Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce has thrown his hat into the ring and called on voters to abandon Pauline Hanson and other minor party candidates come election day.
A lot of talk as been had about the new preferences system in the run up to the election, with many people worried we could be headed for another hung parliament filled with minor parties and independents holding the balance of power.
With less than two weeks of campaigning left, Mr Joyce who has urged people to rethink voting for Ms Hanson and other minor parties saying it could lead to huge troubles in parliament down the track.
Ms Hanson is expected to win a seat in the Queensland Senate – her first since 1996 – meaning Mr Joyce’s worst nightmare could soon become a reality.
“Now, Ms Hanson will run her race. The others will run their race too,” he told the National Press Club in Canberra.
“I think that after the fury and the colour, people may quietly just assess what is truly not only in Queensland’s interests but, most importantly, what truly is in our nation’s interests.
“Because, remember, so often you are not just voting for your electorate. You are not just voting for your Senator, you are voting for the nation of Australia.
“You have a responsibility to the nation … like all the men and women who served our nation.
“Why do they do it? Because they believe in this nation. So, vote for your Senator, vote for your electorate, but first and foremost vote for your nation.”
His call to arms comes at the same time he is fighting to hold onto his own seat in New England, NSW, facing stiff competition from independent candidate Tony Windsor.
Unwilling to let it rest, he went on to tell the audience that minor parties only bring chaos into parliament and “do nothing for their communities”.
“A similar battle is being waged in the Senate against chaotic independents and micro parties that feed off the celebrity of an election campaign but once elected are unaccountable, obstructionist and do nothing for their communities,” said Mr Joyce.
While some of come out to support Mr Joyce’s statement, others have suggested he is running scared from the competition.
After all, isn’t the point of our political system that everyone can have a fair go as part of the democratic process?
What do you think about Barnaby’s comments?