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Power at Any Price: The LNP’s Preference Deals

The LNP has made what the AAP calls an ‘in-principle preference deal’ with Clive Palmer and his United Australia Party [UAP] for the forthcoming election. Also, the Queensland Nationals have struck a similar deal with Pauline Hanson and her One Nation outfit. Such deals reveal not only these respective groups’ dropping primary vote, but their (even more) petulant (than usual) desire to cling to power at any cost.

The First Preference Deal: LNP and UAP

As usual, Scott Morrison’s rationalisation for this abhorrent deal was an attack on Labor. Speaking in Dubbo, Mr. Morrison said

‘Labor and the Greens present a far bigger threat to the Australian economy, to people’s jobs than the UAP does. That’s just a simple fact’

He has the simple bit right. That is vacuous, partisan crap that, much like many other things Mr. Morrison says, has no basis in reality. He defends a deal with a guy who owes his workers millions by attacking the party of the workers. The Prime Minister is no political genius, but this justification is nonsense. He either does not see how ridiculous this statement is, or he is so desirous of power that he will say anything to retain it.

Morrison and the federal Liberals seem to see Palmer as a means to get them the votes to form government. Such cynical exploitation of a minor party is nothing new, and it demonstrates once again the desperation of the LNP to cling to power. They simply cannot tolerate the idea of Labor forming a government. It is so anathema to them that they would sell their political soul (assuming such a thing actually exists) to prevent that. Anyone but Labor and the Greens. You collective of children.

The ALP on Palmer: Albo Speaks

The Labor Party’s response was perhaps best encapsulated in Anthony Albanese’s quote when he said, referencing the LNP-UAP preference deal

‘Scott Morrison had a choice between standing up for ripped off workers or sucking up to a tosser who ripped them off and he chose the tosser. He chose Clive Palmer.’

I suspect Albo already knows this, but the Prime Minister cares not a fig for ‘ripped off workers’. The business class would never say this (yet anyway – give them time), but the reality is that paying workers is a running cost, an overhead similar to health, safety and other regulations that eat into profits, which is all with which Mr. Morrison and his rich mates are concerned. Given the choice between doing a deal with one of the owner class and the party that represents the serfs clears throat I mean workers, the tea-leaves were not hard to read. Morrison’s contempt for workers and his desire to remain in power has led to him politically selling his arse, to borrow a phrase from Tony Abbott. I said this in a previous piece, but it bears repeating: power trumps principles.

The Second Preference Deal: The Queensland Nationals and Pauline Hanson’s One Nation 

In a fascinating political move, the Queensland National Party has decided, per the Weekend Australian, to preference One Nation ahead of Labor. This is in direct defiance of Morrison’s directive, which would have placed Labor ahead of PHON on voting cards. This latter point, as discussed in the UnAustralian, deserves some attention.

The reason for Morrison’s directive was not because of any of the odious crap that Pauline Hanson and her party have said and stood for. Rather, it is because of their alleged dealings with the NRA in the United States to influence Australian elections. Does that not tell us all we need to know about Scott Morrison and the Liberal Party? The issue for them was not all the bigoted crap that Hanson and her chapter of the collective functional neurone society comes out with, but rather that they unsuccessfully sought to influence our democracy with foreign money.

It must be said that even this is illegitimate. Given the LNP’s own corruption, they would be well advised to remain silent on the issue. In purely political terms, keeping their mouths shut and doing nothing would have been the wiser cause of action. Given their policies in multiple areas, they have both bigotry and the corruption in spades. There was no easy way for them to distance themselves from Hanson and her crowd. They, therefore, had two options. First was to lie as Morrison has done and take the corruption route. Second was to say nothing. Morrison, being the political clown that he is, naturally took the worst of two bad choices.

Analysis

As if preferencing One Nation over Labor were not bad enough, the Queensland Nationals have put PHON second on their how to vote cards. Now you might argue that PHON is more closely aligned to the Nationals than the more centre and left-wing parties. Not sure that helps in one’s estimation of the Nationals, but let us grant that. There are surely better parties to align oneself with than Pauline Hanson and the rest of the nut brigade. If they are your closest political parallel, may I suggest a realignment of your own party fundamentals? Even if this is a political calculation in light of Ms. Hanson’s popular appeal in Queensland, that does not say much for the Nationals’ scruples. Nor does it speak well of their ability to attract voters on their own merits. If Pauline Hanson is your conduit to political success, I say to the scrapheap with you.

Conclusion

These two preference deals show the conservative parties either playing disgusting political games or exposing their true roots. Whatever the motivation/s, the point is clear: power at all costs. Such unscrupulous deals, and the odium of the proposed partners, surely undermines the legitimacy of any government so formed.

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29 comments

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  1. pierre wilkinson

    and the murdochracy is hyping it all up into Scott is in with a chance, budget bounce, polls show ScoMo still preferred PM…
    poor deluded fools will still vote for them, though ProMo is getting on people’s nerves with his constant photo-op bag-Labor smirk

  2. Catriona Thoolen

    Do not doubt the truth of Labor approaching Clive for a preference deal…because they did. However, they did not offer as good a deal as the Liberal Party did.

    Catriona Thoolen
    United Australia Party State Director – Victoria

  3. Alcibiades

    The QLD LNP is desperate to do anything to offset a trend minimum swing to ALP of ~6.1% within QLD state. Palmer Disunited is cannibalising disaffected One Notion voters whose 8% 2PP collapsed to 4% after Al-Jazeera. Now %4 ON, maybe 4% PUA, total 8%. End result for Coalition, no change, best case. A Primary vote always trumps a preference vote.

    At the 2016 election the Coalition had a primary vote of 42.1%(1 vote ‘win’), the best they’ve notionally managed in a poll in QLD since is 37% primary. As ON & PUA preferences flows will split 50/50 to ALP & LNP the benefits are questionable for the Coalition, to say the least.

    Re Coalition ‘base’ & Coalition aligned ‘swing’ primary voters, between 5-9% have long ago deserted them, hence the trend collapse in the Coalition primary vote. It ain’t comin’ back overnight. The combination of formal preference deals with ON & PUA may offer some small comfort to deperados in QLD, but guarantees even more primary votes lost to the Coalition nationally, especially in VIC, WA, NSW & Sth QLD. Morrison has no authority or influence to control the rogue LNP in QLD, hence his pathetic attempt to mask his status as a goofy shouty offensive vacuous, facade.

    This Palmer DisUnited revolution & boost is solely based on dodgy, virtually worthless, single electorate polls, of ~550 sods each, in four QLD seats by Murdoch. The same form of polls did well at predicting the Coalition win in the Super-Saturday by-elections too. Oh, wait, the same predictable plausibly-deniable technique failed utterly there too. Oh well, something about something … does rhyme.

    Factoid: Any mention of Tony Abbott, Peter Dutton or Barnaby Joyce, bleeds even more Coalition votes. Now that effect is compounded by the name of, Clive Palmer.

    If ya thought Morrison or Shorten were regarded relatively poorly in voter surveys, well, Clive Palmer is rated ‘Dangerous’ by 46% ‘Untrustworthy’ by 54% & ‘Trusted’ by 5%. Formally preferencing ON & PUA, solely publicly stated by Morrison to attain government ? This will be a rerun of the WA & VIC routs, nationally, IMHO.

    All one smells is fear & desperation …

    PS PUA cannibilising ON likely means ON Malcolm Roberts cannot achieve quota, no QLD Senate seat for him. Huzzah!

    @Catriona, parties talk all the time, to believe otherwise is childish deceitful ignorance. Do not forget the fact is, the Coalition has formally cut preference deals with PuA & ON. Huh, PuA, Vic Director ? Gag me with a spoon!

  4. Kaye Lee

    “they did not offer as good a deal as the Liberal Party did.”

    Catriona Thoolen
    United Australia Party State Director – Victoria

    I would be very interested to hear what that deal was Catriona. Clive only goes into politics to look after Clive. Did the deal involve support for reducing company taxes, reducing taxes on high income earners, reducing environmental regulations, and, of course, getting Clive’s coal mine happening in the Galilee Basin? Will Clive pay the government back the $70 odd million they paid out to the workers he ripped off or the millions that are still outstanding? Will his nephew return from overseas to face justice?

    How much is Clive paying people to run for his party Catriona?

    These questions are far more relevant.

  5. Alcibiades

    @Catriona,
    Since you boldly assert inside knowledge of the Coalition preference deal with Palmer DisUnited, can you confirm the Coalition lead negotiators were again Mathias Cormann & Michaelia Cash of WA & ON fame ? Is it true PuA candidates are paid to run, & that the the necessary PuA non existent volunteers, will be substituted by paid short term casuals ?

    PS Since even One Notion uses an Oz printer, the Ashby extortionate monopoly biz … Why are all the Palmer DisUnited posters, corflutes & handouts printed in China ? In fact, under the PuA mandatory ‘Authorised by’ is the name & address of the relevant Chinese company. Make Oz Great, or ‘Make Clive Rich’, by negotiating a further discount re above ? Askin’ for a friend …

    (Image)

  6. Kaye Lee

    A former Home and Away actor has quit Clive Palmer’s United Australia Party because its campaign paraphernalia was made in China.

    Bryan Wiseman told Brisbane’s Courier Mail he quit the party after spotting the “made in China” tags on bright yellow party merchandise and deciding it was a “circus”.

    Mr Palmer has attacked China ahead of the federal campaign and promised to create local jobs as part of his election pitch.

    Mr Wiseman, who was endorsed as the UAP candidate for Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s seat of Cook, said outsourcing work to cheap overseas labour seemed hypocritical.

    https://thenewdaily.com.au/news/national/2019/03/13/clive-palmer-home-away-china/

  7. Aortic

    Some Wiseman if he didn’t notice the whole thing was a circus before the made in China thing.

  8. margcal

    Why hasn’t Palmer been declared bankrupt?
    Is it because of a network of companies that he ‘doesn’t control’?

  9. Alcibiades

    But one thing that is not troubling Brian Burston, the One Nation defector leading the United Australia party Senate ticket in New South Wales, is the possibility that candidates could get elected and quit, as Jacqui Lambie and Glenn Lazarus did after entering the Senate for Palmer’s party in 2013.

    “Back then [Palmer] was a bit rusty in selecting candidates,” Burston told Guardian Australia. “This time it’s taken place over many, many months, they’re well vetted, there’s procedures in place where the falling apart … of the party will not happen. It cannot happen, or there’ll be consequences for those that want to walk.”

    Burston says the party has “various strategies in place to prevent that happening” including “signed contracts”, which he declines to clarify by spelling out which penalties might be incurred for disloyalty.

    – the Graund

    RAOTFLMFAO 🙂

    Clive may well end up in even more legal trouble than the multiple counts he already faces if he ever attempts to coerce or enforce party membership or a particular political stance of an elected Member of the House of Reps or the Senate, especially if they should do a PUP desertion Redux, via ‘strategies’, ‘procedures’, ‘consequences’ & ‘signed contracts’. Sorry Clive, there is this little thing called the Constitution, which the High Court of Oz may be a tad concerned about.

    lol

  10. Kronomex

    I almost choked my piece of chocolate when I read Insert Bungupbum…I mean Simon…screw it, I’ll stick with the former, whining and bleating about Julia Banks giving THEIR PREFERENCES to Labor. The bastards helped drive her out with their old boys club shit and still expect her to blindly hand her preferences to them? The pure unadulterated arrogance is astonishing.

    “Simon Birmingham has lashed out at Liberal-turned-independent Julia Banks for preferencing Labor ahead of the Coalition in Flinders, a move which could cost health minister Greg Hunt his seat in parliament.Birmingham accused Banks of “gross inconsistency”, as backroom negotiations spilt out into public spats ahead of early voting opening on Monday.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/apr/28/labor-warns-coalition-deals-with-rightwing-minor-parties-will-cause-chaos

  11. Patagonian

    What sort of a dill is Wyseman? He runs a foster home for animals yet here he was standing for a party that wants to dig up yet more coal and in doing so destroy flora, fauna and humans through climate change.

  12. Kronomex

    Catriona,

    We’re supposed to believe your comment at face value? Dream on. Supply some proof otherwise it’s just a baseless statement.

  13. MöbiusEcko

    According to commentary I heard this morning, it appears the L-NP preference deals with One Nation and Palmer have gained them one point in the polls. Of course, the MSM, including the ABC, are making a huge deal out of the one point gain to the Coalition, all but stating Morrison is on a winner and Shorten is doomed, with his leadership in peril and the party facing a wipeout. I wish this was an exaggeration, but sadly it’s pretty close to what I’ve read and heard in the news this morning.

  14. Terence Mills

    Catriona Thoolen

    Others have beaten me to it but I am fascinated to hear from you what the deal was that Clive did with Morrison::

    However, they did not offer as good a deal as the Liberal Party did.

    I will wait with bated breath for details which, I am assuming you would want to make public unless of course this deal is one that you are ashamed of.

    Now, as regards Labor : Shorten has been absolutely clear that he would not do any preference deals with One Nation or Palmer United – he has said it time and again over many years.

    So, let’s look at this rationally. Let’s assume that Shorten had done a deal with Clive how do you think Shorten would have looked. He would have been cactus for all time, he would have lost the leadership of the ALP instantly and would have squandered any hope of an election win for Labor, why would he do that ? Of course he wasn’t looking at a preference swap with Clive Palmer, it makes no sense.

  15. Florence Howarth

    IMO there is not much difference between One Nation & the Coalition. Morrison capping of the refugee intake using the excuse that it will relieve congestion in the cities proves this. Refugee intake is only a tiny part of our migrant intake, will make little difference.

    One has address the temporary & skilled visas to have any effect.

  16. Kaye Lee

    At least 19 United Australia party candidates have submitted incomplete or inconsistent information to the Australian Electoral Commission, failing to provide evidence they are eligible to run for parliament.

    The joint standing committee on electoral matters has warned that the presence of ineligible candidates on the ballot creates potential that “a successful candidate could have their election challenged on the basis of preference flows from an ineligible candidate”.

    https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2019/apr/28/question-mark-over-eligibility-of-at-least-19-clive-palmer-candidates

    It would appear that the UAP executive have not done their due diligence.

  17. Terence Mills

    Hello Catriona ! are you there ?

    I thought that by now you would have provided Australian voters with details of the deal that the Liberals offered Clive. After all this is a democracy and we do have a right to know !

    I’ll check again this arvo, you’re probably snowed under with dodgy candidate information at the moment.

  18. Patagonian

    So Clive Palmer has $4,000 million in the bank. Time then to make good on his 2008 promise to donate $100 million to aboriginal communities in the Pilbara.

    Oh wait, eleven years on, no grants have been made and the charit­able fund he created to make the donations has a cash balance of just $109, and according to filings with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission, the Palmer Care Foundation is inactive and has no employees.

    All mouth and trousers, as my old mum used to say.

  19. Terence Mills

    Very Big Mouth and exceptionally Big Trousers !

  20. Josephus

    Brilliant comments, especially Patagonian’s. Bless his Mum, will adopt her saying.

    Re Labor, Lock the Gate Alliance reports that Mr Shorten has announced that if they win he will spend $1. 5 b of our money to fund fracking and gas in the Northern Territory. Farmers and First Nations are shocked. We are asked to phone Labor leaders to object.

    Please google “Shorten’s wild fracking spree- call Labor MP’s” (sic) for plan details and phone numbers of Shadow ministers etc.

  21. New England Cocky

    I pre-poll vote today and found a United Australia Party candidate appended to the bottom of the ballot paper list.

    My BIG DECISION was “Do I put Barnyard Joke ahead or behind Clive’s unknown, possibly in breach of s44, candidate …..”

  22. Kronomex

    Big Botty strikes me as almost being our version of the Orange Fright Wig in the US. The money they supposedly have in the bank changes just like the amount of hot swamp gas they both expel on any given day.

  23. DrakeN

    Kronomex,

    Like Amanda Vanstone, the wobble-on-legs has to remain standing while speaking. If he were to sit, his voice would be muffled.

  24. Terence Mills

    Haven’t heard from you yet, Catriona !

    Perhaps the Liberal deal was that if they needed to extend the coalition to include UAP as well as the Nationals – and that’s not out of the question – that UAP would be the senior partner and Clive becomes Deputy Prime Minister.

  25. RomeoCharlie29

    Bloody Bill and his fracking pipeline promise in the NT has presented us with a quandary. The NT Labor Government has approved Fracking, admittedly with a big list of requirements to overcome first, but few of us believe they will prove impediments and we think a majority of Territorians will punish them next time around. More immediately some, me included, think that Bill has handed the two Territory seats to the CLP ( the local arm of the Coalition) because we don’t believe the over-hyped bullshit about the benefits of fracking to the NT in either jobs or money. All we can see is gas, and profits, going offshore; taxes deferred using the very generous exploration taxation subsidies and locals being, eventually left with the inevitable clean-up but then that will be long after the current crop of cowardly, spineless, gullible politicians have long departed the scene. After all it wasn’t the uranium miners who paid to rehabilitate Rum Jungle it was the poor stupid Australian taxpayers, and a Labor Govt. left holding the bag.

  26. Matters Not

    A real live Sir Les Patterson – without a trace of humour. Forever the archetypal Ugly Australian. He will be remembered.

  27. Terence Mills

    There should be a law against that !

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