Parliament returns, Lidia Thorpe and the beginning of the end of Dutton

Parliament has returned for the year, with the government keen to implement its agenda, the Opposition trying to make itself relevant, and everyone else trying to influence all the political outcomes.

There’s been a great deal of focus on The Voice To Parliament in the lead up to the first week of parliamentary sittings, but there’s other issues in the spotlight – the Robodebt royal commission, the economy, reform of Medicare, an interest rate rise, the cost of living issues that keep coming up, and offshore immigration detention has also make a comeback.

Senator Lidia Thorpe has resigned from the Australian Greens and will sit on the crossbench as an independent Senator, and decided to resign when it became clear that the Greens were going to support the “Yes” campaign for The Voice To Parliament – Thorpe feels it’s more important to have a treaty first – but this has worked out best for both parties – the Greens can campaign for the “yes” vote, and Lidia Thorpe can campaign against it, if she wishes to, and then pursue the treaty, and promote the Blak Sovereignty Movement.

Taking Australia’s history into account, European invasion and settlement after 1788 and federation after 1901 – there should be a treaty if this is the wishes of First Nation’s people – and it’s obvious that many do – it’s difficult to know what the results will be from Thorpe’s resignation from the Greens will be, but she will become another Senator the government will need to negotiate with to have their legislation passed by the Senate. So, it could give her some more control in the Senate to achieve these agendas – but on the other hand, it might not.

There’s been some internal discussions within the Liberal Party – and some disquiet about Peter Dutton and the electoral prospects of the Liberal Party. Dutton is not the right person to lead the Liberal Party at this point of time in its history – but there was nobody else who wanted the job just after a big election loss and there was nobody else who was leadership material.

But Dutton is just not getting any traction, and it seems that the perceptions of Dutton as the hard man of politics are set and unlikely to change – and this is at a time when the electorate is looking for a softer and less brutal side to politics.

It might be a case where Dutton is so negative – and that this is what people expect to see from him – that he’s preaching to the converted – or his own conservative backbench that keeps him in the leadership position – and even if he became more positive, that no one would believe him. He’s so dour and negative and really hasn’t got much to offer in policy terms – all he’s doing is offering a culture of complaint. This might have worked in the past, but it’s not going to work this time in Australia’s political history.

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