Monday, 4 July 2016
Change in Australian Senate voting rules: "the magnificent Australian voting public has responded to this gambit by rootling about for an especially barmy selection of senators to inflict on the new government"?
I rather suspect that journalist Annabel Crabb was more right than wrong when she penned this……
The Sydney Morning Herald, 3 July 2016:
Grasping the upper house by the scruff of its surly neck in March, Turnbull forced it – in a memorably post-modern legislative moment – to change the way its 72 members are elected. This was a manoeuvre designed to stamp out the single-issue gibberers and banjo-strummers who have – in recent years – been helping themselves to the red leather ordinarily reserved for end-of-career unionists and crepuscular party hacks deemed too frightening to be placed before voters without the prophylactic interface of a yard-long Senate ballot paper.
It is, as they say, too early to call, but the odds seem quite good at this stage that the magnificent Australian voting public has responded to this gambit by rootling about for an especially barmy selection of senators to inflict on the new government.
Hinch? Hanson? Not one Jacqui Lambie but two? Not to mention a team of Xenophons (what is the relevant collective noun here, anyway? A fidget of Xenophons? An inquiry of Xenophons?) and the ever-obliging Greens. There is much to love about Australians, but surely our democratically expressed national sense of larrikinism, in which we duly elect one party in the lower house and then – wielding our pencils in the Senate – pick the exact people we know will inflict maximum misery on the government we just appointed, must be right up there.