Australian Politics


Canberra is now one giant control fraud

Via Paul Kelly: When a parliament is discredited the presiding government usually pays a fatal price. The current parliament is discredited and dysfunctional on fiscal, legal and symbolic grounds, our democracy continues to be damaged and the decline in trust in our institutions is intensifying. Just as the Tony Abbott-led opposition in 2010-13 was pivotal


And now for XenoPom

From Domainfax: Nick Xenophon will let the High Court decide his fate if it is confirmed he is a dual citizen, with the key Senate crossbencher determined to dig in and not resign from the Senate. Senator Xenophon is urgently seeking clarification from the British Home Office over his citizenship status after questions were raised about his father’s nationality.


The tragicomedy of a young SBS funnyman’s attack on Dick Smith

Check this out from SBS’s The Feed: Not funny. Sad. Here’s what Dick Smith has had to say about the SBS attacks on him: And, most ironically, the launch of his recent report into the role that population growth is playing in inflating away the fulfillment of Australian youth’s most basic need: a roof over their heads:


High Court unlikely to “assist” Baaaarnaby

A good piece from The Australian today by Roger Wilkins who is a former secretary of the federal Attorney-General’s Department: On a literal interpretation of section 44, it seems pretty clear that Joyce was not qualified to be elected. He was a citizen of a “foreign power”: New Zealand. The section says the “citizen of a


Turns out the Nats are a full blown foreign legion

Via The Australian: Malcolm Turnbull is facing an ­escalating Labor attack over the ­stability of his government after a third cabinet minister owned up to being a dual citizen by descent, shocking observers with another test in the High Court that could reshape the ministry. Nationals deputy leader and Regional Affairs Minister Fiona Nash last


Bannon: US in “economic war” with China

Via The Guardian: White House chief strategist Steve Bannon has given an unusual interview in which he claimed there was no military solution for North Korea, the far right was a “collection of clowns” and the left’s focus on racism would allow him to “crush the Democrats”. Bannon, who has been called the mastermind behind Donald Trump’s nationalist


What are the investment implications of the government falling?

It’s still a long shot but worthy of consideration, from RBC: With an already precarious one-seat majority, the Liberal-National Coalition government risks turning into a minority government should the High Court uphold Section 44 of the Constitution and rule the current Deputy PM and leader of the National Party ineligible for Parliament. There must also be


Bernardi calls for Parliament to be suspended

Makes sense to me: Australian Conservatives senator Cory Bernardi has called for parliament to be prorogued pending the outcome of the High Court cases over the citizenship status of Barnaby Joyce, Matt Canavan, Malcolm Roberts, Larissa Waters and Scott Ludlam have been determined. “There are great concerns about the health and wellbeing of our institutions,”


Baaaaanabygate triggers Coalition despair

Via the AFR: Liberal MPs despairing at the mounting crises plaguing the government are starting to question the political judgment of the Prime Minister’s office and whether the Coalition can win the next election. As the government limped through another parliamentary sitting day hamstrung by Barnaby Joyce’s dual citizenship debacle, MPs said the only positive


Turnbull hangs himself from Baaaaanabygate

Desperation has seized both the Government and Paul Kelly: Malcolm Turnbull is a prime minister prepared to “do and say anything to try to cling to power” — this is the lethal hyperbole from Labor’s Tony Burke in his assault on the government over the Barnaby Joyce crisis, his purpose being to destroy the Prime


Scott Morrison outright lies on immigration and negative gearing

By Leith van Onselen Australia’s real estate treasurer, Scott Morrison, gave a poor interview on The Chris Smith Show yesterday, whereby he contorted arguments in favour of negative gearing and maintaining Australia’s mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy. First, here’s Morrison’s remarks around negative gearing (from 2.36): “One in five police officers negatively gear. About 62%


Baaaaanaby to bring down Government?

Baaaanaby Joyce is a Kiwi and the excuses are flowing as the government could fall in a by-election: The deputy prime minister’s case has been referred to the High Court along with that of his colleague, Nationals Senator Matthew Canavan, who has stood aside from cabinet until it is resolved. On several occasions in past weeks


Turnbull’s polling destruction mushrooms

From Essential via The Guardian: The latest weekly snapshot of voter opinion has Labor maintaining its election winning lead over the Coalition on the two-party-preferred measure, 54% to 46%. That result is the same as last week. The Coalition primary vote is on 37% to Labor’s 39%. The Greens are steady on 9%, as is


Greens torn apart by civil war

By Leith van Onselen ABC’s Four Corners last night ran an investigative special report, entitled Inside the Greens: A party in turmoil, which examined the civil war taking place within its ranks. Here’s a summary of the episode from ABC News: A Greens senator is a “team wrecker”. Local members are “kept in the dark


Pollies refuse to meet ‘neo-Nazi’ Dick Smith

The great immigration conspiracy of silence has descended upon Dick Smith with Domainfax implicitly positioning him with US neo-Nazis: “The Labor Party’s beholden to what they call their ‘ethnic vote’. They’re deluded. They think the ethnic people who are here want unlimited immigration – they don’t. They don’t want to turn Sydney into Shanghai. “The Liberals are


Pascometer red lines on SSM

Weeoo, weeoo, weeoo. It appears SSM is imminent: If there ever was an excellent case made for compulsory voting, it’s the election of Donald Trump. Boris Johnson’s Brexit vote is another example, whereby it was possible to thwart the will of the majority. The optional nature of the Liberal Party’s Mickey Mouse postal survey, let


Santos spruiks gas to SA

Via STO: Pelican Point is one of those gas-fired power stations that have sat idle as the gas cartel has applied discriminatory pricing across the east coast. This is welcome and goes a long way towards resolving SA energy security issues. However, one deal does not a Summer make and the key is what price


Barnaby Joyce a Kiwi?

Given him the arse too, from Barnaby Joyce: Last Thursday afternoon, the New Zealand High Commission contacted me to advise that on the basis of preliminary advice from the department of internal affairs which had received inquiries, considered that I could be a citizen of New Zealand by descent. Needless to say, I was shocked


Immigration: the sleeper issue for our politicians

By Leith van Onselen Over the weekend, The AFR’s Andrew Clark penned an article arguing, in a roundabout way, that “immigration reform [is] the sleeper issue of the economy and Canberra warfare”: Immigration, a trigger issue for the Australian psyche, is emerging as a potential sleeper in the next federal election. According to Australia’s most


When a Superpower leads with its chin

The memory-free Australian press likes to couch Donald Trump as a random mad man taking America down untrodden paths to disaster. In truth he is something more complex and less easily judged for the dependent ally. Leaders do not spring from holes in the ground. They are their political culture, parties and people manifest. Through


The east coast gas “market” has collapsed

From The Australian over the weekend: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull says South Australia’s energy plan is an “experiment” that should have been conducted privately. “You really have in South Australia, of course, been subjected to an experiment by (Premier) Jay Weatherill. People really should conduct these experiments, as dangerous as that, privately somewhere in expert


Stocks, dollar down on “joined at the hip” Turnbull

by Chris Becker PM Malcolm Turnbull is ready to send other Australian parents sons and daughters into war against North Korea alongside US forces, eschewing the usual diplomatic language by stating the bloody obvious. From ABC: “America stands by its allies, including Australia of course, and we stand by the United States,” Mr Turnbull told