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Crikey Says

Mar 15, 2016

The cowardice of their conviction

"Why is it that one particular industry in Australia is quite frankly able to get away with blue murder? We say enough is enough. Restore the ABCC." -- Employment Minister

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“Why is it that one particular industry in Australia is quite frankly able to get away with blue murder? We say enough is enough. Restore the ABCC.” — Employment Minister Michaelia Cash, January 30

“Every Green MP has voted for marriage equality, every time it has come before a Parliament.” — The Greens website

Funny how the things politicians believe in, such as preventing “murder” on work sites and ensuring all Australians are free to marry whomever they choose, seem to go a bit wobbly when deals have been done and politics gets in the way.

When introducing the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner legislation, Michaelia Cash declared it to be the government’s top legislative priority. But when Senator Ricky Muir proposes debating the legislation this week, suddenly it’s not such a priority after all. “We will not support any attempt to change the government’s legislation program for the Senate for this week,” said Mathias Cormann.

Muir’s proposal is a clever bit of politicking to force the Coalition to either renege on its deal with the Greens to drop the ABCC legislation for the week or to vote against debating its so-called top legislative priority. Muir, of course, wants to avoid a double dissolution and Senate voting reform, as both would likely turf him out on his ear.

Senator David Leyonhjelm is similarly calling the Greens’ bluff by calling for same-sex marriage legislation to be debated this week. But the Greens will have to vote against debating gay marriage — despite their claim of “always standing up for full equality” — because of their deal with the Liberals.

When it comes to getting rid of crossbenchers who stand in your party’s way, it seems politics trumps conviction every time.

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12 comments

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12 thoughts on “The cowardice of their conviction

  1. Jaybuoy

    Ricky was very pedestrian when he left the grid but he’s motoring along nicely now..

  2. Stuart Johnson

    Seems to me the Greens have a choice between voting for one thing they’ve wanted for a long time which will actually pass, or voting for another thing they’ve wanted for a long time which is not so likely to pass but rather is being used as a bit of short term strategy by the LDP to achieve their own ends. I don’t see this as compromising the Greens commitment to marriage equality.

  3. Marian Smedley

    Agree with Stuart’s comments and frankly this editorial is a pretty cheap shot. It’s clear ALP and crossbenchers are just pulling stunts. Greens will vote for SSM and will vote against ABCC. And you know even if SSM passed in Senate it would be voted down in HoR. I expect better from Crikey than this nonsense.

  4. Stuart Johnson

    Now Lazarus is at it on CSG as well. It is ridiculous, basically if this worked then any time the Greens were about to vote on something that has the numbers to pass it could be derailed by putting up a vote with no hope of passing on another issue which the Greens support.

  5. AR

    StuartJ & MarianS – agree fully. This sort of attitude to anything not endorsed by the majors stinks of BK who must have been scared by something Green in the woodshed in his formative youth.

  6. paddy

    I also agree with Stuart’s comments. You’re audience is smarter than this editorial Crikey. Lift your game.

  7. paddy

    (Bloody typos) *Your*.

  8. CML

    Well…who would have thought? The rusted on Greens on this blog, trying to support the insupportable.
    I even heard DeNatale this morning talking about the cross bench Senators doing dirty little deals. Talk about hypocrisy…when the Greens have just done the biggest ‘dirty little deal’ in Senate history!!
    And what is wrong with forcing the Greens to support their so-called platform issues…SSM and opposition to the AABC?
    They FAILED badly.
    I don’t believe a word they say…and neither should anyone else!!
    Keep the HONEST editorials coming, Crikey. That’s what I pay my subscription for!!!

  9. lancista_long

    Have just listened to the relevant bits of the senate debate and frankly I’m disappointed in this editorial. No mention that Leyonhelm’s tactic was to bundle marriage equality debate with other legislation. Similarly Lazaraus has bundled anti-CSG debate with the ABCC debate – all so as to generate headlines about Greens opposing things they traditionally support. The cynical politics on display this week is depressing – and not coming from Di Natale’s party.

  10. Norm

    It “would likely turf him out on his ear”, but just as some pundits are predicting that Lazarus and Lambie might hold their own, I’m wondering whether Ricky might prove the quiet achiever? Surely the most likely casualty is the senator for the State of Leyonhjelm.

  11. klewso

    I like the form Muir is running in to too.
    If the Greens insist on playing realpolitik, Lazarus is looking better to me.

  12. Hoojakafoopy

    As I understand it the Greens agreed to debate marriage equality in the Senate for an hour on Thursday morning and vote on it, but Labor rejected that, arguing that an hour was not long enough. Unless I’m wrong about this then the editorial is completely misleading.

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