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.
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.
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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