Day to Day Politics: Relax, the Nationals are in control.

Tuesday 12 September 2017

The National Party of Australia (also known as the Nationals or simply the Nats) is an Australian political party. Traditionally representing graziers, farmers, and rural voters generally, it began as the Australian Country Party in 1920 at a federal level.

It would later briefly adopt the name National Country Party in 1975, before adopting its current name in 1982.

It is the junior partner in a coalition with the Liberal Party. In the 2016 election it attracted 4.29% of the vote. 554,268 people voted for them. This compared with 1,116,980 people who voted for the Greens (at 8.64%) of the vote. In the last three elections the National Party vote has hovered between 3 and 4%.

So have you ever wondered why the Nationals have seven times as many seats as the Greens with less than half the votes? It’s all in the Gerrymander. Well, it’s all explained here.

However, on the surface you would agree that it seems wrong that one party, the National Party, can receive half the votes of the Greens yet end up with so many seats.

Yes, it seems unfair that a party that only gets 4% of the vote can be gifted with so much influence and power. Obviously if the principle of parties coming together to form coalitions were not allowed then the Liberal party could not govern in their own rite.

But there we have it, and we have to accept and campaign in spite of it. To say the least the Nationals seem to attract the odd balls of Australian politics and the ones with questionable intellect like their leader, Barnaby Joyce who seems unfit as Deputy Prime Minister to lead the nation. Then there are the religious nutters who cling to the past as though they want to be concreted into a certain date and time.

This weekend past this conservative party voted to repudiate the central finding of the Finkel Review for a clean energy target and eliminate subsidies for renewables.

Here we have a party whose members have adopted to technology to enhance the volume of the crops they produce. In fact they are among the best adopters of technology in the world and farming practice proves it.

Unfortunately, the dunderheads who represent them are amongst the worst feral politicians who are yet to take their heads out of the sand and recognise that farming needs best practice technology if it is to compete with the demands of the future.

Take the internet for example. Farmers of the future will depend on a world-class broadband network if they are to overcome the effects of climate change in the future.

However, their leaders in an act of gross negligence sold out their members to join with like-minded people in the Coalition who thought it was just a plaything for grownups. If the reader can point to any monumental gains, other than stealing water, or living in Joyce’s electorate, it has won for its members I would like to know them.

At the conference — the first in three years —Joyce said the motion “reflected the deep angst in regional ­communities about the affordability of electricity and took aim at the “heroic sort of fantasia” position of the Labor Party on renewable ­energy”.

Well, he would say that of course. He is but one of many climate deniers in both parties who cannot see that the energy future of the country will be provided by renewable energy. It is high time he started representing the country and acknowledged that as Bill Shorten says; “ts adoption would help avert a forecast 1000 megawatt shortfall in baseload power by 2022”

But no, with the Prime Minister under enormous pressure to come up with a Renewable Energy Target (Finkel proposed a clean energy ­target of 42 per cent of renewable energy by 2030) these old buffoons decided to reject it altogether and throw out any subsidies.

Whilst we aren’t privy to what happens in the party rooms its impossible to avoid the fact that there is enormous conflict within both parties. That those who support coal have enormous influence and more importantly the National Party has some sort of ownership of Turnbull. This has resulted in a four-year waste of our future.

All the issues being spoken of are issues that have been known for years but this government of tertiary educated men and women have sat on their behinds and done nothing.

Yesterday the Prime Minister, together with the Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg met with AGL boss Andy Vesey to discuss the future of the company’s coal-fired Liddell power station in NSW, due for closure in 2022.

The government wants to extend its life by another five years which may or not be the right thing to do.

Mark Butler, Labor’s shadow Energy Minister said; “The challenge for the Prime Minister and Energy Minister Josh Frydenberg to get a clean energy target through the Coalition partyroom becomes more difficult every day.”

Ron Boswell, a Christian man of my vintage proposed the motion saying that “If the Liberal National party get this electricity issue right and “Blackout” Bill Shorten keeps pushing his high subsidies renewables line, we will win the next election.”

Former resources minister Matt Canavan told The Australian it was “ironic” the Nationals were the party now railing against ­subsidies. Dare I mention the subsidies given to the mining industries?

“We have to, at some point, wean ourselves off the billions of dollars that are provided to the renewable energy industry every year.”

Josh Frydenberg then jumped in to remind Senator Canavan who was in charge, after the former cabinet minister described renewables as a “short-term sugar hit”:

“Renewables are coming down in price significantly,” Frydenberg said.

Talk about your left hand not knowing what your right is doing. But then again the National Party has always had more than its share of half-wits.

I guess the remaining question now  is just who is running the show?

My thought for the day.

“For a Ministry with diploma’s from the greatest learning institutions in the world its difficult to imagine how so many brainless buffoons could gather around the same table at the same time and cause so much havoc.”



  1. Thanks for publishing this Hugh. It’s about time this was said.

    The current buffoons representing the Nats in Canberra would have to be the most intolerant, anti-science, luddite, back-to-the-future morons ever in the history of Australian politics.

    They have totally sold out to Gina and the fossil fuels industries. Lock, stock and barrel. They are selling a modern, forward thinking cleaner Australia out in the process.

    As the article points out they represent just 4.29% of the total vote yet they are “the tail that wags the LNP flea bitten dog”.

    And don’t start me on the standard of representation we get from the Member for Cowper! (Shudder)

    Time for an election. Now

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