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Posts Tagged ‘Brendan Nelson’

We all (at least, those of us on teh Left) are going to miss Brendan, but kudos to him for recognising where he stands and deciding it’s not a role worth playing:

One thing I’ll never be is some sort of seat warmer.

For Tip, on the other hand, it seems to be the only role he wants. Bolt seems to think it’s a shrewd move; that Tip should keep his eyes on the top job. But even if you assume a Boltian position on Costello’s talent and historical performance, what it (once again) seems to show about Peter Costello is this – that either through wounded pride or sheer indifference, he is happy to leave his talent on the shelf while his party flounders in opposition.

NB: I note that there are now claims from the Costello camp that the offer was never made. If that were true, then the question becomes who is trying to destabilise Hockey’s position from the outset.

UPDATE: Mad Monk as elder statesman. Interestingly, Tony Abbott sounds most credible when acknowledging his complete ignorance:

“I haven’t asked Peter [Costello], I haven’t asked Malcolm [Turnbull], I have no reason to think any offer was made,” he said.

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45-41

That should put an end to the destabilisation, eh?

ELSEWHERE: If you can’t find other blog posts on this yourself, you’re probably beyond help. Okay, here’s a hint: Pick any of the non-crap links from my blogroll and you ought to find something.

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HULK SPILL!

Brendan’s not taking any of your shit any more, right?

Federal Opposition Leader Brendan Nelson has called a leadership vote for tomorrow morning.

Late this afternoon he called his Liberal colleagues to an unscheduled meeting.

It is understood Dr Nelson is trying to settle the leadership by calling on a vote.

I suspect he’s actually aiming to demonstrate that he has some leadership capacity by calling a meeting and having people turn up.

The uncertainty surrounding this spill is a nice change. There are lots of things to wonder about:

  • One source has apparently suggested Turnbull has the numbers, but what if anyone else throws their hat in the ring?
  • Did Julie protect Brendan from Belinda Neal so she could strike the death blow herself?
  • Will Wilson bring the iron bar?
  • Will Brendan be tallying the votes by whiteboard?
  • Will Tip be signing copies of his book?

ELSEWHERE: Press release at Pollytics; Talk at Larvatus Prodeo and The Poll Bludger;  Breakfast, lunch and dinner at GrodsCorp.

UPDATE: Malcolm’s getting in the game.

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I am Brendan

hear me roar!

NB: When you have to use the media to take a swipe at your colleagues because they are using the media to take swipes at you, your capacity for leadership is pretty much non-existent.

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Brendan was here

He did say he would look into it:

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Planet Janet is in complete agreement with me:

As those of us in NSW are left to wonder about the future of this state, the Federal Opposition leader popped up on Sunday with a suggestion. Appearing on ABC’s Insiders Brendan Nelson suggested that given the calamitous state of NSW under Labor, we might need to look at the constitutional options. When asked what he meant, he refused to elaborate.

[Note to Nelson: if you want to look like a serious ideas man, when you raise a novel idea, run with it, explain it. If you drop it as fast as you raise it, it looks like the idea is so novel you’ve got no idea what you’re talking about.]

By constitutional options, presumably Nelson meant to point us to section 24B of the NSW Constitution Act 1903 which lays down the circumstances in which the NSW Legislative Assembly may be dissolved during its four year term. Subsection (5) of section 24B says “This section does not prevent the Governor from dissolving the Legislative Assembly in circumstances other than those specified in subsections (2)-(4), despite any advice of the Premier or Executive Council, if the Governor could do so in accordance with established constitutional conventions.” In other words, the Governor can dissolve Parliament in line with constitutional convention at any time during its four year term.

A nice idea if we can find a constitutional convention to warrant such action. NSW may be on the rails with its AAA credit rating in question, but this is no Whitlamesque scenario. Putting constitutional fine points to one side, sacking the NSW Labor Government is pointless. Let’s say this one more time in the hope that it will sink in at Liberal Party HQ: we have no effective Opposition in NSW to make an early election worthwhile. Which leaves us to an unfortunate fate of crossing our fingers, hoping for a most unlikely outcome where Rees, a man from Labor’s Left, takes economically responsible decisions by confronting the rot within his own party.

Well, we agree about the silliness of Brendan’s hare-brained and unworkable proposal to sack the new NSW Government. And we agree that there is still a lack of genuine opposition in the state – the Big O has certainly moved the Libs, in the right direction, but they are just as prone to factional self-destruction as the ALP. We differ entirely on what the best solution is – I am hopeful that Rees can turn things around, while Janet thinks Teh Left is the last thing the state needs.

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Brendan is looking into an early election in New South Wales. Apart from the obvious barriers that might keep him from bringing this about (e.g., the fact that he isn’t a member of the NSW parliament, and that his party is in Opposition in that state), there are some extra issues.

Following a successful referendum in 1995, New South Wales became the first state to have fixed electoral terms. This means that an election is not due to be held until March 2011. The Constitution Act 1902 (NSW) s 24B sets out the circumstances in which the Legislative Assembly can be dissolved during the 4 year term. The possibilities it sets out that might apply in the current circumstances are:

  • Passage of a no confidence motion, with a motion of confidence not being passed within the subsequent 8 days;
  • Failure of the Legislative Assembly to pass a supply Bill “for the ordinary annual services of the Government”; or
  • Other circumstances that would allow the Governor to dissolve the Legislative Assembly in accordance with established Constitutional conventions.

The ALP holds 52 of the 93 seats in the Legislative Assembly, so for any move against the Government to pass would require at least six of their number to join the Coalition and independents. As much as the NSW Labor Party might be self-destructing, I find it difficult to imagine that any of them would throw their entire Government off the cliff by passing a no confidence motion in the newly-minted Rees Government or blocking appropriations. Even if Labor loses its seats in the upcoming by-elections, they will still retain their majority.

This means that an early election would probably require the Governor to exercise her reserve powers based on some established Constitutional convention. This is complicated by the fact that such conventions are unclear and far from well-established – these powers have been used rarely (the two examples in Australia being the dismissals of Jack Lang’s Government in NSW and Whitlam at the Commonwealth level) and have retrospectively been evaluated by many as not being justified by Constitutional conventions.

Given Brendan’s impotence in everything else, it strikes me as odd that he hopes to be capable of triggering a constitutional crisis. As much of a shambles as the New South Wales Government appears to be in, I don’t imagine that he is going to manage to contribute to a solution.

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