The return of Barnaby Joyce begs the question: what would it take for a politician to be irrevocably cancelled? While sexual harassment allegations and the scandal surrounding his marital breakdown were enough to see Joyce relegated to the backbench for a few years, almost as swiftly as he fell from grace he has returned to lead the Nationals and be the deputy prime minister.
If allegations of sexual harassment aren’t enough, perhaps repeated lying would see a politician permanently cancelled? The ABC's Australia Talks survey revealed Australians overwhelmingly think politicians caught in a lie should resign, and yet, as Crikey detailed, leaders including Scott Morrison lie frequently and suffer limited consequences. The ABC's survey also found that Australians have very little faith in politicians to tell the truth and do the right thing.
It’s as if Australians wish lying politicians would resign but know that in reality such accountability would result in empty chambers of parliament. Taking accountability is inconvenient, and those who hold enough political capital have realised the public is willing to overlook their indiscretions if they are "redeemable" in other ways.