Q: is it possible for a party to “not accept a vote” cast in its favour by any MP in House? A: No

Why not? Because the Speaker of the House must tally all votes cast by sitting MPs on the floor of the House in order to determine whether a proposal has been carried or not.  How else would it be determined?

See, that’s a really easy question to answer, because it’s basic parliamentary procedure that can’t be changed without amending our constitution. So, unless and until due process in a court of law disqualifies Craig Thomson   Can Abbott’s clown car of disingenuous twerps stop asking it now?

As for the journalists who keep on repeating it to members of the Labor Party as if it’s a serious question that matters?  Shame on you. Abbott is treating the voters with scorn by asking it, and you should be pointing that out, not joining in the game.

Categories: ethics & philosophy, media, parties and factions

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8 replies

  1. In the long ago, during the Howard era, the Liberals refused to accept the vote of Mal Colston (pretty sure he was the one). They did this by making a point of having one of their own abstain from voting if Colston voted with them.
    About this whole “Thomson mess”: the obsession by most of the media and many others with his alleged visits to sex workers serves to obscure two issues that are much more important. Firstly, the misuse of funds by union officials, the most important being the use of members’ funds to allegedly fund an election campaign. The other issue is one of accountability of unions, which is important given that they occupy a significant place in this country’s political and economic fate. Sadly, mentions of sex and visuals of or alluding to sex workers is what sells newspapers and increases television ratings.
    Also, there has been an increasing tendency toward restricting civil liberties and removing rights, such as the right to not speak when questioned and the presumption of innocence in various legislation, ranging from the terrorist bikie menace (second only the alien proctology meanace, IMHO) through to new workplace relations laws. While it is distressing for people to be subjected to the sorts of pressures being brought to bear on Craig Thomson, I find it ironic that he was among those who voted for laws that presume guilt, and which are now being used against Peter Slipper. However, foresight has never been a strong point amongst the residents of that big house of ill-repute on the south shore of Lake Burley-Griffin.

    • e-girl, thanks for pointing to the precedent-setting workaround from the Howard era – I bet they wouldn’t have done it if they’d been a minority rather than a majority government, but it does show how it might be managed.

      • Although a bit of googling to jog the memory cells shows that Colston’s vote was crucial for Howard in both the sale of Telstra and the introduction of the GST, so maybe it was somebody else?

  2. Thank you for saying this. It’s been giving me the absolute shits.

  3. I’m fairly certain that the Electoral Commission has said that Thomson declared his spending on the electoral matter and that the money was not misused. So all that is unaccounted for is approximately $6000 that was apparently spent on procuring the services of legal sex workers. Whether this is true or whether the credit card reports were falsified I have no idea. But it is quite different to the accusation that he rorted hundreds of thousands of dollars.
    Also interesting is the claim that is being pursued in the non-mainstream media that Kathy Jackson allegedly used union funds to pay her childcare bills and other things that should have been her own responsibility. I don’t know that the veracity of these claims are and perhaps that’s why the media aren’t pursuing this angle. But I’m afraid that I have lost confidence in the media sniffing out a story, and certainly this non-msm group were right previously.
    The Howard Government never had an issue with accepting the vote of Peter Reith and his telecard scandal cost the taxpayer much more than Craig Thomson ever will.

  4. I thought the AEC finding was merely one of disclosure, not whether the funds were improperly used to fund an election campaign, even if they were disclosed. The internal governance of the HSU doesn’t seem to be the AEC’s legislative concern.

  5. You may be correct, as far as I was aware there wasn’t an issue with the use of the funds, but it may be that the HSU still considers them improperly used. Or some sections of it anyway.

  6. tigtog @ 4 – Howard refused Colston’s vote for a while – and the senate numbers were very tight. But when it eventually came to getting the GST bills through he changed his mind and decided to accept it. Presumably because there was no other way to do it.
    In the current situation if the roles were reversed and the Libs were in government I’ve little doubt that Abbott would be talking about presumption of innocence and Gillard would be calling for the MP to resign. Its really just politics and when controlling government is at stake neither side is going to hold on to their principles very tightly.
    Mindy @ 5 – My understanding was Kathy Jackson’s childcare payments were part of her salary package, much like her Volvo car. I think its fair to argue about the value of her salary/package since its so much higher than other unions, but its not that unusual for people in executive positions to get those sorts of fringe benefits. And for organisations like unions which are meant to be progressive it shouldn’t be too surprising (maybe even expected).

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