Australian politics update

Parliament House, Canberra

Primarily for our international readers, I thought it might be useful to review the current political situation in Australia. Why? Because if the present government loses power, our famous (or should I say, infamous) carbon tax will go too.

In August 2010, the general election was so close that it came down to three independents holding the balance of power to determine which party formed government. In the end, the independents sided with Julia Gillard’s Labor party, with two of them, Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor, betraying their naturally conservative electorates.

Gillard signed a deal with the Greens, effectively buying their support with a promise to take urgent action on climate change. As a result, the carbon tax legislation was enacted and is due to come into force later this year.

Gillard also came to an arrangement with another independent MP, Andrew Wilkie, promising to introduce “pre-commitment” technology on the country’s many “pokies” or slot machines as they are known elsewhere.

However, in the past few months a number of events have occurred which have put Gillard’s minority government on even shakier ground.

Firstly, Labor MP Craig Thomson has been embroiled in a rather unsavoury saga involving allegations concerning the use of a union-funded credit card to procure the services of prostitutes. More of this later.

Secondly, Gillard welched on the pokie deal with Andrew Wilkie, who has withdrawn his support for the Gillard government. Gillard would never have been able to force the legislation through, since pokies are essential to the survival of many Labor-dominated workers clubs in the suburbs. Maybe Gillard forgot this obvious fact when she signed the agreement with Wilkie…

Thirdly, at the end of last year Gillard poached maverick Liberal MP Peter Slipper to take on the role of Speaker of the House of Representatives (a position formerly held by a Labor MP, Harry Jenkins). This added an extra vote to Gillard’s numbers. However, “Slippery Pete” (as he’s affectionately known in the media) has a few issues himself, having been accused of making excessive claims for travel expenses. See Andrew Bolt here for more on this subject.

As for Craig Thomson, allegations are flying that Labor has been involved in delaying the inquiry into Thomson’s actions in order to protect the tiny majority on which it operates. I predict this is going to blow up spectacularly in the next few weeks. Again, Bolt has more here.

Finally, many of you will have seen the appalling pictures of Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott being herded out of a restaurant in Canberra by security staff, after a demonstration by occupiers of the “Tent Embassy”, who are protesting for aboriginal rights (and have been for 40 years).

It transpires that one of Gillard’s own staff tipped off the embassy occupiers (indirectly) that Tony Abbott was in a particular restaurant, fanning the flames by claiming that Abbott said the embassy should be removed. What he actually said was that those at the embassy should “move on” from the 1970s mindset, given that so much has been done to improve the lives of aborigines since then.

Gillard (as always) pleads ignorance (she does however sack the staffer concerned), and the Labor spin machine grinds into action with its default response: blame Abbott. No apology, no remorse, just vicious attacks. Except this time it’s not working, and the few conservative journalists we have here are digging deeper and deeper into this sordid little episode.

So the upshot of this is that Gillard’s wafer thin majority may be compromised from a number of directions in the near future. If there were to be an election now, the Liberals (in coalition with the Nationals) would romp home. Currently the two party preferred lead is 54% to 46%, which is huge. Labor is so desperate that there is even talk of bringing back Kevin Rudd, who Gillard knifed in 2010 to steal the leadership!

Tony Abbott has vowed to repeal the carbon tax in government. There may still be hope for Australia.

Interesting times!



  1. I sure as hell hope so!!!

  2. If you made all this stuff up, no one would believe you … but sadly it’s all true!

  3. Michael Tait via Facebook says:

    what do you mean “IF loses power” … it should be WHEN it loses power … unless Rasputin really sticks both feet in his mouth and blows it. Which I suppose is a big possibility going by his previous form lol

  4. william martin says:

    interesting times indeed !
    I’m thinking that our democratic process might benefit from motions of no confidence in the parliament.

  5. roal, good ridance. Best thing that could ever happen to this country.

  6. Glen Balmer via Facebook says:

    You’ve got Wilkie wrong — when he said he would no longer support Gillard, he added that he wouldn’t stop giving her his vote unless their was serious misconduct afoot. So his words were mixed to FOOL people into believing he changed his support, but he hasn’t. He knows that at the next election he will be kicked out and so he still needs to ride the gravy train, he is still a ragbag.

  7. Lew Skannen says:

    Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.

  8. If the Libs formed government, then I wonder if they really would get rid of the carbon tax, and not replace it with another sort of tax/levy?

    Tony Abbot may have promised, but it’s still a politicians promise, and we all know how reliable they seem to be…

    • If they don’t then the voters will abandon the LNP like no tommorrow. I will be voting for the Liberal Party next election but if Abbott does not get rid of the CO2 tax or brings in something similar then I will certainly not be voting for the LNP in the near future. I will base my vote on largely policy on the issue of what parties are (not) going to do about ‘climate change’.

  9. The Loaded Dog says:

    Undoubtedly the WORST government in Australian history…and the most hated…

  10. gyptis444 says:

    What else can we expect from this government of no integrity?

  11. thingadonta says:

    Not a surpise that 2 of the conservative Independants sided with Labour, as Labour has traditionally been full of the fluff that more government is better, and this better suits the interests of bureacrats and politicians.

    So, to up their percevied influence, they go with Labour. I haven’t heard Oakshot s rambling speech, but what’s a bet that is what he said-more government is better.

  12. Whatever happens in caucus in the next few months, Gillard’s place in history is assured!

  13. I am an Australian of 68 years and being a confirmed skeptic of all things I would say I don’t know if it is the worst government in our history. I do say that is the worst in my memory. Actually it started in 2007 with Krudd and has been an unfolding disaster from there, Gillard is just the last morph of it. It has taught me a new word ineptocracy whose main achievement has been the turning of a 20 billion surplus into a 160 billion debt. In their madness they do not apply idiotic ideas to just climate practically anything they touch turns to mud. I am waiting for it to go, 2007 would have been a good but the next mob are afflicted by the same idea about “renewable” power and have pledged 20% by 2020. This is also mad and has pushed our electricity industry to the brink. We can expect power shortages in the near term, little investment you know!

  14. the carbon tax wont go trust me,all parties a playing you all like fools

  15. “If there were to be an election now … “

    Simon, what makes you think comrade Gillard will call an election? 😉

  16. A national embarrassment. One I hope will be over soon, when the adults are allowed back in the room.
    I notice even journalists in capital cities outside of Canberra are giving Gillard short shrift when she attempts door stop interviews. That leaves only her adoring fan club in the Canberra Press Gallery, and some of those seem to be about to jump ship, back to Rudd. It will be a matter of out of frying pan, into the fire, now back to the frying pan.

    “Maybe Gillard forgot this obvious fact when she signed the agreement with Wilkie…”

    Maybe Wilkie forgot this obvious fact too. He must have been awesome in military intelligence. But such is the reality distortion field around Gillard, maybe he should be somewhat forgiven.

  17. charles gerard nelson says:

    Oh and never forget to mention the incredible ABC…australian broadasting corporation. Their Radio National is riddled with Warmists who go to extreme lengths to insert a reference to ‘climate change’ into almost every program.
    Of course with the recent wet and cool conditions across the continent they are sounding less cocky than they were a few years back!
    Their support for the Green Labor is critical for its survival…they really are squirming when they have to report the crumbling of the Coalition.

  18. Paul in Sweden says:

    The devastating effects of Climate Change Policy have already been felt throughout the world. What the world needs now are solid examples of Green Economies. While my heart goes out to you folks in Oz, I really want the world to see Australia after several green years.

  19. @Paul, you want to see a stinking mess like Greece or Ireland do you, and I assume the well meaning Seedish government will come to the party on bailing out the 1/2 trillion of debt that we would be in by then assuming this green madness continues. I assume also that you will make your $5000 P/A donation to help our wonderfull green economy flourish, cause there ‘aint no way we’ll be on our own two feet.

    Of course you are also voting for

    Poor humanitarian policies, millions die while we throw money away on “Green Subsidies”
    Killing pensioners no longer able to afford their electricity bills (ironically they will die in winter)
    Burning food for fuel (Biofuels)
    Less food for the world – after it cools of course and the lower concentration of CO2 and colder temperatures conspire to lower photosynthesis productivity, and make plants more drought sensitive.

    Thanks Paul, but no thanks…


  20. WRONG!!! Under Abbott, will be squandered money to prevent the phony GLOBAL warming. He is got shadow minister as ”climate from changing Stopper” That shadow minister for stopping the seasons from changing has adopted ”Monica Lewinsky’s political position” on his knees in front of Bob Brown. I.e. carbon tax will have different name.

    People are blinded to see what’s happening: the day Queensland election was announced – constant TV ads about solar panels and windmills – paid by the Urban Sheep. By the pensioner, the low paid worker; by paying double price for electricity bills. Nobody is realising that: those ads are for bribing the media moguls, if anybody criticises ALP, will not get the millions / share from those ads. Can the conservative politicians notice that? No, their nose is in Brown’s / environmentalist’s arsse also / suffer from short-sightedness. Same as all of the fake Skeptics

    By the way, Anna Bligh delayed until 24 /3 for the election; she should have delayed another 8 days, most appropriate day for the election. Peter Beattie was able to turn every day of the year into first of April, Anna can only try. I don’t blame Anna Bligh, but Fletcher Christian

  21. uhavitbad says:

    From an international reader, thanx for the info. Your (our) problem is the UN. Keep it local!

  22. Test post please ignore

  23. Test post again please ignore

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