Jennifer, I just wonder if cornlegend and Bighead1883 have any comment about their “only option” the ALP after reading the behavior of the party in this article?
    The facets of Australian fascism: the Abbott Government experiment (Part 43)
    It something to be “proud” to unconditionally support the Labor………..

  29. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    Thanks Freethinker,

    yes, I have now read Part 43. An excellent read.

    It will be interesting to see if cornlegend and Bighead wish to respond to the criticism that Labor has been a willing participant in many regressive and civil rights measures, not to mention vilification of the most vulnerable on welfare and in detention.

    I bet you we won’t hear a peep from either of them. ;/

  30. Dan Rowden

    While the title and first sentence of this piece are misleading, the general thrust is worthy of wide expression. Any agreement between the Libs and Nats (and others) ought not only be fully transparent, but known to the electorate before any election. Any impact such knowledge might have on said electorate is – and must always be – a matter for the aforementioned electorate. Is it the case that the Coalition actually fears such impact and therefore seeks to make this agreement private? You pretty much have to presume so.

    Then again, in most every context, transparency and conservatism do not make comfortable bedfellows. Time for that end.

  31. Kaye Lee

    Barnaby Joyce says the Nationals will “drive a hard bargain”.

    Asked what he would be pushing for under a new agreement with Mr Turnbull following the election, Mr Joyce told Sky News on Sunday: “The first aspiration is the agreement remains confidential. That’s aspiration one, two, three, four, five and six.”

    “We always have a written agreement so there are never any arguments later about what’s going on.”

    I’m glad they know what’s going on. Why can’t we?

  32. Dan Rowden

    It might be worth exploring the issue of under what legal pretence they might be able to assert such confidentiality. Whatever that might be, is it sound or open to challenge?

  33. Jennifer Meyer-Smith

    It is worth raising that issue with AEC, Dan.

  34. Dan Rowden

    Maybe, but I suspect it won’t be something covered by the Electoral Act. There may ultimately be no legal premise from which to hide behind. Maybe the AEC could point us in the right direction, at least.

  35. Freethinker

    They are a coalition and not new and we all know that they have their agreements.
    I guess that all the voters that have voted for the Liberals or the Nationals are well aware of that and would not surprise me that they considering the coalition as one party.

  36. Kaye Lee

    “Most Australian Government agencies are subject to the FOI Act, and must release documents in response to an FOI request unless there is an overriding reason not to do so.

    You can request access to any document held by an agency. Requests to ministers, on the other hand, must relate to an ‘official document of a minister’. This means a document held by a current minister about the affairs of an Australian Government agency. It does not include a minister’s personal or party political documents, or documents about their electorate affairs. Ministers are also not subject to some of the proactive publication requirements the FOI Act places on agencies.”


    Not sure they can be legally forced to disclose it but they should be ethically bound to do so.

  37. Dan Rowden


    I think the fact of the secrecy and claims of confidentiality immediately give rise to suspicion and the playing of Terry Stafford clips on Youtube. A simple explanation from the Coalition as to why the agreement ought remain confidential would be welcome and quite possibly accepted as entirely reasonable.

  38. Kaye Lee

    Mark Kenny makes some very good points.

    First, that there must be matters of serious public interest covered that neither side wants revealed. Alarm bells began ringing. Common sense, and bitter experience, tells us the more strenuously a politician strives to keep something secret, the more it should be made public.

    A second conclusion is that to actively deny that exposure dishonours the democratic process in which the nation and its elected representatives have just engaged in good faith.

    [The support offered by the voters is broken] if the Prime Minister’s first act is to ink a private arrangement in which policies and patronage are seen to be traded. Indeed, it should be noted in passing that it is actually illegal to offer material inducements to a federal parliamentarian to affect her or his actions.

    Of course, there is no suggestion the Coalition agreement is illegal. But a deal which hands over keenly sought ministerial spots, and grants unspecified undertakings on policies in exchange for a guaranteed majority, should at the very least, be open to public assessment.

    The defence for not doing so seems to start and end with precedent. But past secrecy is worse than irrelevant.”


  39. Freethinker

    It would not surprise me that the agreement it is in relation to water (rivers) management, land clearing and other issued that could affect the environment like mining.

  40. wam

    The libs rule because there is no difference between libs and nat according to the slimey green. Every body is a lib and nobody is labor. What a conclusion, I was green and a unionist 40 years before the loony party came to be. Yet according to green because some loonies agree with me, I become a loony. Well so be it I am loonie.
    As for this post, it is exactly secret men’s business no women there.
    Wonder what is the agreement between the leftrightcentre of labor or the diludbran with themselves and the women(themselves) in the greens?
    perhaps shorten should approach barney????

  41. roy stanley johnson

    we need now a royal commission into the banks as a matter of urgency there are things the multinational banks are doing

  42. Jarvis Pettit

    Barnaby Joyce should not allowed to drink anything stronger than water.He is selling Australia off to Multinationals,especially water.He is a cotton farmer, irrigator and should not hold a position of management.

  43. Freethinker

    I would like to have here politicians like Pepe Mujica, quote:
    “A president is a high-level official who is elected to carry out a function. He is not a king, not a god. He is not the witch doctor of a tribe who knows everything. He is a civil servant. I think the ideal way of living is to live like the vast majority of people whom we attempt to serve and represent.”

    Just wonder if I am pushing my lack………


  44. jimhaz

    Pepe Mujica appears to be a fellow I could respect very easily. Lets send our pollies over to be taught by him for a while.

  45. Freethinker

    I remember when he received kink Juan Carlos in his little farm, he said to him, quote:
    “People say I’m poor , but I’m not because I have to live ; poor who need much You can not , you had the misfortune . king, they put you up in a vase . ”
    Just image an Australian politician (if we can find one poor) talking like this to the queen.

  46. Mark Needham

    When you mix Red and Blue together, we get Green, I think.
    Been done before, and will continue so.
    We can be precious at times, Hey!

    But, I see we now have 4 Federal ministers, doing the same job, ‘Social Services’. Money is short, so lets spend heaps with 4 show ponies instead of 1.

    Mark Needham

  47. John Skene

    Why don’t the labor party move a motion in the Senate to table the Agreement in the Senate and make it public? The government has to get 9 senators on side to knock it back

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