Federal

Feb 13, 2017

Preferences dominate Parliament on who dealt with Hanson and how

The government's shaky argument in defence of the WA Liberals' preference deal with Pauline Hanson in question time today didn't last too long.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Faced with the challenge of defending the Western Australian Liberals' decision to do a preference deal with One Nation at the expense of the WA Nationals, the government had a number of options. Declare it was a matter for the WA Liberals. Defend the deal as being all about keeping Labor out of power, a more important objective. Admit that the Turnbull government had made a fundamental break from the position of the Howard government and accept One Nation as a legitimate presence in politics.

Instead, it decided to accuse Labor of, in effect, being as bad as the WA Liberals by benefiting from One Nation votes. Invited to comment on the WA deal in question time, Turnbull was first given cover by Speaker Tony Smith, who ruled the question out of order despite the opposition -- which had clearly done its homework -- pointing out the question was almost exactly the same as one asked of and answered by John Howard in 2000. When Smith could no longer provide cover, the government's initial tactic was to claim that Labor MPs Cathy O'Toole (Herbert), Emma McBride (Dobell) and others were elected on One Nation preferences.

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6 comments

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6 thoughts on “Preferences dominate Parliament on who dealt with Hanson and how

  1. rhwombat

    I note that the supposed phone call asking for a deal was with James Ashby. How trustworthy.

    1. zut alors

      Indeed. And why address the monkey rather than the organ grinder?

  2. klewso

    Is Turnbull “losing it”?

    1. AR

      No – that would imply he had it, or anything worthwhile, in the first instance.

  3. Marian Smedley

    You’re as bad as any lying politician Keane- claiming Greens “caved in” on Senate Reforms when in fact it was a long term Greens policy that they were pleased the LNP agreed with them on. Never let the facts get in the way of your snark towards the Greens eh?

  4. bushby jane

    Hanson is a LNP stooge, she always votes with them.

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