In his increasingly manic attempts to persuade the three regional independents by loud hailer that they ought to put the Coalition into government, Tony Abbott has said some truly remarkable things, of which by no means the least is the following as reported in yesterday’s edition of The Age (see here):
"Only the Coalition is capable of offering the country a consultative and collegial political culture," he said.
"This is very much in our political DNA...”
This would be the same Coalition that:
- Lied to us from at least July 2002 until the invasion of Iraq in March 2003 about whether or not a decision had been taken to accompany the United States into an illegal war
- Never had an honest debate in Parliament about why we were at war in Iraq and Afghanistan or what we were trying to achieve
- Opposes the Parliament having any say in decisions to commit the Australian Defence Force to warlike service overseas (a position it shares with the Labor Party)
- Over-rode the Northern Territory euthanasia legislation
- Vetoed the ACT heroin trial after all the arrangements were in place
- Reduced the Senate Committee system to meaninglessness once it gained control of the Senate in 2004.
- Ruthlessly guillotined debate in the House of Representatives and the Senate throughout the Howard years, and
- Made a farce of Question Time, a farce that Labor has been happy to perpetuate and harness to its own purposes.
Apart from the shamelessness of his claim, along with the claim from one of the most combative people in Parliament that the Coalition he leads could show us the way to “a kinder, gentler polity” (does he really believe that stuff?), no-one could call Tony Abbott quick on the uptake on this matter. These preposterous claims came just a day after one of the three Independents, Rob Oakeshott, the Member for Lyne, told the ABC’s Lateline presenter Leigh Sales (see here) that these sorts of interventions were:
“...unhelpful, unwelcome and unnecessary...”