The Pickering Post
Sunday, 17th December 2017

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A CLOWN BETWEEN TWO THORNS

Larry Pickering

Four-time Walkley Award winning political commentator and Churchill Fellow, has returned to the fray over concern that the integrity of news dissemination is continually being threatened by a partisan media.

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I didn’t think it possible to ever side with Clive, but Lazarus and Lambie should be run out of town for using the Senate as they have. But they are not on their own, with Bjelke Petersen’s Albert Field being the most notable.

So what is Clive up to suing these two bogans for millions? It can’t be for the money, they don’t have any, and I doubt it’s for revenge, no businessman wastes good money on revenge and the cases have little hope of success anyway. Both Lazarus and Lambie appear to be acting within their Constitutional rights.

But if the litigious Clive can prove a breach of contract he may have a case. And this is where it gets interesting because he is clearly thinking, if neither Lambie nor Lazarus can settle, he can bankrupt them and they will no longer be able to sit as Senators.

So, if that were to happen, two casual vacancies could be up for grabs. Now, convention requires that the State (Premier) accepts the nomination of another person from the same Party to fill that vacancy. But both Lazarus and Lambie are Independents, so it comes down to who the State (Premier) decides to nominate.

Clive would be okay with Tasmania (Libs) but he may have a problem with Lazarus’s Queensland vacancy because the new Premier, Annastacia Pluckachook, may not be that accommodating.

Clive is unlikely to be able to nominate a friendly PUP replacement anyway because neither seat is a PUP seat, both are Independents. This is where Section 15 of the Constitution becomes a veritable dog’s breakfast and it led to a Constitutional change in 1977. A modernised version of Section 15 was then carried by referendum.

Bob Carr’s unelected appointment by Gillard as Foreign Minister, after Mark Abib shot through leaving a Senate vacancy, has revealed a surprising consequence of the 1977 Constitutional change.

Where Section 64 of the Constitution requires that a Minister must become a Member of Parliament, and Sections 7 and 24 insist the Parliament consists of Members "directly chosen by the people", the amendment of Section 15 has created a new dodgy mechanism for Foreign Ministers like Carr and dodgy Prime Ministers like Gillard.

The Constitution required a Minister of the Crown to be elected by the people, and not simply parachuted into a casual vacancy.

But there are numerous instances where the Senate has been manipulated for crass political advantage by both sides of Parliament. It comes down to the Senate being a States’ House and convention being followed.

But what convention can be attached to an Independent where no other Party has influence?

The current volatile mix of State and Federal politics could see some interesting developments if Clive successfully sues Lambie and Lazarus.

Clive clearly intends to bankrupt both to get them out of the Senate but that may not be to Clive’s advantage unless he can prove a contractual arrangement existed between them and the PUP. And it’s doubtful any contractual arrangement would supersede the Constitution.

Poor old Clive has a right to be angry but he hasn’t pulled the right rein in a long while and he probably hasn’t this time.

CORRECTION: the Senate vacancy should be filled from the originally elected Party, but the State (premier/executive) is the final arbiter. When Gillard appointed Nova Peris to the top of the senate ticket, Peris wasn't even a member of the Labor Party. So anyone can sign up to the PUP and be appointed by the State, and then revert to ALP membership. There is nothing in the Constitution that prevents that happening. Clive can nominate, but cannot appoint, a replacement. The Senate needs a bloody good overhaul.



Comments

I saw the Clive driving along Coronation Drive (Brisbane) is his Roller this morning!

While we are at it, speaking of a REFERENDUM, let's add the following, Should we retain PREFERENTIAL VOTING, it has caused a lot of our problems. Also do we want an ELECTORAL ROLL that only has on it AUSTRALIAN CITIZENS who can prove their identity. Should we SELL the ABC and SBS and ensure that the purchaser MUST provide a true and fair BALANCED view in its BROADCASTS. (something we are certainly not used to)

Wrong Larry, The SENATE needs to be ABOLISHED. To achieve this, the ABBOTT Government Needs the guts to put a bill to the House Of Reps. calling for a Referendum.(he has the numbers there) though obviously it wouldn't pass the Senate (but it doesn't have to) providing it passes the House of Reps for a second time the REFERENDUM can be called, to be held within 2 months to 6 months of the second BILL passing. All TONY ABBOTT needs to do is HAVE FAITH in the majority of AUSTRALIANS who are absolutely FED UP with being controlled by THE SENATE SWILL.

Why is the Liberal Party so reluctant to have a referendum to change the Senate election rules? How do we go about demanding a referendum? Because as long as we have a corrupt senate election system (and it is extremely corrupt!) Australia is headed down the toilet thanks to Labor and Greens manipulation of the system.

Nova Perris Kneebone (or whatever her current name is) is another imposter.

How would anyone take an interest in Politics anymore. ....My dogs would have more brains than Jacqie Lambie and poor old Laz is totally lost on anything he isn't about to eat.

The Aussie Electoral System is in a BIGGER Need for REFORM than the Budget?
What a SHAMBLES???

Fatso is sueing two members of the Senate so that they will be kicked out. Fatso needs to watch his own back. He has angered the Chinese Government and they are seeking millions, if not billions from him. His theme park in Queensland is already KAPUT. His coal mines are on the verge of failing
When he finally lf hegets his day in Court

It's great to be back with you again after being blocked. I submitted suggestions for changes to the "Senate Vacancy" anomoly, and basically it should NOT be up to the state premier or the party to appoint anyone. It should go to the next person on the party ticket. In the case of non-aligned independants, they should be required to run with an alternate incase they are unable to complete their term. In other words, if your name is not on the Senate voting paper, there is no way that you can serve as a Senator.

a big fat vindictive fat fuck, can't have his way and he will sue you.

How good would Australia be without a Senate ? Take a look at Queensland ! No Senate and a bunch of amateur politicians in total control !( at least it was so , before Billy was rumbled !! ) So I will rephrase - How good would Queensland be if we had a hostile Senate to curb Labor stupidity ?

The new ex labor Member for Cook in Queensland, Billy’s Gordon’s ex-wife, in detailed statements claims to have suffered 15 years of atrocious domestic violence at the hands of Gordon, the Labor member for Cape York. The electorate is officially known as Cook and extends from the northern beaches of Cairns to Port Douglas, Mossman, Cooktown Mareeba and Chillagoe. It covers Aboriginal and pastoral communities and all the Torres Strait Islands. A quarter of the voters are indigenous. Gordon became one of a rare handful of indigenous candidates to win a seat in Parliament. Gordon has purportedly said he “acted like an animal” and admitted a criminal history including driving offences, break and entering offences, breach of bail and probation, and an apprehended violence order taken out by his own mother. Gordon’s former de facto partner has accused him of domestic violence, routinely not filing tax returns, and avoiding child-support payments to his five children.

Maybe they should be cut loose, paid a one off secession payment, and left to weave baskets and hug trees.

Bob Carrs appointment as Senator by the ALP followed by his appointment as foreign affairs minister says it all .

BDS, Gillard ~ who actually voted her in? Never heard of her, and suddenly she has the top job.

Should be part of Victoria.

BTW. Happy Easter to all you Pickering Poster. Even if you are an Atheist.

The senate is a waste of time and money, it seems it's only role is to block legitimate changes and get in the way of good government.

On the face of it, Lazarus may have an excuse. Palmer sacked his wife. If this was just an attempt to bully Laz then I could excuse him at least. Lambie on the other hand is something entirely different. As a woman and a Senator she is an embarrassment words can hardly describe. Having her represent me as an Australian wherever she goes makes me want to go to Parliament House and take a wrecking ball to the place. To get rid of her alone would be worth the risk of a double dissolution.

How Peter Beattie wrecked Queensland. Despite his jovial exterior, Queenslanders will remember Beattie as the Premier who helped set up Queensland for a colossal fall. His weird return invites an examination of chaos of failures in the Beattie-Bligh era. Beattie turned Queensland's public sector into a sheltered workshop for unionists where rorts and sweetheart deals flourished. And we are still feeling the pain. When Beattie quit in 2007, his successor Anna Bligh continued to indulge the unions. So I was especially annoyed last week when Kevin Rudd welcomed Beattie back to the fray and made special mention of his job creation skills. Beattie's most successful job creation program was to further expand a bloated public service. And it turned into a costly disaster, as former Treasurer Peter Costello and his team pointed out in their commission of audit. The size of the public service jumped by 40 per cent from June 2000 to June 2012 and was unsustainable, Costello reported. At that time there were 243,250 people on the payroll representing 205,332 full-time equivalent positions in a public service he said was inefficient and inflexible. By 2012 wages and related costs of maintaining the public service soared to $18.2 billion, or 38.9 per cent of the Queensland government's total recurrent expenses. (There are now 193,683 full-time equivalents, new workforce profiles show.) Costello quoted from Public Service Commission documents revealing only 68 per cent of employee roles "were essential for service delivery". He said convoluted work practices, an absence of strategic plans and deficiencies in data collection made it difficult to see exactly where the public service was going. Blame Beattie. Blame the unions.