May 30, 2006 | Graham

“Nem con” rather than “unanimous”

Lawrence Springborg used these words in an interview with Madonna King this morning to imply that the joint party room has unanimously endorsed the plan to merge the Liberal and National Parties.

“The joint National and Liberal party room met and unanimously agreed that we move forward with the creation of a united non-Labor party in Queensland. So that’s a merging of the two. So that was unanimous position yesterday.”

So how is it that The Courier Mail has a list of parliamentary members and whether they favour a merger or not with question marks next to the names of significant power-brokers like Bruce Flegg and Jeff Seeney who were both in the meeting? Who’s got it wrong – The Courier or Springborg?
It could be a question of semantics.
I am told that the joint party room didn’t actually vote on anything, so while we can’t say with any certainty what it was that they might all agree on, we can say that no-one actually voted against it! If you put a motion and no-one opposes it, although some might abstain, it is said to have been passed “nem con”. On the other hand, if you put a motion and everyone present votes for it is said to be “unanimous”. However, some dictionaries (for example this online one) do define “nem con” and “unanimous” as being synonymous.
All of which begs the question: Why wasn’t a motion put? If everyone is so strongly in favour it would have been passed unanimously. We’d all know, and I wouldn’t be amusing myself with etymological quibbles.

Posted by Graham at 11:09 am | Comments Off on “Nem con” rather than “unanimous” |
Filed under: Australian Politics

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