The rabid right tries to wag the dog

‘Do Turnbull a favour’: Tony Windsor urges Cory Bernardi to defect

In an article in the Brisbane Times Tony Windsor dared the conservative Cory Bernardi to do Malcolm Turnbull a favour and quit the Liberal party while urging the Prime Minister to “piss” and kick the outspoken Senator out of the party or “get off the potty.”

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One MP close to the conservative Senator said they believed the South Australian had already made up his mind and would split from the Liberal party.

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Fairfax Media understands George Christensen is another Coalition MP considering his future over the weekend.

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Once selected, people like Bernardi and Christensen begin to suffer from delusions of grandeur and delusions of popularity. What they don’t realise is that they are elected because they run under the banner of their party, not as individuals. But once in parliament, they begin to think that the electorate loves them. It doesn’t.

Cory Bernardi is smart enough to realise that he wouldn’t have a snowball’s show in hell of being elected as an independent senator. That is why, for all his bluster and bravado, he won’t leave the Liberal party.

Christiansen is a different case, he is probably not as smart as Bernardi and thinks that if he sits on the cross-bench government and the government loses its slender majority, it will come courting him and he will have great influence.

He won’t.

He will have considerable but equal influence along with the other independent members of the lower house: Cathy McGowan, Andrew Wilkie, and the Nick Xenophon Team’s Rebekha Sharkie, Greens Adam Bandt and Bob Katter.

Christensen’s defection to cross bench would greatly increase the power and influence of whoever is prepared to step up and support government legislation. My bet would be it would be Bob Katter.

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The government will only need one of this group of cross-benchers to get its legislation through the lower house and if it is halfway smart it will negotiate with everybody else before it negotiates with George.

There will be advantages in negotiating with either Sharkie or Bandt, particularly if they can bring valuable Senate support with them.

I blame Donald PG Trump.

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His election has emboldened all the crazy people on the extreme right of the political spectrum who now think that his election is an indication that people are going to vote for their particular brand of craziness.

Josh Gordon and Richard Willingham write in The Age: Libs panic at Hanson rise – Push on to drag party to the hard right, and rally supporters to ‘‘reignite the fire’’ to promote a socially conservative agenda and halt a push towards same-sex marriage and euthanasia.

The battle to drag the Victorian Liberal Party to the hard right has escalated amid rising panic that One Nation are “in for a serious shot at a few upper house seats” at the 2018 state election

It’s a real threat – Last week Fairfax published details of polling suggesting One Nation is now capturing 9.4 per cent of the state vote, compared with just 3.7per cent for the Nationals, and 32.5per cent for the Liberal Party.

The charge is being led by pro-life campaigner Stephanie Ross, who is challenging 65-year-old incumbent Gary Blackwood for the state Liberal seat of Narracan.

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Stephanie Ross

So here’s why this is a really dumb idea.This graphic shows the rough distribution of the votes in Australia spread along the political spectrum according to the votes they attract.

It’s a rough approximation but it makes a point.

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If you drag the Coalition to the right to soak up some of the of the rabid right support, then the Coalition will likely lose support from its moderate and left-leaning supporters.

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You don’t have to be a rocket scientist, but then people like Stephanie Ross are not rocket scientists, to understand who will fill that gap.

If the last federal election told us anything, it was that when the dust settles and the preferences are counted, political support for both major parties hovers on the 50% mark.

What you need to do to be elected in Australia is to gain some of the vote around that 50% mark on the spectrum. You’re not going to win elections by trying to pick up votes on the extremities.

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