Image for Which way will the kingmakers swing?

Which way will the kingmakersswing?

Following Saturday’s tight voting result, Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott are scrambling to form a government and are both turning to a handful of nonaligned MPs for support.

Four Independent MPs with a spot of Green are deciding Australia’s future. Three of those independents are ex-Nationals. Some are bitter, twisted, entertaining and newsworthy – others aren’t. But who are they and what does their sudden responsibility mean for our LGBT community?

Melbourne Greens MP Adam Brandt has already voiced his support for returning the Gillard government – with an extra push for same-sex marriage – while Andrew Wilkie, a former Green who looks set to win the seat of Denison in Tasmania, is also a same-sex marriage advocate likely to back Labor.

Which leaves the ex-Nationals as unknown quantities. Bob Katter, Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor are all famously non-committal about LGBT rights. But their positions on other key issues may have strong effects on their votes, and their relationships with the LGBT community.

Bob Katter (pictured right, pointing) is the biggest challenge to both LGBT rights advocates and Labor’s re-election. He is on record as claiming there are ‘no gays’ within his electorate, and was a minister in the Bjeke-Petersen government. He’s also a climate change sceptic, which earns him no friends on the left.

But The Mad Katter may not come to Tony’s tea party either.

Since leaving the Nationals in 2001, Katter’s primary focus has been his own electorate, and the strengthening of rural Australian interests. The political gospel according to Katter blames the Howard government’s relentless privatisation for destroying rural infrastructure and undermining key services to the bush. Despite his views on climate change, Katter has also stated he will work with the Greens in the event of a hung parliament.

Whether Katter throws his vote behind the red queen remains to be seen.

Rob Oakeshott (pictured in blue shirt), on the other hand, split from the Nationals over his socially progressive views, and has been hovering with Labor and the Greens ever since. Oakeshott is currently a co-convenor of the Parliamentarians Amnesty International Group. The main concern with this man is the vagueness of his ‘socially progressive’ stance. Despite his human rights associations, Oakeshott has said nothing regarding equality for same-sex couples, or fair treatment of asylum seekers. Like Katter, his primary focus appears to be on matters of interest within his own electorate, though he claims climate change as ‘a top priority.’

Unlike Katter, he isn’t prone to exceptionally news/blog-worthy rants, so it may be possible he does have opinions on these issues, and he’s been largely ignored by the media – until now. But his socially progressive leanings are most easily seen in his campaigning for workers’ rights. That doesn’t bode well for the Coalition.

New England MP Tony Windsor (pictured in Parliament) isn’t tipping his hand, but he may be another surprise thorn in Tony Abbott’s side. Despite his National Party origins, Windsor has a history of splitting his votes between the Coalition and Labor – more frequently Labor. He supports Labor’s Broadband plan and the Greens’ national dental scheme. Still, Windsor has remained silent on LGBT equality and other human rights issues. It’s difficult to imagine such a heartland, rural MP coming to the party on same-sex marriage, but most anti-queer reps from conservative seats aren’t shy about their views on the subject, so Windsor’s silence might be a good sign, whichever way he swings.

Despite their differences however, the three MPs are famously unified by their condemnation of outspoken LGBT rights opponent Senator Barnaby Joyce.

If this week’s negotiations between the two main party leaders and the independent voices fail to produce a workable government, Australia’s citizens may be forced to go to the polls again.

Let us know your views on our newly-hung parliament below.

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TheOldie

TheOldie said on the 23rd Aug, 2010

Maybe I dont know enough about politics but this seems wrong to me that these guys can do that ?

blaah

blaah said on the 23rd Aug, 2010

Not sure where your writer got the idea that Rob Oakeshott "campagning for workers' rights. That's not his record at all. Indeed today's (23/8/2010) Financial Review reports that he "campaigned heavily against fair Work Australia's decision to introduce three hour minimum shift payments as well as saying that he believes that there has been a "mythology and scare campaign built up around Work Choices".
Sounds more like the true Tony Abbott to me.

ensign-charlie

ensign-charlie said on the 23rd Aug, 2010



He could be referring to the imbalance in power and representation. When minor parties/independents have control it basically means the only people truly represented are the people that voted for them - who are the minority (which is indicated by the fact that they are minor parties and independents eh), yet they are speaking for the majority. So it's not really democratic in that democracy is the will of the majority eh?

But if yah don't have minors and indeps in power yall just have one side running the show and doin' all kinds of crazy shit.

crazzymikey

crazzymikey said on the 23rd Aug, 2010

lets hope that in the re vote people will pick greens after seeing its possible for them to win seats.

TheOldie

TheOldie said on the 23rd Aug, 2010



as per Ensign-Charlie's reply.

Not saying its right or wrong.

But seem to remember some other independants caused grief at times and stopped policies being put through until they got what the wanted. If a Party gets the majority vote then they should be more or less be able to do what they want ( within reason of course ). Next election if they didnt get it right then they get voted out.

Just seems weird that major parties have to suck up to 3 people.

poolboy jackson

poolboy jackson said on the 23rd Aug, 2010

Faceless man who back-stabbed Rudd was a teenage Trotskyite. On ABC now.

ammonite

ammonite said on the 23rd Aug, 2010

you didn't do Bob Katter justice in this article. he is hilarious.

his LGBT stance alone...

when he was a minister in the qld government, he said that there 'were no homosexuals in his Charters Towers electorate. He promised to walk backwards from Burke if there were any.'
I wish I could find the exact quote somewhere...

When Brokeback Mountain came out he said that there were no gay cowboys.

[QUOTE=http://www.smh.com.au/news/film/no-brokeback-blackout/2006/01/13/1136956330948.html]"Maybe there are some (gay cowboys) out there but I've never heard of 'em," he said.

"I mean, it's not a profession that attracts those sort of people."

also wikipedia says he voted against the decriminalisation of homosexuality in Tasmania

TheOldie

TheOldie said on the 24th Aug, 2010

He looks like a real turd with a mean face whenever you see him.

I dont want trolls like him having any sway over a Govt.

jimjazz

jimjazz said on the 24th Aug, 2010

I have one degree of separation from Tony Windsor and can assure people he is supportive but then it wouldn't be a huge issue for the electiorate of New england.

Phazz

Phazz said on the 24th Aug, 2010

Well if the Labor party stopped bickering then maybe they might get the nod. Otherwise there may be no other choice.

ashtroboy

ashtroboy said on the 24th Aug, 2010

I know this is totally beside the point, but a friend of mine was neighbours with Rob Oakeshott, going on 5 years ago now in Port Macquarie, and my friend claims "he's hung like a donkey!" (I questioned the authenticity of his claims, which my friend responded with "He's right next door! And he swims in speedos!"

Ok, Comic Relief over, back to the nitty-gritty politics ^_^

Phazz

Phazz said on the 24th Aug, 2010

I know this is totally beside the point, but a friend of mine was neighbours with Rob Oakeshott, going on 5 years ago now in Port Macquarie, and my friend claims "he's hung like a donkey!" (I questioned the authenticity of his claims, which my friend responded with "He's right next door! And he swims in speedos!"

Ok, Comic Relief over, back to the nitty-gritty politics ^_^

Bless xx

Those politicians love their speedo's

christianbaines82

christianbaines82 said on the 24th Aug, 2010

Better Rob Oakeshott in speedo's than Abbott!

enriquito2005

enriquito2005 said on the 27th Aug, 2010

On a serious note I honestly think there should be a new election (that unfortunately is not going to happen). On a relax note I think Rob Oakeshott is gorgeous.

badamj2000

badamj2000 said on the 27th Aug, 2010

OMG Its just like the Tim Burtin 'Alice in Wonderland' Movie, but different. I do hope the nice ALP win as that Abbott creature is the anti-Christ, I tell you

rudeboy86

rudeboy86 said on the 28th Aug, 2010


Just seems weird that major parties have to suck up to 3 people.

I do think its kinda funny watching both major parties grovel to the independents.

It's sort of entertaining.

Besides, it serves both parties right for treating all of us like idiots (even if some of us are it doesn't excuse it) and serving us the same old bullshit.

I was sent a text to tune in to JOY cos they had the Victorian MP Bronwyn Pyke on to crap on about the election and all that bollocks and she was very damning of the Greens, which made me giggle because I am sure that the Victorian Labor Party are shitting themselves at the thought of losing 4 inner Melbourne seats to the Greens in the coming state election in November.

badamj2000

badamj2000 said on the 28th Aug, 2010

The world, is it going mad?!!!

rudeboy86

rudeboy86 said on the 28th Aug, 2010



It already is a mad world.

The only reason why people here have not bothered to get more involved in the way this country is run is because we are not in touch with the reality of our existence as citizens of this country. In Europe and Latin American and other parts of the world people are directly experiencing the effects of politics, rampant unchecked capitalism and their governments and they are aware.

Even the people in living in the Favela (slums/shanties) in Brazil and the other Barios (slums) of South America have a clear understanding of class consciousness and they were not given the privilege of a university education in which to gain such understanding, they grew up in it and experience it every day, it is right there in front of them.

If the blinkers were lifted off the people of this country there would be serious public outrage but in the meantime we try to insulate ourselves with endless TV, booze and other substances that only act as filters to the reality of the world around us. Another reason why I don't bother with popping pills, drinking or tobacco anymore.

poolboy jackson

poolboy jackson said on the 28th Aug, 2010

The power-holders keep about 30% of Australia pacified by giving them welfare payments. The 'Bread and Circuses' keep them from making trouble in the streets.

pioneer_to_the_falls

pioneer_to_the_falls said on the 28th Aug, 2010



Nothing wrong with escaping reality every now and then :)

badamj2000

badamj2000 said on the 28th Aug, 2010

Yes, Im planning the revolution from my Toorak bunker :)

badamj2000

badamj2000 said on the 28th Aug, 2010

The truth, they cant handle 'the truth'. Nothing is new in this regard. Peace and moderate affluence is priceless

rudeboy86

rudeboy86 said on the 29th Aug, 2010



No, I haven't touched alcohol for a while now and have no intention of doing so, I quit smoking over a year and a half ago and I don't bother with pot or pills. Been there done that, I think better without that shit in my system to be honest. But that's me and I don't go pushing it on others as if to say that they should do the same thing, that would be stupid. Although I do get a lot of questions as to why I am like this but I never hear people ask others why they drink/smoke/take pills/get stoned.



It is not welfare that pacifies people. Have you lived on welfare payments recently? Have you had to scrape every last cent to cover bills, rent and food then go for a day or so without something until the next meagre payment. I find it funny how people can then make comments like "well in Africa/India/Asia/South America they don't..." after I make comments about the pitfalls of the welfare system as if you can really compare Australia to the third world as far as social services and welfare goes. If you want an idea of what happens when people get fucked over by their governments in those countries? They mobilise and get into the streets very quickly, sometimes riots occur, movements are founded and in more drastic cases, coups happen....what happens here when we get fucked over by the state?
We tune in to watch Masterchef and pretend there is no problem because the person on ABC/Channel 9/Channel 7/Channel 10 told us and then we are reasurred of these lies by Fairfax, Murdoch and Packer.

Just because somebody may be on welfare payments, doesn't mean they are not capable of being active or having a voice. I think people paint those on welfare with the same brush as those who cheat the system. A Current Affair and Today Tonight love doing that because it turns people against eachother because we all need somebody to pick on when we fuck up ourselves so we can all go, "well at least I'm not like..." instead of thinking about the real picture.

It's almost as if it is a case of "pay no attention to the man behind the curtain..." fuck that. Pull the curtain down and kill the bastard behind it.

rudeboy86

rudeboy86 said on the 29th Aug, 2010



When people do it constantly with TV and substances then it becomes an issue.

It is not hard to escape reality without introducing substances into the body.

wysiwyg_syd

wysiwyg_syd said on the 29th Aug, 2010

a quick wank would usually do it.

shazzboy

shazzboy said on the 30th Aug, 2010

According to the AEC tally results the Coalition is now ahead in the 2 party preferred category. This destroys Julia Gillard's earlier claim that since Labor was ahead(very slightly) that gave them more legitimacy to form Government.

Well that has come back to bite her on the bum!

poolboy jackson

poolboy jackson said on the 30th Aug, 2010


Bravo on your decision


I feel this paragraph says what I'm saying; Aussies don't mobilise and get into the streets because the welfare payment takes away their anger.

rudeboy86

rudeboy86 said on the 30th Aug, 2010


I feel this paragraph says what I'm saying; Aussies don't mobilise and get into the streets because the welfare payment takes away their anger.

Welfare does not pacify people. If you have lived off the meagre payments of the dole you would understand this better.

What pacifies people are other morons telling people that it is all too hard to make any changes and protest and that they should instead just keep consuming to help the economy and watch (insert reality TV show name here) and read more and more sensationalist/escapist bullshit that passes for news media.

We are then pushed into mass consumption of grog to get away from it all (but to do it responsibly written in fine print) and being told to be scared of a wide range of things that are allegedly beyond our control...efforts to make changes are only futile because the media and the establishment tell us that this is the case when it really is not.

Wage slavery and welfare slavery are really not to different from each other especially when we are talking about minimum wage jobs. You still gotta jump through hoops and deal with red tape and you can lose a wage (get sacked) as easily as you can lose a welfare payment or have it suspended and be put into a debt repayment situation.

The welfare system here DOES NOT and NEVER will be the main reason of a passive population...and even if it was, doesn't that only apply to the alleged 30% that you mentioned? If 30% of Australians protested nobody who give a fuck because it is only 30%. How many people are there in the LGBTI community in proportion to the broader community here? Less than 30% and nobody fucking listens when we march. What about the mass protest against the last two wars that we went into...we had the biggest anti-war demo in Melbourne that rivalled and beat the numbers capacity of the Vietnam Moratorium demos and THE GOVERNMENT STILL WENT TO WAR.

Your claims on welfare recipients is nothing short of attacking those in society who need the assistance. The problem with the welfare system here is not its existence, its the fact that there is fuck all assistance given to actually get people into jobs. The government seems to think that throwing money at people helps instead of establishing programs and policies that allow people to join the workforce in a better way than being forced into a job that they will hate and will feel worse off in. We are supposed to have choice here for fuck's sake, that is what separates us from the third world, people shouldn't have to go into a job that they are suggested to do just because it means that they will be working, you may as well bring back fucking slavery.

rudeboy86

rudeboy86 said on the 30th Aug, 2010



30% where the fuck did you pull that from?


Australian Bureau of Statistics : http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/mf/6202.0


5.2% Unemployment (including the high youth unemployment)
65.3% participation rate

Welfare is not just Youth Allowance and Newstart...

There is DSP (disability pension), FTB (family tax benefit), Old Age Pension...etc

And this doesn't account for self funded retirees.

poolboy jackson

poolboy jackson said on the 30th Aug, 2010

Ross Gittins, economics journalist for the Fairfax newspapers.

datkindagal

datkindagal said on the 30th Aug, 2010

bum biting hasn't finished yet.

According to the AEC tally results the Coalition is now ahead in the 2 party preferred category. This destroys Julia Gillard's earlier claim that since Labor was ahead(very slightly) that gave them more legitimacy to form Government.

Well that has come back to bite her on the bum!

badamj2000

badamj2000 said on the 30th Aug, 2010

I think PBJ is referring to the fact that some 25% ( or is it way more?) of our national GDP is dedicated to Welfare ( health, education, pensions) and some 30% of the population receive some form of financial assistance from the government. I thinks its great, its socialist and civilised. Gosh, in some countries you starve.

Critics point to abuses of the system and that it wasteful and promotes bludging. Scare monger talk about an aging population.

What about 'middle class welfare? What about all the perks and privileges that the haves have? Look at wealth distribution, the bottom 50% of OZ population subsist only some 25% of the national wealth. Logic would suggest that if national belt-tightening is required, then the upper classes in OZ should be highlighted, not the battlers? Welfare is HOW wealth gets redistributed.

EG, if someone owns a house worth say half a million, should they get any government assistance if s/he were to experience an extended period of unemployment? Shouldn't they just take-in boarders or sell their house to cover their living costs? Many professionals enjoy low or no-interest loans from their employers. What about all the 'tax incentives' and 'tax write-offs' floating around?

Yes, but initiative and hard work and smarts should be rewarded.
Should Poverty be punished?

badamj2000

badamj2000 said on the 30th Aug, 2010

OMG, the Coalition of Anti-Christs are/is in the lead!!!!
Not happy. Not happy for 5 years.

rudeboy86

rudeboy86 said on the 31st Aug, 2010



He would have been talking about a 30% figure in relation to...what badamj has just said.





I think the Australian Bureau of Statistics is a little more up do date with the numbers than Ross Gittins.

Welfare in this case goes towards the following forms of payments and pensions.

ABSTUDY
Age Pension
Assistance for Isolated Children
Austudy Payment
Carer Allowance
Carer Allowance (Child)
Carer Payment
Disability Support Pension
Double Orphan Pension
Newstart Allowance
Maternity Payment
Parenting Payment
Pensioner Education Supplement
Special Benefit
Youth Allowance

Welfare also goes towards the DHS/DOCS and their services that are there to provide some form of support to those who need it including Child Protection and then there are the services provided to those with substance abuse issues...etc

Then of course there is the assistance to the public sector institutions like hospitals, schools and childcare but of course all of those payments are just wasteful aren't they Poolboy?

30% of Australians are more like to be getting assistance on those other levels from the state as opposed to drawing the dole every fortnight.

Again I suggest you go look at the link I provided before to the Australian Bureau of Statistics showing the unemployment rate to be at 5.2% funnily enough it is not 30% of the country. I may not be a maths wiz but I can work that out in my sleep.

As for Ross Gittins or any other journalist, it is easy to fuck about with semantics in this case. He probably didn't bother to mention how broad the welfare and care system is. He probably didn't mention that it wasn't all just dole payments but it just looks better to readers if it is because it is piss easy to digest and it further contributes to moronic and unfounded statements like "30% of the country are on welfare handouts". Not only is that wrong but it sounds like something A Current Affair and Today Tonight would be crapping on about and we know all about THEIR journalistic integrity don't we? Pffft.

I would have thought you were beyond that level of stupidity Poolboy.

poolboy jackson

poolboy jackson said on the 31st Aug, 2010



Haven't you heard? CrazzyMikey says I'm an absolute moron.:rolleyes:


Later on I'll dig out the Gittins quote which is more detailed than my (probably-faulty) precis.

badamj2000

badamj2000 said on the 31st Aug, 2010

CM was very dark with me too, and rather short.