Posted by Big Gav in australia
The BS has an article on a hideous, lager swilling beast that could cause problems for the Abbott government. While the initial image that comes to mind is Clive Palmer they are actually talking about the re-run of the Senate election for WA which could result in some hope returning for renewable energy programs and the carbon tax - A hideous beast awaits Abbott's return.
The sun rises on 2014 with an unfortunate guest waiting patiently in the corner of the Liberal Party Room in parliament house, Canberra – a giant creature wearing a 'G'day from WA!' t-shirt, guzzling cans of Emu Export beer and belching with abandon.
Nobody wants to sit next to the elephant in the room, but it is there. It's the half-Senate election re-run in Western Australia, and on it a great deal of Australian history will pivot.
To re-cap, the first recount of the September election took weeks to complete. It was asked for by the Greens, who'd worked out that the direction of preference flows came down to a crucial moment in the first count that relied on other parties having a lead of just 14 ballot papers. Having found 'handfuls' of miscounted votes, the Greens thought they stood at least a 50/50 chance of returning Senator Scott Ludlam if a recount was approved. It was, and they did.
Yet in that process, 1370 votes went missing, leading the sheepish Australian Electoral Commission to itself petition the High Court to declare the election result void (Abbott's nightmare is unfolding in WA, December 10).
All things being equal, that would not present the returning Liberal Party members, and their Nationals colleagues down the hall, with that noisy, smelly pachyderm waiting to disrupt their first joint-party-room meeting.
But there it is. Things are not equal.
One story that received little attention while the nation reverently tucked in to its pavlova and pinot over the past two weeks, was a shocking turnaround in the popularity of the Abbott government among sandgropers. While every poll contains a specific, statistically calculated, margin of error (usually around +/- 2 per cent) there is no good way for the Coalition to spin the last Newspoll which found a 10 percentage point drop in support for the Abbott government out west. ...
The first WA half-Senate election gave the Palmer United Party a third of a quota, but it is not unlikely that PUP would lose substantial ground next time around. Palmer has already been vilified by certain sections of the press. He would be heavily targeted by Labor strategists in a new campaign, and probably should have come up with a better name than 'China First' for his newly approved coal mine. 'Australia first' could be Labor's mocking retort. ...
There is a major fork in the road ahead in 2014. Repeal of the carbon and mining taxes, the unpicking of the NBN legislation, and a host of other major agenda items for the Abbott government hangs in the balance.