I’ve had my fill of our forty-third parliament

THE State of Origin telecast had some heavy competition on Wednesday night. I wonder how many viewers switched channels from the footy field to the corridors of political power.

Queenslanders came out on top in both contests, 26-6 and 57-45 respectively, but the series deciders are still to come.

The Maroons' win has set up the third mach in Sydney as a promoter's dream, but it remains to be seen whether Kevin Rudd's defeat of Julia Gillard can turn the fortunes of the Labor Party around or at least salvage some of the wreckage before what pollies under pressure call the "the only poll that counts". (It isn't of course. Wednesday night's political heavyweight contest was brought about by the self-preservation imperative of Labor MPs spooked by the increasingly disastrous opinion polls.)

I remember reading a long time ago that the collective noun for a group of owls is a parliament. Well, if that is the case, and given that the owl is traditionally regarded as wise, I don't see any logical connection between the avian and the human species.

Collectively, the ones who have just flown from their Canberra perches to their vote-hunting grounds, many with little hope of being able to roost there again, have demonstrated precious little wisdom.

Digging a little further into a list of collective names for the animal world, I came across quite a few that could well be applied to those we sent to Canberra. Some that come to mind:

  • A murder of crows … well, there is still blood on the floor after Kevin Rudd's demise as PM, but hopefully it will now be properly mopped up.
  • A colony of termites…plenty of white-anting in both sides of the house.
  • A flock of bustards … well not quite., but swap the 'u' for an 'a' and you have the ones Don Chipp famously promised to keep honest.

Seriously, though, I've had my fill of our forty-third parliament. With a few notable exceptions on both sides of the house, its members have disappointed me over the past three years.

The ugly slanging matches that went by the name of question time may have been a bit of a hoot if you are into that sort of play-acting, point-scoring and name- calling, but I for one am fed up with it.

We voters, however, must take some of the responsibility. The destabling minority government situation that our votes brought about has shown us all too clearly the downside of party politics.

So bring on the election. I'm not looking forward to the campaign, mind, but I do hope for a result that will give us a government which, having won a thoughtful electorate's tick for clearly stated policies, can just get on with the business of governing.



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