The selection of Andrew Hastie as the Liberal candidate for Canning is a nice summary of all that was wrong with the Abbott government (and yes, the choice of past tense is deliberate). Due processThere was a time when no self-respecting political party would touch a candidate who was still under investigation for serious matters on the field of battle.
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Tony Smith became Speaker with the backing of Scott Morrison, according to Abbott cipher Chris Uhlmann. Smith's main opponent in the party room was Russell Broadbent, the last of the small group of backbenchers who spoke out against the Howard government's mandatory detention policies - policies since reinstituted by Scott Morrison as immigration minister, and endorsed by the ALP.
Once upon a time, when one major-party politician would abuse their entitlements so badly that even the press gallery noticed, a politician from the other major party would be found to have done something similar, and the checkmate would somehow neuter the story as far as the broadcast media were concerned. Today, things are different. First, the broadcast media don't set or control the agenda any more. Second, the major parties aren't the only options.
Traditionally, an issue has popped up in the media, squadrons of journalists rush out with pre-prepared cliches to smother any public interest, and the issue dies and is replaced by another one. They may be weighty issues, they may not; but you can be sure that the media will churn through them.In recent years, editors and news directors have lost control of this media churn.
Mark Kenny reckons Abbott has Bronwyn Bishop in his pocket. As usual with him, the official press gallery bunny of this blog, Kenny has it the wrong way around.Bishop is a major force in the Liberals' right-wing. Abbott was only ever a minor-to-middling figure.
And we'll paint by numbers 'til something sticksAnd I don't mind doing it for the kids(So come on) jump on boardTake a ride (yeah)(You'll be doin' it all right)Jump on board feel the high'Cause the kids are alright- Kylie Minogue and Robbie Williams Kids
George Christensen has been a Queensland Nationals apparatchik all of his "life". He was a staffer for former Dawson MP DeAnne Kelly, then set up "community newspapers" that were designed to raise funds first and distribute news second. In 2010 he won Dawson, knocking off the Labor MP who had replaced Kelly.
The history of political rorting goes way back and involves politicians of all parties and none. Accusations of rorting usually come from outside the political class rather than inside.
Before the 1996 election, the Coalition was at a disadvantage on environmental issues. Their environmental credentials (e.g. Fraser Island, ending whaling) were far in the past, while their environmental failures (e.g. the Gordon-below-Franklin dam, the Daintree) were more memorable. The NSW Greiner government's slogan "warm, dry, and green" was little more than that. So, they changed the conversation. Instead of talking about "green" issues (e.g.