Wednesday, 2 December 2009

Giving the power back to the minor parties


It was an interesting experiment by Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull to break the habits of a parliamentary lifetime and get the government party and the opposition party to join together to break the stranglehold minor parties hold on what bills pass through the Senate. I can not recall a previous occasion when there has been such a concerted effort to hammer out such an agreement. That it finally failed after a revolt in the Opposition Coalition was perhaps as much about the ingrained believe that Oppositions should oppose as it was about the nature of the emissions trading legislation itself. The legislation was, after all, pretty similar to what the Coalition had said it would introduce if it had been returned at the last election.
Now we are back to business as usual, with the blackmailing power returned to Greens, Family First and an Anti-Pokies maverick, I doubt that any Government in the near future will try the collaborative approach to decision making again.
Next time around, should there be a Labor Government, the wheeling and dealing will be with Bob Brown and Nick Xenophon who opposed this lot of legislation not because it went too far but because it did not go far enough. Concessions will be made to accommodate zealots not sceptics. I wonder what those rusted on Liberal Party supporters who bombarded their members with messages over the last week will think about that? There would surely be some faces spited.
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