DOGGED BY DUAL CIT­I­ZENS

COULD THE VOT­ERS IN JOYCE’S ELEC­TORATE RE­ALLY CHOOSE A PI­RATE PARTY CAN­DI­DATE?

Life & Style Weekend - - TREND - POL­LIE TICK­LED WORDS: MICHAEL BURLACE What do you think? Leave your com­ments on­line at the opin­ion sec­tion of our web­site.

It’s a by-elec­tion, but not as we know it. Fresh from his dis­missal by the High Court, Barn­aby Joyce did what he does well – lashed out at the sit­u­a­tion. In words straight from a rodeo or a box­ing ring, he threat­ened to dam­age La­bor’s chances in the Queens­land elec­tion by let­ting vot­ers know that the ALP was on about mak­ing “poor peo­ple poorer”. And he pep­pered it with mul­ti­ple ref­er­ences to “fella” – so many I thought he might be of­fer­ing to go a few phys­i­cal rounds with Bill Shorten. Given that Joyce has his own elec­tion bat­tle com­ing up, it might pay to tone it down, but we are talk­ing a bull in the prover­bial china shop. Not to be out­done by Joyce, Won­der Woman Pauline Han­son even man­aged to make the Queens­land elec­tion date about her­self. She ac­cused An­nasta­cia Palaszczuk of wait­ing un­til Han­son left the coun­try be­fore cut­ting short her visit to her granny so she could get the Gov­er­nor to is­sue writs for the elec­tion. Next Joyce of­fered a ref­er­en­dum to ad­dress var­i­ous short­com­ings in the Con­sti­tu­tion, that fuddy-duddy old doc­u­ment that has pro­tected us from all sorts of dis­as­ters. Those dis­as­ters in­cluded him and sev­eral col­leagues who couldn’t read nei­ther it nor their cit­i­zen­ship sta­tus with­out the aid of a High Court guide and mil­lions of our dol­lars. But their ig­no­rance of its mean­ing had them mak­ing de­ci­sions that may now cost us all more mil­lions of dol­lars. Ig­no­rance or ig­nor­ing its mean­ing? I have to won­der. If only Turn­bull would gov­ern in­stead of out­sourc­ing his de­ci­sion-mak­ing to the High Court and a plebiscite, we might have a gov­ern­ment in­stead of a mish­mash. But sure, Joyce, give us another ref­er­en­dum. You know how much Aus­tralians love a ref­er­en­dum. They rank just be­hind blowfly swatting in the in­dex of pop­u­lar Aussie ac­tiv­i­ties. But any ref­er­en­dum is a chance to give politi­cians the fin­ger and as a re­sult few get passed. He’s even of­fered to be bi­par­ti­san, let Shorten put in a ques­tion on the repub­lic. But that was only to get Bill to back Barn­aby’s plan be­cause all ref­er­en­dums need both sides plus the third po­lit­i­cal force – the Catholic church – to have any chance. He’ll need lots of help there, but a repub­lic ref­er­en­dum will give Tony Ab­bott wings. Just when those wings are about to fold af­ter the same-sex mar­riage postal plebiscite (sorry, $122 mil­lion mean­ing­less, un­bind­ing fi­asco to tell the gov­ern­ment what the av­er­age wom­bat could have told them), Ab­bott will be able to call back the favours the Catholic hi­er­ar­chy owe him for the same-sex mar­riage op­po­si­tion he pro­vided. And Joyce may re­gret forc­ing all those staff at the APVMA com­pul­so­rily to the New Eng­land elec­torate. Given it was move or lose their jobs in the pub­lic ser­vice, they might sud­denly move there just to vote against Joyce. Such a move would be valid, af­ter all. And paid for by the tax­payer. But I’m hop­ing some­one has had the fore­sight to change their name to Johnny Depp to stand against Joyce in New Eng­land. I think the Pi­rate Party would back them. I’m sure the lo­cal pound can sup­ply some suit­able lap­dogs. Pis­tol and Boo, your coun­try needs you, you can be the world’s first dual cit­i­zen dogs.

AUS­TRALIANS LOVE A REF­ER­EN­DUM. THEY RANK JUST BE­HIND BLOWFLY SWATTING IN THE IN­DEX OF POP­U­LAR AUSSIE AC­TIV­I­TIES.

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