Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Political revenge

Third parties that hold the balance of power in upper houses normally at least pretend not to be in the blackmailing business by saying that they do not engage in trading votes on an issue important to a government for government support on a separate issue of concern to them. Thus the naked power of the blackmailer generally is hidden from public view. Up in the New South Wales Legislative Council at the moment the polite fiction is being discarded with the NSW Government's $500 million plan to privatise lotteries facing defeat after the Government rejected Shooters Party legislation for hunting in national parks. The Sydney Morning Herald reports this morning that the Shooters have sided with the Greens on several issues over the past week, sending a clear message to the Government that their votes cannot be taken for granted. The Shooters Party MP Roy Smith, asked which way the party would vote on the lotteries bill, said: "We have yet to make up our minds." His indecision follows the deputy Premier Carmel Tebbutt confirming that Labor will not be supporting a Shooters Party bill allowing hunting in national parks.
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