In yesterday’s Commentary I drew attention to Labor’s success in forcing legislation through Parliament which allowed asylum seekers on Nauru and Manus Island to “doctor” themselves to Australia for treatment without ministerial approval (except for security reasons). I added that “it also remains to be seen how long he can run a minority government where there is an opposition which is able to force legislation right through Parliament and effectively change the Coalition’s policies on other matters too” . I added that “there has already been a (failed) attempt today to establish a Royal Commission on some failure of access to disabilities and there will inevitably be a debate on aspects of the budget set to be presented in early April. That would provide Labor/Greens with opportunities to have amendments to the budget passed through Parliament not by the Coalition but by the Opposition”. Some recipients of Commentary indicated that they did not understand my analysis and in particular my (and others) view that an early election might be called. Today we have an illustration of what I meant.
In today’s Australian, it is reported that attempts are being made by so called “rebel” MPs (said to be 10) to persuade some ministers to resign their positions. This would avoid the requirement that ministers vote with the government and Assistant Minister Keith Pitt is mentioned as a possible resignation (see Possible Resignations by Ministers Re Neg). He and Deputy PM McCormack had apparently proposed establishing a $5bn fund to build “at least three new power stations (presumably coal-fired) under a government-owned company model to keep the cost off the budget books”, but this was apparently rejected by the government.