Could Clive Palmer’s vow to abstain help the Liberals pass budget? 122



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Clive Palmer has come out this morning and announced that the Palmer United Party senators will abstain from voting on government legislation in the Senate until leadership speculation is resolved. But, depending on whether the PUP senators choose to abstain, or “to block” voting on legislation as Mr Palmer says (but doesn’t seem to be possible), this declaration could be the best thing today’s Liberal government has heard in a long time.

Mr Palmer said the following on ABC Radio this morning:

“I can’t see our senators voting for anything the government puts up in the Senate because they don’t know who they are voting for and they could be dealing with someone else in a week’s time…We can’t have this controversy going on and on. The parliament won’t be passing any legislation I don’t believe”.

In a statement sent to media this morning, Mr Palmer said it would be irresponsible for the party to vote on any legislation until government “chaos” had ended.

“The government’s proposals seem to change daily,” Mr Palmer said.

“The policies are not consistent, party infighting and conflict is ongoing and as a result our party has decided as a bloc to abstain from voting on any legislation proposals”.

Various media outlets are perceiving Mr Palmer’s claims differently, with Fairfax saying that they are seeking clarification on the party’s position. “If the abstention refers to PUP senators not attending any Senate votes – rather than voting down any government bills – then this would likely make it easier for the government to pass legislation”  and News Limited saying Mr Palmer plans to “block” rather than use the word abstain.

Fairfax has reflected on the potential action that senators can take, saying that according to the Odgers’ Australian Senate Practice manual, Senate votes are decided by a simple majority of those present and voting on bills before the Senate. Senators who wish to abstain in a vote can do so only by absenting themselves from the floor of the chamber.

It leaves us all in an interesting quandary. In order for Tony Abbott to get on with running the country he needs to pass legislation. Passing legislation requires a consenting Senate.

Could this move by the PUP be just what Abbott needs? Or do you think Mr Palmer is being unnecessarily disruptive? Share your thoughts and have your say…

Rebecca Wilson

Rebecca Wilson is the founder and publisher of Starts at Sixty. The daughter of two baby boomers, she has built the online community for over 60s by listening carefully to the issues and seeking out answers, insights and information for over 60s throughout Australia. Rebecca is an experienced marketer, a trained journalist and has a degree in politics. A mother of 3, she passionately facilitates and leads our over 60s community, bringing the community opinions, needs and interests to the fore and making Starts at Sixty a fun place to be.

  1. I listened to him speaking on AM, Bec, and thought the message was in what he inferred as opposed to what he appeared to say. I think Palmer’s intention is to frustrate the government by voting against the passage of legislation until such time as Abbott is replaced as leader. No more, no less.

  2. I think Clive is playing games. He is a very dangerous man I believe. This could be playing into the Coalitions hands. I don’t trust Clive one little bit.

    3 REPLY
    • Lets say there are 101 seats. You need 51 to pass a bill. 3 seats are not voting leaving 98 voting seats. You still require 51 votes in the affirmative to pass the bill. So this actually makes it harder for the LNP as PUP take a “we are not negotiating with you” approach.

  3. Mr Palmer’s main reason for forming a party was to rid himself of Campbell Newman, who refused to let him have his way in Queensland. I think you will find that, as time goes by, he will withdraw himself more and more from government business, now that Campbell Newman is gone.

    3 REPLY
    • It was more than Newman, he wanted to get rid of the Mining tax and The Carbon Tax, he has done both, so he is a loose cannon, ready to shoot us all..unless he has something else to gain.. nothing would surprise me

  4. I don’t trust Palmer to keep blocking, I hope he does but he has turned out to be another man who promises a lot and fails when push comes to shove, on issues that are to his own benefit

  5. Jaquie Lambie took away much of Pup’s power when she became an Independent, I have no faith left in Clive, he feathers his own nest

  6. Clive Palmer is a dipstick Don’t think his party will last much longer He’s full of piss & wind!!

  7. Shouldn’t let rich people into politics. It’s their way or the highway and God help anyone who tries to question their way.

    2 REPLY
    • Linda Carley. “rich” people often become rich because they know how to manage money. It is the person who is the problem. If I was a person who swore I would say Clive Palmer always comes across as a f******g idiot. Lucky I am not. How dare he hold government to ransom like this. I hope it does backfire on him. He is just feeding the speculation.

  8. I always knew he was a bloody idiot but dangerous – all the fools who voted for him and his cohorts ‘to give the other parties a shake up’ are now getting the nonsense they voted for.

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