January 23, 2006 | Graham

Things get harder for Howard in Senate

The defection to the Liberal Party of Victorian Nationals Senator Julian McGauran makes things harder for John Howard in the Senate. McGauran’s defection is unconscionable. Senators are elected on a party vote. Hardly any one votes for them in their own right. Therefore, as Nationals Leader Mark Vaile says he should resign if he feels the Liberals are the best to represent rural Victoria and allow the National Party to replace him. The people who voted for him sure don’t agree with his judgement, or they would have voted for a Liberal.
It doesn’t say much for the integrity of the relationahip between the Nationals and Liberals if the Liberals accept this “rat” (Senator Conroy’s description). And if there is no integrity in the relationship, why should the Queensland Nats (theoretically a part of the federal Nats, but in reality a different species) go along with what John Howard wants.
Howard would be best not to support sitting Queensland Nationals Senator Ron Boswell in his preselection battle. It is being said that Ron is really a Liberal in disguise. Bad enough when you are friends, worse when you are really enemies.
All of this will make Barnaby Joyce more toey.

Posted by Graham at 10:42 pm | Comments (4) |
Filed under: Australian Politics


  1. Julian McGauran changes horses

    It’s hard to know if the announcement by National Senator Julian McGauran that he is defecting to the LIberals will directly affect the dynamic of the Senate very much, as the Coalition still has the same numbers. However, it will presumably increas…

    Comment by The Bartlett Diaries — January 24, 2006 @ 12:29 am

  2. Well this begs the question. Were the voters in each of the Howard governments front bench happy with the introduction of IR laws and a host of other legislation since the Senate become a rubber stamp for them? What happened to referendums on major changes to Australian law?
    Its a bit rich arguinng for the need to apply democratic principles of representation to one sailor when his own captains are just as culpable.
    Who in their right mind would want to contest the next election saddled to a dead hand of a political coalition. Maybe, just maybe, he was thinking about those who voted for him.

    Comment by Harry Oldham — January 24, 2006 @ 3:18 pm

  3. So you wouldn’t be satisfied with anything less than a direct citizen vote on every issue? What’s the point of representation in that case?

    Comment by Graham Young — January 26, 2006 @ 12:02 am

  4. GY,
    Until someone explains the logic behind Howard’s core and non core promises then one is left to question whether representation is working at all.
    While he eventually does spectacular back flips, there are glints of hope in how Barnaby Joyce conducts his independence of thought – with reference back to his constituents.
    What is the use of representation when conformity to party lines overrules?
    The promise of representation is one thing, the reality quite another.
    I reckon Senator McGauran simply chose a better perch to sit and watch the same show.

    Comment by Harry O — January 27, 2006 @ 2:58 pm

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