Tony Abbott’s slim hopes of scrapping Julia Gillard’s carbon tax without having to call another election have been undermined by the backlash against Cory Bernardi.
And in an ironic twist, the big winner could be the determinedly pro-gay marriage Greens’ senator Sarah Hanson-Young.
Senator Bernardi, the Liberals’ number one on his state’s Senate ticket, was relegated to the backbench on Wednesday after suggesting that by allowing same sex couples to marry we were entering a slippery slope towards legalised polygamy and even sex with animals – assuming some “creepy people” get their way that is.
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The rapidly expanding cheer squad for an early election doesn’t include Julia Gillard and might not even have Tony Abbott within its noisy ranks.
A poll before August 4 next year most likely would resolve nothing and only lead to a succession of elections, each compounding the problems they were hoped to resolve.
It’s a sign of frustration that a general election is seen as the answer to difficulties. For some it has been a demand since the inconclusive 2010 national ballot.
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Australian senators accused of leering at each other’s posteriors? Of failing to show respect? Of not “bowing and scraping” sufficiently in deference to the chair?
Welcome to just another day on the plush red carpet of the nation’s more civilised Upper House.
But then, the final sitting Thursday was never just any old day was it?
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Some years ago the BBC produced a brilliant documentary series about the House of Lords which chronicled the strange existence of those hereditary peers who by dint of their birth had wound up being underemployed for life in this absurd parliamentary chamber.
There was one chap aged only in his 30s who was not only completely loaded, he was also completely smashed, living in the rundown country estate his late father had left to him where the only functioning room appeared to be the cellar. Every morning he would wake up, put on his tweed trousers and a silly cravat, and start working his way through bottle after bottle of 1950s French burgundy. His face was dotted with burst capillaries and he sat in his comfy chair like that Uncle Monty from Withnail and I, rabbitting about how one felt a sense of duty in maintaining one’s family traditions by serving as a Lord.
It now seems that even the Brits have realised their Upper House is an elitist anachronism and a waste of money.
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