An all-new Senate (Good News Week 23/6/08: Bites)

This week sees the swearing in of the new Senate. The Coalition will lose their Senate majority, the Democrats will lose everything and the balance of power will be held by the Greens, Family First and anti-pokie crusader Nick Xenophon. So while the Government won’t necessarily need Coalition approval now, they will instead need to placate both the extreme left and the extreme right. That should be much easier.

Which is great for when Rudd wants to pass his “low-carbon pokies-crushing family benefit scheme” bill, but a pain in the arse the rest of the time.

Labor will need the Green’s full support, as well as the support of Family First’s Steve Fielding, and anti-pokies independent Nick Xenophon. So I guess it’ll be a while before Rudd can pass his “whale-eating hookers” bill. / his reforms on drunken pole-dancing dolphins. / his much-touted “gay gambling pandas” bill.

To gain the support of the Greens, Family First and the No Pokies Party, Rudd may have to consider modifying his pro-gambling-Satanic-woodchippers stance.

The Greens may have the balance of power, but insist they won’t be pandering to anybody but the pandas.

Now if Rudd wants to pass something, he has to make sure it’s good for the environment, good for families, and good for people with gambling problems. What next, policies that are good for society, culture and the health of the nation?

With far left and far right parties now occupying the cross-benches, it’s less like a balance of power and more like a see-saw of power with extra wobbly bits bolted on to each end.

It might not be that much easier for the government. To get legislation through that the Liberals oppose, they’re going to have to convince Family First Senator Steve Fielding to support it. Which means Family Impact statements for all! / So they’ll have to pray before every vote.

Family First will have an enormous effect on how Rudd goes about presenting new bills to the Senate. He’ll have to pray like hell that they get through.

Steve Fielding will get off to a disastrous beginning when he tries to devour Bob Brown and his colleagues to launch Family First’s “Eat your Greens” initiative….

Now he’s got the balance of power, Steve Fielding will try to get swinging voters banned. According to Fielding, voting should be strictly monogamous.

Pauline Hanson’s already asking “What’s a Xenophon? Please explain…”

The ALP are considering offering concessions to the minor parties as a trade-off for their support, including giving the Greens environmental legislation, giving Family First Family Impact Statements, and offering the No Pokies party a second policy.

Of course the sad news is the demise of the Democrats, or as they’re known now, the Who? / the WhoWereTheyAgains?

The last of the Democrats have now been voted out of Parliament. That’ll teach them to be democrats!

Not only is a party called “Family First” now a real power in the Senate, but apparently there once was even a party called “The Democrats”.

The only Democrat left in an Australian Parliament now is ecstasy-fan Sandra Kanck. She’s not there in any representative sense – she’s just rolling around in the corner with her headphones on, licking the carpet.

The Senate changeover will most likely spell the end of Australian Democrats, although Democrats leader Lyn Allison said there’s the possibility of a reincarnation, saying that it’s no secret that they’ve been having merger talks with the Climate Change Coalition. Wow, that will be a force to be reckoned with. / And those guys are never off the front pages. / That’s bound to give them at least a hundred extra votes.

The Liberals are using their last days of Senate majority to block or delay Labor’s bills. They don’t know if they agree with them yet, or even what they are, but you can rest assured they’ll be blocking them like a goddamned motherfucker.

The Coalition are using every last minute they have control of the Senate to block Labor’s bills. And fair enough, it might be the last fun they have for years. / Well, they just want to flaunt their power while they have it.

For the first six months of Government, the ALP has had to deal with a Coalition majority in the Senate, which has basically meant the two houses of Parliament have been staring each other down saying “You guys stink”.

The Government are denying requests by Senators Steve Fielding and Nick Xenophon for additional staff members. Sure, they need their votes, but they don’t want to risk them actually understanding the legislation.

The Government are denying requests by Senators Steve Fielding and Nick Xenophon for additional staff members. And they have to supply their own cocaine. / And they always have to sit in the uncomfortable chairs. / And they have to sit on the kiddies’ table at lunchtime. / And they’re not allowed near the Iced Vovos. / They’re lucky they’ve got chairs. / And they only get a go at the carcasses when everyone else’s finished. / And when the parliamentary hooker’s over, they only get sloppy seconds.

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