Being Turnbulled

shakey-P1050447There are many nasty things about the current Turnbull government.  Granted he is not Abbott, but he has instead installed a very strange set of protocols for how he deals with – or not deals with – many difficult issues.

The latest being how he has dealt with his inability to negotiate with a senate not of his choosing. Here’s an article that outlines the problems – click here.

There’s one thing that Julia Gillard can remain proud of – she knew how to negotiate. She had a minority government and a senate not of her choosing – yet managed to get through an enormous amount of legislation – by talking to them. Turnbull threatens instead of negotiating.

Part of the reasons for the change was that senators were being elected with a small number of votes and used a preference system to gain the required quotas. There’s a Liberal senator – who is now a minister – who achieved less primary votes than Ricky Muir who has been used as the case study for how bad things were. Funny how the Liberals did not use her as the example.

Another reason for the change was that the former process brought in minor parties with minor views. Has anybody checked who gets elected to the Liberal Party these days – eg Senator Cory Bernadi for example – who obviously is not really a Liberal but an ultra conservative fruit cake who has used the systems to be a senator.  And there are many other nut jobs within the various party ranks.

People also forget that it was the present senate that stalled the rash of unannounced (they were not part of the election promises)  and electorally unpopular budget measures that Abbott and Hockey tried to introduce through that now infamous 2014 budget.

Australia had a voting system based on preferential voting – which meant that once a vote was caste, and if that candidate did not gain enough votes, then the vote would eventually be allocated via preferential system. The voter either left it to the party on how the preference would be allocated or the voter had to ensure they filled in all the form to make clear their own preference.

Thanks to the Greens’ agreement with Turnbull – we now have a system only partially based on preferential voting in the senate elections. If the voter votes for a person who is excluded (not enough primary votes) and if the voter does does not nominate preferences, then the vote ends up being thrown out. That vote is not counted in any way at all. This is no longer the system of preferential voting but is a hybrid.

But even better – here’s a cartoon that sums up the current leadership of the Greens in Australia. click here.They knew exactly what they were doing despite all the polite rhetoric. The Greens are now just another political party willing to do any deal to stay in power.

I would also urge a reading of this article about the friends Turnbull now uses to advise him – in this case he is using corporate friends who are known to pay little tax. Click here. Watch out for the next round of tax changes and see who benefits – and the new style elected senate will have little to stop this influence of corporate Australia.

Meanwhile cultural institutions and the arts continue to suffer from decisions by this government – see my previous posts – click here.

At the moment the country is being Turnbulled – that is so much was promised, so much was just spin and lies, and so much damage is being done because intelligent and people focussed decisions are not being made. It is a new phrase – ‘being Turnbulled’.

for more on “Being Turnbulled’ click here


Paul Costigan

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