1 October 2010
Week one of the "new paradigm" parliament felt a lot like the old show.
Both sides used question time for political posturing.
The opposition asked loaded questions full of argument.
The government answered these and its own dorothy dixers with nothing more than bland ministerial statements.
At least the new time limits made it all mercifully shorter.
But outside question time, parliament is undeniably different.
Julia Gillard lost a vote in the House.
And Tony Abbott was undermined over the Deputy Speaker's role by one of his own.
In fact by more than one it seems.
78 members voted for Liberal Peter Slipper over National Bruce Scott.
West Australian National Tony Crook insists he voted for Scott and has no reason to lie.
Which means another Liberal must have broken the official party decision and backed Slipper (along with the man himself).
Week one confirmed where the real power now lies - with the cross benchers.
They decided who to reward and humiliate with their votes and showed no allegiance to one side or the other.
Week one saw mostly procedural votes.
When the real reforms hit the deck, it's hard to know which way the independents will go.
Week one also revealed how surprisingly peeved Harry Jenkins is.
He was returned to the Speaker's chair but clearly is an unhappy camper after Julia Gillard's flirtation with giving the job to Rob Oakeshott instead.
He warned the "real story" of the past few weeks would come out one day and complained he was not one of the "elite three" who drew up the new parliamentary rules.
Parliament won't sit for another fortnight, but the politics will still be fascinating to watch.
Julia Gillard on her first trip abroad as Prime Minister.
And some likely internal fights between the Liberals and Nationals over the Murray Darling Basin Plan.
The political year still has a few twists and turns in store.
Comments are moderated and will not appear until they have been approved.
Caitrin, Brisbane (21 October 2010 4:57PM) wrote:
Thanks David. Good post.
Nancy James, Perth (20 October 2010 12:26PM) wrote:
David Speers...regrettably a wasted talent. Too much Canberra, too much Labor, needs to get out of tinsel town and spend time in the real world. Maybe then he could become relevant?
Geoff Smart, Melbourne (19 October 2010 7:41PM) wrote:
What a joke! The ABC and SKY News focus on Liberal dissenters from the Liberal line on Afghanistan. No mention of Labour back bench dissenters, none. But the ABC, always ready and willing to support a Labor government ahead of a Liberal Opposition, chooses to focus on the negatives of the Liberals. OMG, how blatant is the ABC!! And Sky News is not far behind the ABC, despite its readers feedback in polls and blogs, in supporting this Labor minority government, with hardly ever a positive word on the Liberals. With bias like this, how could anyone respect these two news organisations? Geoff
John, Dallas (14 October 2010 4:04PM) wrote:
If Gillard keeps throwing her hands around when she is speaking I will grab them and stick them right up her arse
Dr Gordon Briscoe, Lilli Pilli, NS 2536 (1 October 2010 4:13PM) wrote:
The Australian public should not forget two things about the Qld., Wild River's issue and that is: first, that the federal government legislation can render any state law through the federal action of the 1967 referendum that gave legislative powers to the Commonwealth. In 1972, the Whitlam Government exercised Commonwealth power over the Queensland Government to remove racist and discriminatory clauses against the governance of Queensland Aborigines; second, that state government still control state lands, but, where certain leases are granted to, for example, pastoral leases, and such leases do not distinguish 'native title'. Noel Pearson and other Aboriginal leaders who have since the 1980s become ideologues of Aboriginal politics in general, imposing their will on the Aboriginal majority. The partnership Mr Abbott and Noel Pearson is documented in Andrew Bartlett's coverage of the issue. This partnership is much more coplex than that and is exposed by the backlash of native title holders forcing Abbott's and Pearson's ploy to committee. Although I do not speak for the School of Demograpy at RSSS to which Im Ajunct, I speak as an Aboriginal person, conserned about the unseemly relations between Liberal-National coalition and Liberal-National Party in Cape York. Dr Gordon Briscoe, AO.