Republican Campaign Bulletin #44 of February, 2014
At the time of writing, an unsteady state of fluidity exists in the Australian body politic. This is primarily because, for ALL intents, the 7 September 2013 Federal Election is still not decided. Sure, the polls for the House of Representatives and
The Senate have been declared – and the official writs are returned – but in the case of Western Australia (WA), the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) petitioned the High Court of Australia (HCA) for a ruling that there should be a
half-Senate re-election in that State [WA]. Over the two days – Wednesday 29th and Thursday 30th January the HCA – sitting as The Court of Disputed Returns (CDR) – addressed the AEC petition and the submissions of a number of interested concerns and has reserved its decision for the time being. The Court would need to make its decision by April 2014 to ensure that ANY re-election could take place in time, this half-year, for there to be a uniform sitting of the entire Senate in this 44th Parliamentary term.
As indicated, the AEC is NOT the ONLY complainant. The Labor Party, which gained ONLY one place (of six) in the 2013 WA half-Senate election, is a second complainant. The Palmer United Party (PUP) is a third complainant. A re-run in WA will almost certainly change the result, as declared, for a number of reasons…one being that there are now 3 more registered political parties than there were at the time of the 2013 election making a new total of 57…another is that the new party with most to gain (PUP) will go ALL out and ‘invest’ as much money as it takes for PUP’s leader, Clive Palmer, to improve his ‘bargaining power’ in the scheme of things, having as he sees it, been disenfranchised in one of the three re-counts.
A not unreasonable estimate would be that the Liberals might lose one of their 3 elected Senators and that the Laborites might gain one for a total of 2. As would be expected, the Liberal Party made a serious submission to the CDR and, from ALL accounts, weighed in with a heavyweight team of lawyers.
Normally – and notwithstanding the quite legal ‘Independent Liaison’ preference manipulating of one Glenn Druery and the so-called Micro-Parties Alliance – one could plausibly believe that the cause of multi-party democracy was being engendered, even furthered. However, nothing could be further from the truth. Multi-Party Democracy is in great danger – both conceptually and actually.
Democracy of whatever variety is a delicate flower. It is subject eternally to corrupting forces. Undoubtedly, corrupting forces are AT WORK. Without compunction, the writer points the necessary finger in the matter. Indisputably, Democracy Menace #1 and Political Public Enemy #1 is Clive Palmer – a Piece of Work, if ever there was one.
Undoubtedly, there have been before – and will be again – other easily identifiable Pieces of Work. However, Clive Palmer is an especially despicable example of the modern-day electoral corruptor and he must not be allowed to ‘run amok’ lest Australian Multi-Party Democracy be rent asunder. For keeps.
Clive Palmer, having ‘fallen out’ irrevocably with his erstwhile Liberal National Party (LNP) colleagues, formed his own political party (PUP, ultimately) in 2013 with typical aggravation. Then, with Labor Party second preferences, he won the Sunshine Coast conservative House of Representatives Seat of FAIRFAX. In the Upper House, his party won 2 Senate places with politically naive candidates and, as indicated above, Palmer is hell-bent on making it 3. From his Coolum hub of operations he has gained a foothold in terms of his ability to ‘buy influence’ for his business interests and political ends.
I am exercising my right to free speech. Nevertheless, the man I am identifying as an ‘electoral corruptor’ is notorious for subjecting his perceived enemies to vexatious law suits as a willing and ready litigant for damages with silencing intentions. I will save my personal observations of Clive Palmer until the end-section of this bulletin and meanwhile use the words of others OR, as the case may be, Palmer’s own words – to mount a case against him. Fortunately, Brisbane-based freelance journalist, Sean Parnell, has written a biography on Clive Palmer and, as a 2013 publication, it is both a contemporary and convenient reference source. Most readers of this run-down will NOT avail themselves of the time to read this unflattering 313 page book and I see it as my duty to be illustrative albeit selective of the man in question. I may be sued for my efforts but, so be it! Palmer, in his Who’s Who listing describes his hobby as ‘litigation’, after ALL . This hobby of his has morphed into a professional pursuit, writ large. Sean Parnell, himself, opines that Palmer has a litigious nature.
Of the former Clive Palmer: is a buffoon (Andrew Bolt); has a history of making announcements and then letting people down (Michael Duffy); has a chaotic management style – is prone to lashing out with his short temper (Geoff Smith);
is a blackmailer (both Bob Carr and Jeff Seeney); is an environmental vandal (Michael McKenna); is the re-incarnation of
Les Patterson (Barry Humphries); is a totalitarian (Quentin Dempster); has a clown-like approach to politics (Wyatt Roy);
is a muddier of the waters (Jacqueline Maley); is a fantasist who would be prime minister (Mungo MacCallum).
Of the latter Clive Palmer has admitted on the public record the following: “I am driven by insanity”; “I am an insensitive sort of brute”; “I had to fake it to make it”; “god will forgive my mistakes and terrible stuff-ups…I’m very grateful to god”; “I openly question why I shouldn’t expect to have some influence on an LNP government”.
General reportage Clive Palmer has been: prosecuted by the ANZ Banking Group for breaches of his fiduciary duties which verged on straight-out fraud; exposed by dogged reporter Amanda Paterson on the 9 Network’s ‘A CURRENT AFFAIR’ program as a person of bad character, engaged in criminal or unlawful behaviour, who conducts his business in an unethical manner and who lacks commercial probity; expelled from the Young Liberals following an investigation into his alleged electoral irregularities and then, eventually, expelled from the LNP for bringing that party into disrepute; fairly accused of plagiarising the entire LNP policy platform; a menace on Queensland roads chalking up an abominable driving record – a loss of 108 demerit points and fined $5600 for various traffic offences between 1988 and 2013; fairly singled-out as the destroyer of the Gold Coast United soccer club (GCU) – being solely responsible for that club’s axing from the ‘A’ League whilst, allegedly (a) interfering, perpetually, in coaching and team selections in his time as Chairman there and
(b) leaving several GCU players unpaid in the upshot.
My Summation: Sooner or later, Clive Palmer will be found in contempt of Federal Parliament – he has already ONCE misled the House of Representatives in an application for ‘compassionate leave’; (furthermore) just how is he going to make a full declaration to Federal Parliament of ALL his vested interests with something like 74 private companies – a veritable minefield of potential conflicts?; his health is apparently diminishing rapidly – his obesity is becoming a chronic problem and his asthma has forced him to go to sleep each night with the hooking up of a breathing machine! Palmer’s taking of steps to protect his ‘reputation’ is palpably becoming an ongoing challenge for him. Elsewise, Palmer has already had to manage a first grassroots revolt of PUP. One envisages, with his aggro style and standover tactics, that there will be more dissension in the PUP ranks. And, as for Palmer’s slapdash team-up deal with Ricky Muir of the Victorian-based Motoring Enthusiasts’ Party, well…enough said.
The Question: Does Australia need this anti-democratic; conspiracy theorist; god-botherer; turncoat; loose cannon; blowhard; law-unto-himself; hypocrite; modern-day dinosaur; wrecker; bullshit artist; impostor; special treatment-seeker; muck-raker; cronyist; unhinged boaster and self-booster who has such blatant attention-deficit disorder in Federal Parliament? The Unequivocal Answer is NO! Clive Palmer must be stopped in his tracks – starting in WA this half-year!!
*Full responsibility for the content compiled in this Campaign Bulletin and the concomitant, candid commentary is taken by the Sole Writer, PETER CONSANDINE, Managing Editor.