Australian politics is changing a lot faster than people realise including myself. I started to write a post on the Bill Shorten v Anthony Albanese battle for the Labor Party leadership as it is set to be announced on Sunday and has the historic element in that the members can now vote for the leader. Then I thought, who cares.
The opposition leader who looks like having the most power over the next three years, or until the next election, is Clive Palmer of the Palmer United Party, not the Labor Party leader. That is even more so now since Clive announced his deal with Ricky Muir of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party to vote together on legislation in the Senate.
“The Abbott government will need the votes of at least six cross-benchers to pass legislation opposed by Labor and the Greens.”
“If it won the support of the Palmer alliance, it would need the votes of two or the other crossbenchers, Nick Xenophon, Liberal Democratic Party Senator David Leyonhjelm, Family First Senator Bob Day and Democratic Labor Party Senator John Madigan.” (Click here to read more)
The PUP Party is already being written off by some but there are four issues that seem to suggest they will survive and grow, which I will deal with at the end of the post.
Who is the Palmer United Party
It is a party that was thrown together in record time before the last federal election by mining magnate Clive Palmer. It managed to get almost six percent of the vote nationally and had three senators elected as well as Clive Palmer in the lower house, although two recounts currently in progress could change one senator and Mr Palmer’s position.
One issue that grabbed my attention was that PUP Party did run an anti-corruption policy to some degree during the election campaign as I remember reading it on one of their flyers.
Their website makes some rather big calls, for want of a better description. It lists none other than Robert Menzies on the former leaders page, as well as Billy Hughes and Joseph Lyons.
It says in relation to the party and Clive: “In 2013 the United Australia Party was re-launched by party leader Professor Clive Frederick Palmer, a renowned Australian National Living Treasure & Philanthropist.” (Click here to read more)
Labor Party in crisis
At 2pm on Sunday the 13th October 2013 the Labor Party will announce its new leader. For the first time the party members have a voice and make up 50% of the vote that will decide the leader. This is a major change away from the old union controlled factions that decided the fate of Labor Party Prime Ministers.
The change might not achieve much but it is a start and further changes will happen, not because the party power brokers want to change, but because they have no choice if they are to survive,
Australia will never get to a situation like the Arab countries where there was mass protests and governments were overthrown which is known as the Arab Spring. But Australia has overthrown governments at the ballot box, ask any Queenslander where the Labor Party, since the 2012 election, has 7 members of a 89 member parliament. The Labor Party at the moment are nothing more than a running joke in QLD and you can add NSW Labor with all their corruption which will be played out in the courts over the next few years.
Enter the Palmer United Party in federal politics and the Labor Party will be starting to worry in a major way about their own survival.
PUP Party – Looking Forward
There are 4 key reasons that point to the PUP Party being around for quite some time..
1. Clive Palmer has been around politics a long time, so he is no novice. It says this on Wikipedia:
“Palmer was instrumental in the split of the South Australian conservatives in the 1970s, and was active in the Liberal Movement headed by former Premier of South Australia Steele Hall. Palmer joined the Queensland division of the National Party of Australia in 1974, having been influenced by the policies of Joh Bjelke-Petersen, Premier of Queensland at the time. From the early 1980s onwards, he was involved in state politics, serving as the National Party’s campaign director during the 1983 state election and as media spokesman during its 1986 election campaign, both of which were successful.”
2. People are sick of the two major parties and looking for someone else to vote for.
The Palmer United Party received almost 6 percent of the national vote even though the party only formed in April 2013 and the election was 5 months later in September 2013. By the next election they would have been around for over 3 years and received plenty of media attention, so one would expect them to do a lot better at the next election. Unless of course they do a lot of stupid things, but I think Clive is too smart for that.
3. The PUP Party will be extremely well-funded.
I have read different reports on how much the PUP Party spent on the election with one figure an estimated $12 million. What can be said is that come the next election the PUP Party will be well-funded by the mining sector and other interested business groups. Probably the best funded new party the country has ever seen.
4. The Labor Party and Greens are on the nose with a lot of voters and based on history the Liberal Party will have lost some support by the next federal election as most incumbents do. This leaves the door open for a well-funded and managed party like the PUP Party to go from its initial 6 percent of the vote up to maybe 15% or so.
Clive Palmer may say some stupid things as times, but so do the leaders of the other parties. I think Clive and his Party are here to stay for quite a while. Whether or not it is good for the country is another question. From this sites viewpoint, lets see what they do in relation to corruption on a federal level.
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