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‘Plan A’ has failed. Will ‘Plan B’ work?


When the Coalition attempted to seize control of Australian Federal politics earlier this year, they were thwarted in their plans to do so. Plan Abbott came tantalizingly close doing a victory lap, but unfortunately for him, democracy got in his way.

Tony Abbott’s dreams melted in a pool of his own sweat as he failed in his chance to convince the independents to his side. Of course, he had no chance what so ever with Adam Bandt as Adam had already signaled his preference even before the voters voted. How dare he do that!

He was able to sway Bob Katter to his pack, but it seemed Bob was reluctant in his decision. He probably was on the back foot with Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott, but it was never impossible.

It was never a lay down misere for the ALP as that video shows with Julia and her ‘prepared documents’. But I had to chuckle as Tony tried to talk about the beach and the bush. The cameras did not roll for the entire meeting so why did he not just keep his trap shut? Of course Barnaby Jones and Michael Croker could not keep their own traps shut either so perhaps its an instinctive thing.

Shortly after failing in his bid to become ruler, Tony began his stint of court jester. His kinder gentler politic lasted for the length of negotiations when he began to show his contempt for any obligations he had made by proceeding to threaten the parliamentary reforms. It is clear that Abbott would have loved the speaker-pair rule if the independents had anointed him. So when they did not, out came his Howarth’s brand of constitutional advice.

He took his spoiling for spoiling sake right through till it cost the Australian People (that’s us) an extra $750,000 for a Monday sitting of parliament. Do not get me wrong! If there was a reason for them to do so, I would insist they do this. If there was any objections to the policies on the table, then it is the right of the Senate and the lower house opposition forces to scrutinise that policy.

But there was none. Zip. Nada. The Senate passed the amendments that the ALP had already flagged to the bill without a division called. And on the extra Monday that cost tax payers money came and after Tony Abbott proceeded to make a political speech about the Victorian elections, the bill passed without a vote required. Two hours of parliament recalled at a cost of $750,000 to the tax payer and no scrutiny of policy whatsoever.

Tony Abbott may not like the title, but it is clear his intent is to raise roadblocks where none are required and waste the public purse for his political agenda alone. At least on the issues that he can get media airtime over.

It is clear that plan ‘A’ that is/was Tony Abbott has failed. Now the Coalition are hoping plan ‘B’ will work.

Plan ‘B’ is not the tactics that Abbott has been playing at all. It’s what I call the ‘third’ Senate. When you can not rule and you can not spoil that rule, then change state governments and get them to do the spoiling for you.

Plan ‘B’ is currently Colin Barnett, Tony Baillieu and on the wings stand John-Paul ‘Broekie’ Langbroek and Barry ‘Bazza’ O’Farrell. The idea is to use this third senate as some form of option to once again waste tax payers dollars and time to delay and spoil the things that the ‘A’-Team had failed in spoiling and delaying.

But there is a problem. Colin Bartlett (B1) is already riding a gravy train of broken promises. The Ellenbrook railway being one that began to dissolve within weeks of winning government. It quickly became an on again/off again topic till finally the new promise became they will build it, just not during their first term. This is called the ‘elect us again and maybe we will think about it’ tactic that many governments of both persuasions often use.

Meanwhile Ted Baillieu (B2) had not even moved into his offices yet and already he is already hedging his bets and has flagged a series of election promises that he made could go if it turns out that they can not afford them. Don’t you simply love that? Make a promise, claim it is all fully costed, refuse to submit your costings to treasury to show the voting public that you have done your homework, get elected, then backtrack on your promises because it turns out your forgot to carry the one in your figures.

This last thing may not stick on Ted and he may get numbers in both houses so no one will be able to question anything he raises anyway. Still, it is the fear of what one can do that always sends shivers up the back of voters.

If B1 and B2 can make it look like a coalition state government is a good thing to have, then all well and good. But if the wheels start to look wobbly, then there could be doubt that the coalition will get up in Queensland. New South Wales has a completely different problem. They not only need to stop a tide that is about to engulf them, they have to then also begin to turn that tide and that is a rather harsh task. It could however stymie Barry O’Farrell by giving him a hostile senate and that will be interesting to watch.

On the one hand you have Barnett and Baillieu trying to show their respective state voters that they are out their doing their thing for them. And on the other, they have to make sure they do not slip and fall and somehow reflect badly on the coalition as a whole and the chances it has in Qld and NSW. Will they be allowed to react to internal state stimuli or will they be forced to react to external Federal stimuli to make it appear that Plan ‘A’ is working.

It’s enough to confuse a cat.

A. Ghebranious 2010 All Rights Reserved

  1. Jennifer Baratta permalink

    Politians are like that around the world

  2. makes me want to drink alchoholic beverages

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