September 09, 2013 | Graham

Buying a PUP

Clive Palmer’s tapped into a vein of public discontent showing his abilities in mining go beyond the mineral. But Clive’s skills as a miner are probably as much as a financier as a prospector – he leverages his veins. How does he intend to leverage his political vein?

It seems to have escaped most commentators, but the only reason the man who poured around $1 million into the LNP is now running his own party is because he fell out with the LNP when they wouldn’t give him what he wanted.

Perhaps there is an expectation that when you donate that much you are owed something. The state ALP certainly thought that not only was there an expectation, but that it was well-founded.

They suggested in their 2012 state campaign that the LNP was corrupt and would give Palmer whatever he wanted.

The ALP was wrong.

Palmer has coal interests in the Galilee basin, and a proposal to build a rail line to transport the minerals to the coast for shipping overseas.

He’s not the only one with interests in the Galilee basin, and one of the other coal entrepreneurs, Gina Hancock, in a JV with India’s GVK and rail operator AurizonĀ was given significant project status last year in preference to Palmer, and another investor, Adani.

Palmer fell out with the LNP and subsequently set up his own party.

According to Graham Richardson on Q&A tonight, he poured at least $15 million into advertising the new party – 15 times what he poured into the LNP – in the last weeks of the election and now looks to have two senators elected, as well as having won the state seat of Fairfax in his own right.

What are Palmer’s real political interests, and how does he separate them from his private interests?

He now has political bargaining chips, how will he use them?

What real control does Palmer have of his own party?

Will he find that you can spend $15 million getting people elected and that they will buck the party line, as his probably successful candidate in Tasmania, Jacqui Lambie is promising to do?

Two models for Clives’ party suggest themselves – both of them Italian.

One is Sforza Italia – Silvio Berlusconi’s political/business conglomerate which reaped significant political and business dividends for Berlusconi from holding political office.

The other is Beppe Grillo, the clown turned politician who attracted 25% of the vote in Italy’s last election.

It’s possible to have tears and laughter at the same time – perhaps that’s where we’re heading with Clive, but did voters realise that when they were voting?

Posted by Graham at 11:14 pm | Comments (1) |
Filed under: Uncategorized

1 Comment

  1. The rise and rise of the minor parties and players is little more than a sign of growing discontent, and the general lack of trust accorded most politicians; and their endless, [win at all costs,] non core promises!
    The current system and or political behavior has created this anomaly?
    We could end the rise and rise of minor parties, tomorrow if we simply copied Queensland and their optional preference system.
    Imagine if that system had been in operation at this election?
    Labor’s disaster and worse primary vote since the war, would have translated to a bloodbath and a tared and feathered former leader, who in his single minded intention to get even? Simply destroyed a once great party!
    Optional preferencing would have also seen the green tail that wags the dog in the Senate simply disappear, and allow the MAJORITY will of the people to be far better represented, along with their voting intentions!
    It would also compel those wanting to change the system or voting intention, to be far more persuasive in putting their case, by a far better class of candidate! And that would be no bad thing in a democracy.
    Queensland and Queensland politics has not suffered from optional preferencing, albeit, the standard of candidacy is not what it once was?
    I guess the latter is because you can fool all of the people some of the time?
    Currently, it is possible that a person that 80-90% of the electorate rejected, can win a seat everywhere else!
    I mean, Clive only won around 12% in Fraser; and or, 6% nationally!
    Under optional preferencing, even in a proportional system, those numbers would have added up to a big fat nothing. No personal derogatory intended.
    Alan B Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — September 10, 2013 @ 11:00 am

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.