The Advance Of Jacqui Lambie: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

THE PROSPECT of idiot Senator Jacqui Lambie’s party winning up to seven Senate seats at a double dissolution — almost certainly more than the National Party, and possibly gaining the balance of power — is a horrendous prospect that would cause untold damage to Australia; with Lambie’s ignorant, childish politics based on little more than settling imaginary scores, government would grind to a halt. Undoing her impact would take years.

In the small hours of Monday morning and still with things to do in advance of the week ahead there are better things I can think of to discuss, but anything to do with Jacqui Lambie — especially when it concerns the prospect of her spreading her influence — warrants attention.

I’ve seen an article from the regional Tasmanian newspaper The Advocate today, which cites Liberal Party polling quoted from Victorian Liberal state president Michael Kroger, suggesting that Tasmanian Palmer Senator-cum-Independent Jacqui Lambie currently commands 22-24% of the vote on the Apple Isle, and is said to be polling strongly in Queensland, Western Australia, and perhaps even in Victoria and New South Wales.

Whilst no tabulation of the numbers was presented (and remembering, of course, that three parts of evidence is often accompanied by three parts of gamesmanship where internal political polling is concerned), the looming spectre of a double dissolution election more or less doubles the ability of small parties to win Senate seats on account of the much lower electoral quotas required.

And whilst the findings Kroger was quoted discussing are unknown, the notion of Jacqui Lambie with two or three seats in Tasmania and up to one more in each of four of the five mainland states — possibly as many as seven in total — is, frankly, bloody terrifying.

I’ve been accused (usually by Coalition turncoats and ALP types who just want to stoke the fire when it comes to breakaway right wing outfits) of being everything from a sexist and misogynistic pig to an elitist and patrician snob (Moi? seriously?) for my determination to do anything I can to build public sentiment against Jacqui Lambie and help obliterate her political prospects.

But in declaring as regularly as she is discussed in this column that I believe her to be the stupidest individual ever elected to an Australian House of Parliament, I don’t do so lightly: and I don’t do so without a passing nod to the pantheon of no-hopers who, in some cases frantically, burst forth from the musty arras of history with comprehensive claims on the dubious status I accord to Lambie.

It’s not because she is so challenged as a communicator as to be virtually incoherent: everyone has something worthwhile to say, or at least that’s the theory, even if Lambie is incapable of conveying meaning in any other sense but the banal, or the xenophobic, or with the vitriol that invariably accompanies a complete victim mentality.

And it’s not because there is no evidence that anything about Lambie is in any way couth, civilised, or that she comprehends what her current role as a Senator demands of her: there are plenty of bogans around, after all, and almost all of them are great people.

Rather, it traces to eccentricities — to be generous — such as a former army truck driver and military policewoman purporting to be an expert on high matters of defence policy, when ample evidence exists that most service personnel find her cringeworthy at best and, in short, a joke.

It traces to peculiarities such as the barely articulate distinction she attempted to draw between “Chinese” and “Communist Chinese” and the suggestion that somehow the first group of people were just great in her eyes, whilst the other necessitated Australia taking up nuclear arms and blasting the dreaded Yellow Peril off the face of the planet.

It traces to the fact — conceded in her own words — that she hung around both the Liberal and Labor parties to play them off against each other to see what she could get; since those dizzying glory days she has been in and out of the Palmer United Party (and say what you will about Clive Palmer, but it’s a reflection on Lambie that she professes to be perturbed that following instructions might have been a requirement after she was elected on the back of a truckload of the mining baron’s money) and is now onto at least her fourth political party in fairly rapid succession: this time, her own.

For someone who professes expertise in military strategy — where mates have each other’s back, and nobody runs out and hides when the company is under attack — Lambie does not appear to be the kind of soldier you’d want to follow into battle, and this is a salient point for those flirting with voting for her to consider.

For the benefit of readers who missed it, I republish here the article I posted in March, when Lambie announced she would do what most disgruntled basket cases seem to do these days, having been elected on someone else’s coat tails and subsequently deciding their excrement doesn’t stink, and start a party named after themselves: and that article also contains links to several previous pieces that have formed discussion of Senator Lambie whenever her unfortunate ideas and objectives have come to public notice.

Aside from disability funding (a cause she came to champion after she got pissed and walked in front of a car) and defence force remuneration (because she’s such an expert on the military) the only thing Jacqui Lambie really stands for — as far as can be reasonably distilled from her idiotic utterances — is herself.

And just about the only thing that apparently drives her is revenge: revenge against the Liberal Party and Tony Abbott, for reasons unknown. Revenge against Clive Palmer, for reasons that speak to her own decisions and her inability to judge Palmer and his likely demands on her if she was elected on his ticket. Revenge against anything, or anyone, who dares to campaign for a position on something that isn’t explicitly what Lambie herself deems desirable.

Then — when you add in the racist, xenophobic diatribes, the fact she is supremely and naively out of her depth, and the fact she regularly threatens to bring Parliament grinding to a halt unless she gets what she wants, and to hell with anyone else (and God forbid, the national interest) — it really does become clear that not only is Lambie a simpleton masquerading as the big kid in the sandpit, but that the last thing she should ever be entrusted with is the balance of power in the Australian Senate.

It’s not hard to see how this could happen; after 20 years in which the ALP has seen its left flank slowly eroded and annexed by first the Australian Democrats and now the Communist Party Greens, a similar phenomenon seems to have commenced on the political Right, with Clive Palmer and Bob Katter (and earlier, Pauline Hanson) all hiving off large chunks of Coalition support.

Since we are talking about Kroger, one of the meetings I’ve been to this year where he was speaking saw him talking about what the Liberals need to do to retrieve their standing in Victoria — which, as he put it, was to once again advocate policies (and when elected, to govern) that reflect the values we as Liberals say we believe in.

It isn’t rocket science, but Kroger is absolutely right.

I have been critical of the Abbott government at various times; one of the key criticisms readers will have heard from me many times is that there is nothing conservative about it: there isn’t anything liberal, in the classic sense, about it either.

There are issues with the Senate and the way it is elected (and especially since the ALP fiddled it in 1984) that have lately been gamed and strategised to elect people with virtually no popular support, and whilst it’s something I believe needs to be fixed, and urgently, I don’t propose to divert down that particular tangent now.

But given it’s the Right — the Liberal Party especially — that stands to lose the most from any populist onslaught by Lambie, I obviously have a vested interest in trying to see that something is done to counter it.

People vote for fringe entities like the Palmer United Party, or for fruit cakes like Jacqui Lambie, because they are disillusioned with politics and feel government simply doesn’t do anything to make their lot in life better; in the absence of anything meaningful, they connect instead with “rough diamonds,” or people they think are “authentic,” or bullies who might “keep the bastards honest,” or some other permutation of the fact they feel established political parties deliver only for the people who run them and work in them.

If the Liberal Party, for example, developed policies that truly reflected its small government, pro-family, pro-business, strong national defence ideals that emphasised the virtues of opportunity for all, personal freedom and personal responsibility — and actually sold these properly in a way that voters could reconcile the intended outcomes with their own individual circumstances — then I believe the last thing it would need to worry about is losing a swag of Senators to someone like Jacqui Lambie at a double dissolution election.

Delusional stories of Lambie’s desire to bed rich men with huge dicks might be most amusing, but they aren’t a reason to vote for her.

The threat can be circumvented by the advocacy of policies that embody traditional liberal and conservative values: after all, it’s reasonable to assert those are what people thought they would get when they elected the Abbott government in a landslide but, to date, they haven’t got them at all.

We already know about Lambie’s mad, bad agenda. We already know she’s quite open about threats to strangle the process of government until or unless she gets what she wants.

Were she to ever control the balance of power in the Senate and thus the capacity to make good on those threats, God knows what she might be capable of. The damage — and the potential carnage — she could inflict on this country, its governance and its economic welfare, is incalculable. It is a horrific thought to contemplate.

If Kroger’s numbers are right, the only way to stop her is to ensure the next election reaps her no increase in her parliamentary numbers: and to achieve that, it’s obviously high time that the strategists and tacticians in the Coalition bunker set to work on cutting the niche constituency of disgruntled conservative voters out from beneath her feet.

 

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9 thoughts on “The Advance Of Jacqui Lambie: Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

  1. It’s the sort of article that makes me laugh. You read this in”the Advocate”? That is seldom as accurate as “the Exaggerator”. (That’s what we call the Launceston Fauxfacts rag “the Examiner”).
    Then since it is not polling for which the Advocate itself is responsible, but possibly that of a political party, it’s the sort of article that makes you cry.
    I don’t know of anyone in Tassie that accords Lambie with anything but disgust, but then I don’t think I can be considered a lightning rod. I didn’t think the PUP would get even a smell at the last election.
    In circumspect, one thing Joe Hockey got right was the observation that this has become the “age of entitlement”. That is particularly true on the island whose economy was destroyed by the idiotic disciples of Bob Brown. And then fertilised with plenty of bovine excrement from the ample tush of Lara Giddings and her gormless tribe.
    When you stop to consider that recent events have taken the wraps from the stench that is the ALP, and the frustration that no progress appears to be underway in Canberra, it is not difficult to imagine the appeal that mutton dressed up as lamb might have. The current State administration under the leadership of Will Hodgman seems to be more popular than it was before elected. However few Taswegians think of State politics as being associated with Commonwealth politics.
    I laughed because I thought your idea was preposterous. On second thought, it is plausible. It’s enough to jar your mother’s pickles.

    • You hit the nail on the head, karabar: this should be the sort of notion that has ’em rolling on the floor in the aisles at some comedy festival.

      The fact it’s no joke in the orthodox sense is appalling. And whilst Lambie is hardly a suitable candidate for ANYTHING, the blame for her “appeal” lies elsewhere, methinks…

  2. I suppose you have to acknowledge some ability and drive to Lambie. She’s managed to get elected to the Senate even though she can’t speak English.

  3. Another thought: Tasmanian MP’s and senators.
    By and large the Coalition MP’s seem to be very visible in the community.
    None moreso than the Member for Bass. Only a ex-Brigadeer could have that much energy. The guy is like Superman. He’s everywhere. Everywhere you go, his vehicle with a big NIKOLIC is on the road. He’s in pictures, on TV, in the paper, at every community function one can imagine. Usually praising some sort of activity for which he found some Commonwealth sponsorship. Brett Whitely and Eric Hutchinson are nearly as visible.
    However, when it comes to Senators, they seem to emerge from under rocks only a few weeks before an election. The venerable Eric Abetz is somewhat of an exception, but Bushby, Colbeck, and Parry must be incarcerated somewhere. Maybe they float around like cloaked Borg spacecraft on Star Trek. Perhaps I don’t get out enough, but I can’t remember the last time these guys were uncloaked.
    Could this possibly be associated with the supposed popularity of the bogan ewe?

  4. As it is in business, politics and life generally a wise man once said
    “If you don’t address the concerns of a large group, someone else will, and it won’t be someone you choose.”
    BTW, Kroger talks a good story but the headwinds against reform are strong.

  5. You know Yale, I can’t reconcile your understanding of the effect of electing all the senate rather than half, and the effect that has on the quota required. I understand it well enough, but the evidence cannot be ignored that this has little to do with getting elected when the dregs are being drained and a number get up with only their families casting first prefs for them!
    I too am curious as to why the dregs are also high on the skanky scale.

    • Rasputin, the formula is simple enough: 100% of the vote divided by the number of vacancies plus one equals a quota: 100/7 at a half Senate election = 14.28%; 100/13 at a double dissolution election = 7.69%. A party ticket with 14.28% at a half Senate election would likely get a single Senator elected. At a double dissolution, it would be unlucky indeed to miss out on two.

      As I said, there are problems with the Senate and how it is elected, and these flaws have in recent years been “gamed” and strategised to achieve the election of people with next to no support. I support splitting each state into upper house provinces that return two Senators per district (one every half-Senate election and two at a DD) or, failing that, putting a 5% primary vote threshold on eligibility for election to stop the “dregs” as you put it ever being elected.

      Such considerations become redundant, though, if Lambie has assembled over 20% of the Senate vote as the Kroger report suggests: this would be enough to make the election in Tasmania of three Lambie Senators at a double dissolution all but certain, and even in a division of the state into provinces, the areas around Burnie and Devonport would almost certainly elect her people if the Coalition offering featured sub-standard personnel and/or policies.

  6. Surely there’s only so many idiots in the country and the vast majority of them have already put in other idiots like Ricky Muir, the Greens and the PUPs. Like when the Democrats lost their righteous margin to the Greens, a similar portion will just pass their voice from one obstructive bloc to another. In fact, if Dimwit Lambie takes away a slice of the Greens support it’s unlikely the moron can retain control of the fellow flakes who follow her. Her party won’t have any consistent vision or resolve to destroy, like the Greens. They’ll be more like an implosive PUP group, but more volatile and easier to divide and conquer. The prospect, frightful as it looks, may be a blessing in disguise that brings about the collapse of the Greens.

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