Federal farce

Bendigo Weekly | Bendigo Weekly | 09-Nov-2017

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Federal politics is usually something most Australians don’t care for much, but lately it’s been hard to avoid the cringeworthy antics going on in our national capital and within the major parties.

It’s incredulous to think that the coalition’s wafer-thin majority in the House of Representatives could disintegrate should the citizenship fiasco continue to roll along, putting Bill Shorten at the head of the queue to become the next Prime Minister of this country.

This whole saga is a disgrace, and serves to highlight how ignorant some candidates were prior to becoming elected representatives when they completed their preselection paperwork without full consideration for their individual circumstances. 

It’s almost inconceivable to think that Mr Shorten could ultimately seize the leadership of this country by this painful process of elimination that has not only undermined the effectiveness of the government, it’s practically stopped it in its tracks.

And it could happen, not because Mr Shorten won a vote, but because the coalition served up candidates who were not eligible to stand for parliament at the time.

Further, the Prime Minister’s blustering claims that his then deputy Barnaby Joyce would surely survive the High Court’s determination and emerge triumphant is an embarrassment both to Mr Turnbull and the government.

Surrendering power on the succession of technicalities would be just as bitter a pill to swallow.

Government should be won or lost via the ballot box and the vote of the people – not on technicalities, and the Australian people are owed a series of apologies for what has been uncovered and taken place in recent times. 

The other major point of controversy that has dominated the media for the past couple of months is the same sex marriage postal survey, with an announcement of the survey result by the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ chief statistician due next week.

What happens next is anyone’s guess.

The government says if respondents vote no, then that’s game over., and it won’t pursue legalising same-sex marriage in this term of parliament or the next, if indeed it wins ins the next election, whenever that might be.

For its part, Labor continues to reiterate its promise to legislate same-sex marriage within 100 days if it wins government, either at the next election, or anytime sooner, should the citizenship saga continue to claim coalition scalps.

It’s been stated before that this survey was always an extravagant waste of taxpayers’ funds, but once the results are in the government’s hands, it must act.

Politicians must do what they are empowered to do as representatives of their electorates and settle this issue with the respect we all deserve.     

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