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We need an election now!

With the citizenship saga continuing to unfold in a manner that is exhibiting all the elements of a soap opera, i.e. farcical and treacherous, the government is facing the real danger of having a general election forced upon it, a situation reminiscent of the Whitlam dismissal of 1975.

Should it be determined that both Josh Frydenberg and Alex Hawke be required to face a bi-election at the same time as Barnaby Joyce on 2nd December, the government’s numbers in the lower house would be seriously compromised.

As matters stand, the Coalition has 76 members, Labor 69, 1 Greens and 4 independents, a total of 150. Already the government has lost one member, i.e. Barnaby Joyce. If it transpires that both Frydenberg and Hawke are ineligible, that would reduce the Coalition to 73 in a 147-member house.

That means they would require 74 votes to avoid a loss of confidence. With the support of the speaker, they would need only one of the independents to vote with them.

Depending on the circumstances of course, one might reasonably expect Cathy McGowan, the independent member for Indi, to vote with the government. She has said as much.

As matters stand, all three government members under a cloud at the moment, are in relatively safe seats. They would, most likely, be re-elected.

But what would happen if the latest citizenship revelation, i.e. John Alexander, caused a bi-election in Bennelong, a marginal seat, one that the government lost?

That would take the Coalition into minority government and while they could still govern with the support of independents, clearly their legitimacy would be seriously compromised.

As one connects the dots in this ever-widening web of intrigue, it becomes more and more apparent, that the one course of action Malcolm Turnbull should take to determine the government’s legitimacy is a federal election.

Reading various opinion pieces in the mainstream media over the past few days, one detects a general air of resignation by a number of respected writers who conclude this is the only path to take and that it is inevitable.

Furthermore, as speculation grows on the likelihood of a leadership change, there exists the possibility that the chaos within the Liberal party will undermine the stability of our democracy.

The citizenship issue has opened further the festering wounds of those who would see Malcolm Turnbull dismissed under any pretext. Installing a new PM would be likened to Nero fiddling while Rome burns.

An election subject to a disclosure regime for all candidates, as outlined by the prime minister yesterday, would wipe the slate clean. Any candidate that deliberately, or otherwise, gave false information about his/her eligibility, would face criminal proceedings.

There is no good reason for holding a referendum to change Section 44 of the constitution. It would not be successful. Nor should it be. A parliamentarian’s loyalty to the country he serves should never be open to compromise.

As much as election timing is paramount and the present time does not look healthy for the prime minister, sooner or later, the penny will drop and Turnbull and his chaotic government will have to face the cold hard truth.

To save the nation from what is more serious than the farce it appears to be, announcing a federal poll for the first Saturday in February 2018 would be the best move Malcolm Turnbull could make.

 


28 comments

  1. Robert REYNOLDS

    I am not sure John, that by holding an election now, or really at any time in the near future, will bring about any significant change. Instead of the Liberal Party and its coalition partner running the country, we would most likely see the ALP, aka the Alternative Liberal Party, running the place instead. Under the stewardship of this so-called, ‘opposition’, we would still be burdened with, inter alia, unsustainable levels of immigration, subservience to U.S. foreign policy; and the type of capitalism that gave us the Panama Papers and now the Paradise Papers will still flourish unimpeded.

  2. jim

    LNP has got to go, a big f”n Shambles comes to mind “our” media actively barracks for this hideous Liberal/national party

    We have a NewsLtd/IPA coalition regime in power in Australia as intended by the religious right wing fundamentalist some even fanatics of “god” and their masters in the Corporate world including “our” Corporate media.

    Action is needed to bring these culprits who are actively distorting Australia’s democracy to a court of law.

    The IPA are sick!, they are totally for Corporatism of Australia they are intent on blocking the democratic process of debate and discussion by censorship and or distortion/omission and waffling, of critical data /facts, in our political activities.

    The LNP/media latest trick is to always show crime in Labor states then good events in LNP states IMO.

    Radio caller ; Perth the pedophile capital of Australia, Perth has a suburb with the highest unemployment in the state with 8% , you cannot keep spending like Krudd did .

  3. Jim Duffield

    Surely this issue is one for the Speaker? Logically he must have confidence that those before him are all consitutionally seated?

  4. Terry2

    A big bouquet and thank you to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) who by their diligence are revealing the corruption and criminality in our midst, there’s even one in Australia ; https://www.icij.org/journalists/

  5. stephengb2014

    John, forgive me but if the dots connect to a point where there is more than one possible path for the dots to connect, then the outcome is not inevitable to one path or the other.
    You have described a number of paths in your article
    Granted that eventually the government must go to the polls, and I venture that it will be in 2018! Yes that os about as much as one can expect in the circumstances!

    The fact Is that just as you, Joseph, Michael, Kaye, Rossliegh and other notable AIMN contributors, have all pointed out in various and truthfull ways, this government is the most incompetant, ideologically stubborn, nastiest government this country has ever exerienced, but they have in the face of extraordinary events, managed to retain enough numbers to retain government.

    This is a government that has produced nothing for the benefit of all Australians. And now because of their stubborn adherance to their ideology they have created a retail slump not seen since the 1990 recession.

    But still baring a drastic change in numbers in the house of reps they still control the date of the next poll. They are totally without conscience, they are just hanging for a few dollars more, they know that they will not achieve anything, because of the fact that they almost don’t control the House of reps and hardly ever controll the Senate. What else to do but sit tight keep taking the dollars and enjoying the perks and pray (most of them are so called religious men and women) that the gods of neoliberalism will change their fortune.

    Guess what, the fact is that in view of the political classes behaviour (both Left and Right) over the last 35 years, I suspect that they know that half a day can alter the fortunes of any politician.

    At least in this situation the only people they can really hurt is those poor chaps on Manus, and man are they loving that!

    S G B

  6. helvityni

    ” rodmaxc:This will be the decade that Australia had its heart ripped out. Good article.(commenter on IA)”

    We had a very old Alpaca wether, he was really one of the pets. When it looked like he was ready to die, of old age, my three dogs took turns trying to keep him alive, lying next to him, the little one even on top of him, licking him…

    My dogs behave more humanely than this Government…Their behaviour is unforgivable.

  7. Shevill Mathers

    The fact that they are even allowed to run again for the same or any other seat, is, to my mind, appalling, where is the penalty for their carelessness or laziness, which I suspect is part of their attitude towards the office and responsibilities they hold. Send a clear signal, fail the first paper test and you are out, no lifelong pension’, entitlements etc. from the public purse during your retirement etc. Live on the very generous super the government lets you have. I am sure some in politics are just in it for the ‘goodies’. This mob have taken Australia backwards so far, it will take a very long time to recover.

  8. Harquebus

    What difference would replacing one lot of ignorant morons with another make? None. We will still end up the proverbial creek with only the shitty end of a stick to paddle with.

    We need to change more than just our government. The growth ideology pursued by both sides is what needs to be changed.

  9. Karl Young

    You sound very very disillusioned Harquebus?

  10. Jane

    I just watched the Drum. Georgina Dower was on it. If anyone is in the wrong business she is.Just watch her happy smile disappear when others have very different views.

  11. paul walter

    Nasty, authoritarian creature she is.

  12. John Lord

    To save the nation from what is more serious than the farce it appears to be, announcing a federal poll for the first Saturday in February 2018 would be the best move Malcolm Turnbull could make.

    SAYS IT ALL. John.

  13. Robert REYNOLDS

    Johno, this is just a short post to say that I totally support your comment on both counts.

    Although it is ‘off-topic’, I nevertheless agree entirely with the view that the Melbourne Cup is nothing more than an exercise in bacchanalia and animal cruelty. I think that all horse racing should be banned.

    To say that the LNP government is a waste of space is only to state the obvious.

  14. Miriam O

    I totally agree with Johno and Robert. Horse racing is nothing but glorified cruelty.

  15. Johno

    Robert.. thanks mate, had to google bacchanalia, yes, a good analogy.

  16. Miriam O

    And the drunken women at these events are a disgrace.

  17. Robert REYNOLDS

    Miriam I could not help but think of your post when I saw this on The Herald Sun site today (see breaking news).

    http://www.heraldsun.com.au/

  18. jimhaz

    Re Melbourne Cup

    Sometimes the left remind me of why I hated going to church as a kid. No fun whatsoever. Bland and boring.

    I also find the animal cruelty argument to be a false argument.

  19. Robert REYNOLDS

    Re Melbourne Cup

    ” I also find the animal cruelty argument to be a false argument.”

    Can I suggest that you acquaint yourself with the information at this site jimhaz:

    http://www.animalsaustralia.org/issues/horse_racing.php

    This is certainly not the only site that provides details on this so-called ‘sport’.

    In an attempt to stay ‘on-topic’, I would add that it will not make any difference to the future of horse racing, when the next election is called.

  20. corvusboreus

    Interesting to read that fate of many/most failed racehorses is to be slaughtered at two specific abattoirs (located in SA and Qld), but that all of the subsequently butchered horse-meat (an estimated tens of thousands in tonnage per-annum) is purely exported for overseas consumption (mainly in Japan, Europe and Russia).
    Apparently, there is a default Anglo-cultural taboo on the eating of equines, which seems to carry over to our food regulatory/legislative systems, since in 2010 a WA meat-merchant had to get special state gov approval to put gee-gee on the menu over there.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Horse_meat

    Oh yeah, and more on-topic,
    Since the current mal-administration are obviously too busy with an internal struggle against the tumors, clots and schisms within their own mind to give any coherent signals to the body (as well as obviously battling the dilemma of various bits of their collective heart being carelessly left overseas), and seemingly have spare cash to spend on shit like surveys asking the public their opinions on intimate matters, Mal and his straying mob may as well pop us fellow strayans the bigger question.

  21. Kaye Lee

    cb,

    You just reminded me of a traumatic travelling experience where, in Switzerland, I ordered a meal only to find out later it was “pony”.

  22. Ricardo29

    On a remote island in Greece, many years ago, we found horse meat was the only meat available. Despite some misgivings (cultural) we found it had a slightly stronger taste than beef and was perfectly acceptable in minced form in a Bol sauce.

  23. johno

    Just go vegan and do the planet a favour and back on topic, yeah, bring on the election.

  24. Denis Bright in Brisbane

    Elections comes and go but real elections must bring changes in shabby rhetoric and unjust structures of power and influence: New leaders must have the courage to lead the electorate to question the old status quo or empires and economic systems.

  25. Michael Taylor

    I’ve been thinking about this, John. As much as I yearn for an election, it could all be avoided if Turnbull had the courage to support a citizenship audit of politicians. He’s hiding something. An election would only see the same politicians stand – including many who may not be eligible to stand. The election may see the government dumped (hallelujah) but it doesn’t resolve the citizenship crisis.

  26. Harquebus

    “The election may see the government dumped (hallelujah) but it doesn’t resolve the citizenship crisis.”
    What citizenship crisis? To my mind, the processes are playing out as the constitution intended. If politicians ignored the High Court rulings and/or used the state apparatus to secure their tenure then, that would be a crisis.
    Also, as I stated earlier, replacing one lot of morons with another is nothing, in my opinion, to rejoice about. We will still end up that creek that I also mentioned earlier.

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