Mark Knight

Nov 3, 2011

Explaining pig unnecessary

The Herald Sun's cartoonist thinks a tr

Pure Poison IconThe Herald Sun‘s cartoonist thinks a trite, asinine and childish observation a year old is suddenly newsworthy if you draw a picture of the recent horse race under it:

Remember, readers? Remember how the parliament is RULED by the three independents and the one Green, outvoting the other 146 members of parliament with their special super seats? It’s undemocratic! It’s a cheat! A swindle! You’ve been robbed of your votes! You didn’t choose your Government, it was appointed by the people we’re constantly telling you to hate!

Don’t let it not being true bother you. It just feels right.

Hell, it’s so obvious Knight doesn’t even need the pig to explain the joke to you this time.


72 thoughts on “Explaining pig unnecessary

  1. Undecided

    I must have missed something, did he start using facts to base his opinions on?


  2. Undecided

    If any labor or liberal party members were any possibility of changing parties back in 2010, why did neither Gillard or Abbott peruse that? That would had been a huge story. You can cry and you can moan with your ‘Well technically….’ spill all you like, but for a politician who campaigned on a parties principles and policies, and received votes from the public based on that…to change allegiances so quickly after an election is unthinkable, would receive a massive backlash and I would personally consider it quite undemocratic and fraudulent.

    Image we have a scales. And on one side we have 100 one pound weights, and on the other side we have 100 one pound weights. The scale is perfectly balanced. Now the weights are quite content to be sitting where they are, they have zero desire to move but each side does want to be the heavier side for bragging rights. And as if on queue, a lone feather slowly floats down from the sky towards the scales. Where will it land? Who knows its currently undecided, but wherever it ends up the scales will tip in its favour. Now if you transferred some of the weights it wouldn’t actually matter where that feather landed, but in this instance, under this set of circumstances it makes all the difference in the world.

    In the 2010 election, where the independent/MP’s votes decided to be cast mattered. Normally they wouldn’t, but in this case they did. And where they voted decided which political party was going to be in Government. Julia Gillard knew this. Tony Abbott knew this. Which is why they spent so much time trying to woo these guys, and not members of the opposition party. When you have two immovable equally sized objects, sometimes one vote to break the deadlock is all you need.

    Now of course this doesn’t mean as Jeremy says in his post that this is undemocratic, or that these guys have super seats or whatever other rubbish he thinks this panel is saying. All the comic is saying is that these votes were critical in determining the current government. Nowhere in the comic does it imply that this was a cheat or a swindle. This is just the ramblings of a guy with a hatred of the Herald Sun and will always look to interpret stuff from there in the worst possible way. Quality journalism indeed.

  3. Mercurial

    @B. Tolputt I add to your argument by saying that there would be nothing either leader could do to prevent one of their MPs jumping ship. Undecided’s certainty that that wouldn’t happen would be no succour; any MP can shrug his/her allegiance to a major party immediately after an election, and there’s squat that party can do about it.

    The REALITY is not really that; it’s just the MOST LIKELY.

  4. AR

    How depressing that so many commenters here continue to prove that they have no idea of the mechanics of our electoral & parliamentary system.

  5. confessions

    No, Undecided. The REALITY is how our Parliament actually formed a government, applying Westminster conventions which have evolved over centuries.

    The reality most certainly is not that the independents and Greens alone decided who governs the nation. That view represents a suspension of reality.

  6. zoot

    A related factor is that Abbott could have convinced the Greens and Indies to back him. The skills he needed to achieve this are the skills that make a good Prime Minister. Lucky for us he thought ‘anything short of selling my bum’ was sufficient.

  7. B.Tolputt

    Sure, if one ignores reality and makes a simplifying (though incorrect) assumption, one can agree to your point of view. The problem is that in simplifying the situation and ignoring the factors you’ve simplified it is you, not us, that have moved from reality to an alternate “easier to understand” universe.

    Like it or not, whilst the Greens & indies decided they’d support Gillard, they did not decide who would be government. That decision is something made by the majority of the House of Representatives, of which the persons you contend made the decision only make up 3%. That’s reality. A reality you acknowledge when you admit Labor & Liberal MP’s could have jumped ship should they have wanted to. That they did not want to doesn’t make their choice in who to support any less of a decision, just more predictable.

  8. Aliar Jones

    [Hmmm blaming the MSM…how Andrew Boltesqe of you!]

    I must have missed something, did he start using facts to base his opinions on?

  9. Jeremy Sear

    And it’s REALITY that Greens voters overwhelmingly preferred a Labor PM to a Liberal PM if that was the choice remaining.

    Point is that whilst it might be obvious and we all know that Labor MPs are going to vote for a Labor PM, it’s still their choice to do so. And it’s their constituents’ choice to elect* them knowing that.

    The point is that all 76 people who voted to return Gillard as PM are equally responsible for their choice. It is a lie to suggest that it’s just the independents and Greens who made that decision. The Labor MPS might have made their decision to support Gillard earlier than the independents and Greens (well, the independents: the Greens always said they’d support Gillard over Abbott, same as a Labor MP) – but they had the same votes, and the decision was theirs just as much. In fact, they had more choice, because they got to pick which Labor MP was PM. The Greens and independents just had a choice between Gillard and Abbott.

    *Well, “elect”. The real lack of democracy in our system is single-member electorates that mean that over 53% of Australians are “represented” by an MP for whom they didn’t vote. Over two-thirds of MPs are in parliament with fewer than half of their constituents voting for them directly. But neither big party will support reform to this system with multi-member electorates because they benefit from the status quo: single-member electorate system redirects smaller party votes to the big parties. That’s how 1.5 million Australians can vote Green and get one single MP in the House of Reps rather than the 17 their votes would justify.

  10. Undecided

    @ Confessions/B.Tolputt

    No REALITY, is obsessed with our two party platform. We have essentially a two party system in Australia with some minor players. That is how our political system, for better or for worse has developed. Now in the future this may change, but for now the reality was that either Julia Gillard or Tony Abbott was going to be our next PM at the last General election.

    I don’t recall Anonthy Green saying, when it became apparent that the Greens were going to win their first ever lower-house seat at a general election, ‘And the Greens have won their first ever lower-house seat at a general election assuming Adam Band doesn’t jump ship to another party the second counting has finished’. Of course I don’t recall hearing that because that would be stupid! Just like I didn’t hear speculation that the 72 Labor party MP’s were going to support anyone but Gillard, because that would be stupid. Did we see Gillard chasing coalition MP’s? (other than Tony Crook whose WA Nationals are under no formal coalition agreement with the Libs), No. Did we see Abbott chasing Labor MPs? No. MP’s certainly can and have jumped ship in the past, but not like a week after a general election!

    So when we leave planet ‘Well technically….’ that you guys seem to be living on and enter planet ‘Reality’ that the media and general public opinion seems to be living on in this case, you should realise that the Labor MP’s votes were LOCKED with Gillard and the Liberal MP’s votes were LOCKED with Abbott. Since neither side had enough locked votes to form government on their own, it was up to the cross benchers to break that deadlock either through some lose coalition, or by refusing to support either party which would inevitably send us back to the polls. Abbott knew this which is why he courted the cross-benchers so hard. Gillard knew this which is why she courted the cross-benchers so hard. The Media knew this which is why they followed every second of the courting taking place. The only people who don’t know this seem to inhabit this forum. How sad for them.

    @Aliar Jones

    Hmmm blaming the MSM…how Andrew Boltesqe of you!

  11. Fran Barlow

    In any event Mondo you are remapping the fundamental reasoning error you kepp making on asylum seekers to this issue. You are treating narrowly proximate causes as if they were sufficient causes. On asylum seekers, you assert that the mere willingness of Australia to process seaborne irregular entrants as the cause of irregualr boat travel to Australia by asylum seekers, and in the case of the Gillard government, the decision of the majority of the six non-members of the regular majors as sufficient. As noted, this is even sillier because the majority of the house apsrt from the six could be described the same way with greater pertinence. If you are going to do this sort of cherrypicking you need to find out who was last to commit to a Gillard regime. That could well have been Oakeshott (although we don’t really know when that he was the last to make up his mind — he was merely last to announce) . Given that any of them could have been last to decide, and yet not all of them could have been there’s no clear way of deciding which of them did and so we must pass over the question, even as to proximate cause.

    The better way of seeing it is as others have pointed out — by looking at the decision in a corporate sense — the House deciding to support the Gillard regime, much as the House decided against the Malaysia solution albeit for varying reasons.

    Also on the subject of the actual cartoon:

    Neither party actually said “I think it’s best if you just win”. Had the LNP done that, the country would be in better shape. Sadly, even when the ALP formed government the other side determined to wreck the place in protest, so really, the cartoon was flawed on that basis.

    Red Cadeaux should have declared that the winner was illegitimate and demanded a re-run to make the cartoon correct.

  12. Aliar Jones

    [I would say that view has merit, wouldn’t you?]

    In a magical alternate reality where News Ltd are not running a daily war, mostly filled with misinformation and outright lies…yeh it might

  13. B.Tolputt

    Because we know the media never gets it wrong, has always understood parliamentary procedure correctly, and would never be pushing a narrative even if it was contrary to the facts. *roll-eyes*

    No matter how many times we spin it, the decision was made equally by everyone in the House of Reps. Trying to pin it solely (or even as the primary cause) to 3% of the votes is pretty pathetic.

  14. confessions

    [The media speculation seemed to go on for weeks on who they would choose ]

    Yes, our msm is obsessed with two party horse race politics, much to the detriment of the public’s understanding of parliamentary process, as is amply demonstrated by comments from some people here, and glib remarks in tabloid cartoons.

    [and by de-facto who would be in Government]

    For what feels like the 1 millionth time on this thread, the cross benchers alone did not choose govt. The formed govt along with 72 Labor MPs. What part of this are people having so much difficulty understanding?

  15. Fran Barlow

    Thanks Confessions

  16. Undecided


    Really? Could had sworn the intense pressure Tony Windsor and co were under to declare which major party they supported. The media speculation seemed to go on for weeks on who they would choose and by de-facto who would be in Government. I seem to recall the majority of them choosing Labor and they now have there party head as PM with the liberals in Opposition. Still, I guess I could had dreamt all that.

    One thing I do agree with though, is the cartoon is not particular insightful nor humorous.

  17. Nick the Hippy

    The Herald Sun should get over it. It has been more than a year since Collingwood and St Kilda drew.

  18. Jaeger

    [email protected]: “Stop the totes”, perhaps.

    May the best talking horse win.

  19. confessions

    [All it is saying that it is better for the major parties if one of them wins outright. ]

    it also asks whether the Greens and a few rural independents decide who the winner is.

    Given this did not happen, it’s a very sloppy attempt at humour.

  20. confessions

    [in the case of Fran Bailey in MacMillan]


  21. Undecided

    At no point does the cartoon say, or even come close to implying that what the Greens/Independents did was undemocratic or that they are ‘ruling’ parliament. All it is saying that it is better for the major parties if one of them wins outright. Given Labor’s collapse in the polls, I would say that view has merit, wouldn’t you?

  22. Jeremy Sear

    “So lets see Jeremy Sear’s political bias makes him interpret a Herald Sun cartoon in a way its not meant to be interpreted.”

    Go on – give us your interpretation.

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