Jul 1, 2011

Welcome to the apoLOLypse

That fire and brimstone that you see spewing from the heavens this morning is the first sign of the doom about to befall Australia as we know it. Our entire way of life is about to be d

That fire and brimstone that you see spewing from the heavens this morning is the first sign of the doom about to befall Australia as we know it. Our entire way of life is about to be destroyed, we’ll be wearing hair shirts by Christmas (if it hasn’t been banned) and bathing in ashes. Why? Well there’s been a change in the composition of the Senate.

According to the Herald Sun, the Greens, who now have 10 representatives in a combined parliament of 226, have staged a _”takeover”_ and are now _”in charge”_. How they managed to completely subvert the Westminster system of government to seize such power isn’t clearly explained, nor why the larger parties have agreed to let them do so. The Hun has also given each of the Greens a handy nickname so that you can easily identify which ones to be most frightened of.

Take a look at the hilarious coverage from today’s dead tree edition:

Images via @Captainsuburbia

The labels are all pretty funny, particularly “The Lawyer” for Larissa Waters, considering that’s hardly unique within the elected Greens, let alone the parliament in general.

The entire concept of balance of power is a bit of a furphy, the Greens, like every minor party or collection of independent Senators before them, have no ability to block legislation without working in concert with the opposition. The vast majority of legislation goes through with the support of the opposition, regardless of which of the major parties hold executive power. So no matter what the Greens want to do, they can be rendered powerless by the two major parties negotiating on legislation. Naturally, the major parties are more than happy to pretend that the Greens are now the deciding force in the Senate, as it allows them to lay the blame for anything they feel their constituency might not like at the feet of this tiny party.

But that won’t stop the Herald Sun:

Senator Brown has revealed himself as a danger to democracy in challenging the potential mandate of a Coalition government to abolish a carbon tax imposed by the current minority government of Labor, Greens and independents.

That’s right, Bob Brown might stop the passage of a piece of non-existent legislation, from a non-existent Coalition government with a non-existent mandate. A danger to democracy indeed.

Blocking such legislation would deny the will of voters if the landslide to the Tony Abbott-led Opposition suggested by the opinion polls comes to pass.

A landslide! Who can argue with a landslide? Well, I guess Tony Abbott felt pretty comfortable denying the will of the voters when Nick Minchen orchestrated the political assassination of Malcolm Turnbull in order to derail the Emissions Trading Scheme in 2009, but that’s nothing like what the Greens might do “if” Tony Abbott becomes PM.

But let’s not allow reality to intrude into the world inherited by the Herald Sun, the end is nigh, watch out for menacing folk on horseback and don’t engage in conversation with any goats.

UPDATE (Jeremy): Some highlights from the Herald Sun comments over on the Cut & Paste Trophy thread.

UPDATE #2 (Jeremy again): The ABC might want to be careful how it words its “explanations”, given the level of ignorance in the community about Parliament. For example, sentences like this don’t help:

The Senate has 76 seats, and as of today it will be comprised of 31 Labor members, 29 Liberals, the nine Greens, five Nationals, one independent and one senator from the Democratic Labor Party.

That means no side of politics can win a majority of 39 votes in the Upper House without the Greens.

Um, yes they can. The Liberals and Labor could vote together, as a “side”, and pass legislation together.

I refuse to believe that Antony Green was party to that post.

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53 thoughts on “Welcome to the apoLOLypse

  1. Bellistner

    Ian said:

    Re. Alan Shore

    I haven’t yet voted Green.Having read your list I think I’m going to. Thanks

    My Partners Father is a life-long Labor man. He’s voting Green next election.

  2. AR

    Rusty put it more succinctly for his viewers “the Greens grabbed the balance of power in the Senate” – not “..took the seats to which they were elected almost a year ago.” How dare they!
    Barnaby Rudge was in fine form during the cartoon segment – “the Greens want to shut down the M-D Basin, … rodeos and fishing,.. pick a house in your street and call it a drug injecting room,.. they are the left hand version of the Nationals (?sic! – can there be such a thing for agrarian socialists?),.. something, something about killing your dog, fish but leaving the cat alive (even rerunning the tape i couldn’t grasp that one)..” and the clincher was that he knew people who’d previously voted for Hanson and now vote Green.
    LizA – I had to look up Spahn tax but it looks like the Tobin tax without the good intentions, esp – “If the tax is generally applied at high rates, it will severely impair financial operations and create international liquidity problems, especially if derivatives are taxed as well. And that would be bad,.. why?
    Admittedly it was written preGFC, the great gift of derivatives for us & our kids, & grandkids if any coz according to senator Banana “we’ll be a few hunters & gatherers eating nuts & grubs”.

  3. Jackol

    Angra is talking about this story:

    Which, obviously, has been reported.

    I was actually going to post about this report complaining that it seemed like a non-issue blown out by sensational ‘headlining’ and introduction by 7.30.

    Particularly because the closure of the clinics is no one-sided cost-cutting measure:

    But this service costs millions of dollars, and late last year the Queensland, Commonwealth and PNG governments as well as AusAID began negotiations for an exit plan.

    It was agreed PNG should be given the resources to look after its own citizens and these fortnightly clinics would be closed by the end of this month.

    “The Government’s policy is consistent with the World Health Organisation’s strategy for TB control, which advocates treating TB on a community-wide basis and not ad hoc services that are currently being supplied to PNG nationals who visit Queensland clinics.”

    AusAID is investing $43 million to help PNG improve health services across the country, and also in a written statement an AusAID spokesman said, “Treatment for TB is already available in Western Province and these services will grow and improve over time as the rollout of support continues.”

    So the substance of the story appears to be primarily that the front line doctors feel they haven’t been consulted and the handover is rushed, not that there is anything inherently wrong with shifting resources over to being provided by PNG, and skilling up the local agencies to take over this work for their own citizens with additional money coming from Australia via Ausaid.

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