Wednesday March 21 2018
1 The junior partner in the Coalition, the National Party has been silenced and are no longer heard. The were known in my youth as the Country Party, and generally did what they were told .
All their leaders in my lifetime have been subservient to the Liberal leader. Now and then they made a bit of noise but the old slow talking fuddy-duddies stayed in the world of yesteryear and listened to Dad and Dave.
Nowadays they are unrepresentative of modern, highly technical , IT savy farmers who left Dad and Dave to contemplate the past while they got on with surviving in a vastly different landscape.
Then came a loud-mouthed water-stealing accountant who didn’t care who he offended so long as his voice and his self-interests were being taken care of.
After a period of time the loud-mouth was closed by louder voices who felt their voices were more important. He was replaced by “what’s his name,” oh well it doesn’t matter. His voice cannot be heard at all now. Mission accomplished.
But where are they now and what is their future? To say the organisation is old-fashioned would be an understatement. Seeing a bit of skirt at meetings would be highly unlikely.
But having put out to pasture the wrongs of Joyce the ageing male-dominated party has to ask itself just who it represents and just what its future might be.
Like their senior party, the Liberals, they have an identity crisis. What and who do they represent? They certainly don’t represent the image of the modern-day farmer. Certainly not the ones I see on television talking like scientists who know a bit about climate change. But first they have to overcome the outback ocker image portrayed by Barnaby Joyce and that can only be overcome with time. And time isn’t what they have.
They still have to deal with the accusations made against Barnaby Joyce by former WA Rural Women of the year Catherine Marriott.
It is believed that there are even more complaints to be made against Joyce. And WA leader Mia Davies, the lady who expressed no confidence in Joyce, is trying to overcome a party backlash because of her intervention. There are those like me who believe her intervention was part of a conspiracy to get rid of Joyce to give Turnbull a louder voice.
WA Nationals have never been represented in our National Parliament nor have SA, TAS or the ACT. Even their name is unrepresentative of who they are. It really is all a farce when you consider that they have 16 members in the House of Representatives with half the vote of the Greens, who have one.
The downfall of Joyce stands as a stark reminder that the Prime Minister couldn’t sack Joyce as a minister because he had signed a grubby piece of paper declaring himself a hypocrite for giving into Joyce on policies that he once so firmly believed in.
Like their senior party, the Nationals have very few people with any talent. Well, talent for effective governance. They even have one member in George Christensen who wants his party to quit the Coalition altogether.
The old Country Party is just hanging onto power by the crack of a stock whip on a cold morning. Many in the country are angry that their party never represented them with a fast NBN connection, and plenty of farmers feel let down by Nationals who have supported mining before agriculture.
Over the years it has often been muted that the two parties split. Maybe they should give it some more serious thought.
The Greens at the last election got 1.4 million primary votes, representing 10.2 per cent of the country for 1 seat.
Conversely, the Nationals got 624,555 (4.6 per cent). This delivers 16 seats in the House of Representatives.
2 Newspoll decided to hold off on its national poll until after the SA elections and Essential took a week off from their fortnightly poll. It puts back Newspoll’s 30th by a week. Yes, I’m looking forward to it, too.
My thought for the day
“On the NBN. The problem with designing a network to meet the needs of today is that it denies you the ability to meet the needs of tomorrow.”
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