Tony Abbott sprinted out of Parliament so the opposition wouldn’t have to “accept” under-fire Labor refugee Craig Thomson’s vote — but this week Coalition frontbencher Mathias Cormann wrote to Thomson asking for his support on legislation.

Peter Slipper, on the other hand, is a different case. Aside from those lewd late-night texts, the s-xual harassment allegations and the dirty deal to put him in the Speaker’s chair (before the Coalition tried to throw him out), Abbott says he’s “happy to have that vote”.

It’s all good fodder for Julia Gillard, who is also happy to accept his vote — and was happy to keep him in the Speaker’s chair — despite knowing months ago about the language on Slipper’s phone they were quick to judge this week.

S-xism may be rampant in Australian politics, but so is hypocrisy. And that transcends the party divide.

It’s hard to pick a winner from this tragically funny week of politics. It’s certainly not voters.

Peter Fray

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