Hi (low) farce in Parliament
It will be interesting to see what the next Neilsen, Newspol and Essential Opinion Polls make of the events in Parliament last week. There are so many crazy allusions from both sides of Parliament that it makes me feel jealous of comedy writers and performers such as Shaun Micallef who must be wilting under the weight of material available to him.
Watching Craig Thomson take his place on the Opposition benches to support their vote against the Government gag motion reminded me of the old fireworks instruction "Light taper and retire ten paces". Sure enough once they heard the fizz of the lighted taper off they went - not ten paces but hammering on the door to be let out!!
To the observer it looked like a new game of "Follow the Leader" - to the tune of Run Abbott run.
If all that's needed to disrupt the Coalition's vote is for Craig Thomson to side with them - then this throws yet another variable into the HoR numbers game.
It did cross my mind that in bolting from the Chamber, the voters of Sturt and Warringah were denied their rightful representation and vote in the chamber - not a good precedent.
But wait - there's more...
|Pyne's Hissy Fit|
Perhaps there has been some rub-off from the hairy chested "State of Origin" season we are enduring.
Voice of concern and reason
Associate Professor Peter Christoff (UMelb) writing in The Age on 31 May "Circus in the Chamber is a bloody game" suggests that there are indications that it might be half time at the Coliseum - whilst the slaves remove the blood and guts from the ground. He calls it the slide from the Forum to the Coliseum.
He examines the three cases of illegitimacy claimed by the Opposition:
- First, the government is illegitimate because it never really won power in its own right. Instead, the PM cobbled together a bare majority from scrap votes on the floor of the lower house;
- Second, it is illegitimate because it won by deception; and
- Third, the government is illegitimate because it now relies on Thomson's tainted vote.
After addressing these three claims he concludes by proposing the following remedies:
"Parliamentary immunity should be limited. If comments in Parliament are subject to the usual legal penalties and remedies for slander and libel, the likelihood of Parliament being misused as a forum for politically opportunistic character assassination would be greatly reduced.
And cases of possible serious impropriety by parliamentarians must trigger powerful legal investigations that are expedited so that we don't have the spectacle of lingering uncertainty over the validity of a member's presence in Parliament.
These measures might also limit the unedifying spectacle of the media focusing their energies on an orgy of toxic political theatre, rather than on the policies, performance and capacities of government and opposition alike."
Trouble is we all only read those things with which we agree - so he may be preaching to the converted.
Another good article on the issue of moral authority has been penned by Jonathan Green in The ABC's The Drum on 24 May - "Moral authority in our parliament? Not seeing it."
Yes I know - some will say another biased trendy lefty - unfortunately most of us seem to have a one-eyed view of bias.
I am going to try each Issue to feature some management tools which can change your perspective eon complex issues and can provide insights beyond the normal ways we tend to tackle problems.
In today's Issue I look at how visualising a problem can cut through and highlight the real issues of concern. These are visualisation diagrams I have developed. In future issues I will return to an earlier theme of mine - Systems thinking as well as Root Cause Analysis.
I hope you find this section useful. If you would like me to run a course on creative thinking for your staff please contact me.