Daily Bulletin


The Conversation

  • Written by Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra
Angry Nationals play payback in NSW Senate row

Nationals federal president Larry Anthony has added his weight to a call by the NSW party for supporters to vote “below the line” in the Senate, in retaliation against the campaign by maverick Liberal senator Jim Molan to get voters to buck the Coalition’s joint ticket.

Molan, a rightwinger who was relegated to an unwinnable fourth place on the ticket, is canvassing for votes to go to him personally rather than to the ticket.

He has no prospect of being elected but the votes he takes from above the line harm the Nationals’ chances of getting their candidate Perin Davey elected.

Votes “above the line” are for a party or group; “below the line” is where candidates are listed individually.

A furious NSW Nationals organisation accused Molan’s backers of breaking the Coalition agreement for the joint ticket and asked its party members to tell people to vote below the line to maximise Davey’s prospects.

Davey has third place on the joint ticket, behind the two Liberal candidates, making her chances already very precarious.

Anthony said on Wednesday night: “We had an agreement with the Liberal Party and Perin Davey is a very good candidate. If there is a group of people suggesting a vote below the line then we will reciprocate. It will have an impact [on the Nationals vote] and we’re responding accordingly”.

In an email to party members, the Nationals’ NSW chairman Bede Burke and director Ross Cadell said: “Supporters of Liberal senator Jim Molan have taken it upon themselves to campaign for a ‘below the line’ vote, which in our view, breaks the Coalition Agreement and seriously harms the chances of a Nationals Senator being elected.

"That is why we are asking you to vote below the line on the Senate ballot paper, for The Nationals’ Perin Davey and Sam Farraway”.

Unless Davey is elected there will be no NSW Nationals senator. John “Wacka” Williams, from NSW, is retiring at the election.

“We must continue to have a strong, regional voice in the Senate fighting for our communities,” Burke and Cadell said.

They said they had “no choice” but to follow suit after an increase in campaigning from Molan’s supporters, and “actively encourage everyone to vote below the line” for the Nationals’ candidates. “This is the only way to guarantee our communities have a voice in the Senate,” they said.

“We are not taking this extraordinary step lightly. The Coalition Agreement is something that is fundamental to our ability as Nationals to deliver for our regions.”

Asking people to vote below the line “is not something we want to do”, but the party needed every one its members to do so “and to encourage everyone they know to do the same”.

Molan said he did not want to comment, beyond saying that on Wednesday he had been handing in the seat of Whitlam for the Nationals candidate and would be handing out for Andrew Gee, the Nationals MP in Calare on Thursday.

But the Nationals are concerned about the potential erosion of votes for the Senate ticket in these regional areas.

The Prime Minister’s Office said the issue was a matter for the party headquarters. HQ referred to comments by the deputy leader of the Liberal party Josh Frydenberg - who had dodged the question, telling a news conference “matters for New South Wales are matters for the organisation”.

Labor’s campaign spokesman Jim Chalmers said the NSW fight “is the final proof that the Liberals and Nationals are a dumpster fire of disunity and dysfunction”.

Authors: Michelle Grattan, Professorial Fellow, University of Canberra

Read more http://theconversation.com/angry-nationals-play-payback-in-nsw-senate-row-117208

Writers Wanted

Wetlands have saved Australia $27 billion in storm damage over the past five decades

arrow_forward

Back to school: how to help your teen get enough sleep

arrow_forward

The Best Date Night Outfits You Should Try

arrow_forward

The Conversation
INTERWEBS DIGITAL AGENCY

Politics

Ray Hadley's interview with Scott Morrison

RAY HADLEY: Prime Minister, good morning.    PRIME MINISTER: G’day Ray.   HADLEY: I was just referring to this story from the Courier Mail, which you’ve probably caught up with today about t...

Ray Hadley & Scott Morrison - avatar Ray Hadley & Scott Morrison

Prime Minister's Remarks to Joint Party Room

PRIME MINISTER: Well, it is great to be back in the party room, the joint party room. It’s great to have everybody back here. It’s great to officially welcome Garth who joins us. Welcome, Garth...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Prime Minister Interview with Ben Fordham, 2GB

BEN FORDHAM: Scott Morrison, good morning to you.    PRIME MINISTER: Good morning, Ben. How are you?    FORDHAM: Good. How many days have you got to go?   PRIME MINISTER: I've got another we...

Scott Morrison - avatar Scott Morrison

Business News

Tips to find the best plastic manufacturing supplier for your needs

Plastics are very much an important part of all of our lives, but they’re particularly valuable to a wide variety of industries that rely on their production for their operations. The industries, ...

News Co - avatar News Co

7 foolproof tips for bidding successfully at a property auction

Auctions can be beneficial for prospective buyers, as they are transparent and fair. If you reach the limit you are willing to pay, you can simply walk away. Another benefit of an auction is tha...

Dominique Grubisa - avatar Dominique Grubisa

Getting Ready to Code? These Popular and Easy Programming Languages Can Get You Started

According to HOLP (History Encyclopedia of Programing Languages), there are more than 8,000 programming languages, some dating as far back as the 18th century. Although there might be as many pr...

News Co - avatar News Co



News Co Media Group

Content & Technology Connecting Global Audiences

More Information - Less Opinion