Sunday, November 29, 2009

Brendan Nelson

I know who Brendan Nelson is. He was the Leader of the Opposition before Malcolm Turnbull got the job. I don't know what happened there; why Turnbull took Nelson's place. I also don't know whether or not Nelson is still a Member of Parliament.

The first time I heard of Nelson was on Sorry Day. When he spoke, some of the Indigenous Australians protested in some way. I think they turned their back on him, maybe? I forgot the reasoning behind it, but people on Livejournal tried to explain it to me. From what I know now, it probably had something to do with the fact that the Liberal Party hadn't fully supported the idea of an apology. Also, I'm slowly remembering.....I think he said something offensive in his speech.

Anyway, I guess I shall start learning.

Well, Lord Wiki says that Nelson is FORMER politician. So I guess he's not in Parliament anymore.

But we need to rewind and start at the beginning.

Baby Brendan was born in Melbourne on 19 August 1958. His birthday is a day before Jack's birthday.

Lord Wiki says the suburb he was born in was Coburg. He was the eldest of three kids. When he was a baby, the family moved to Launceston, Tasmania. Our friends live there!

Launceston was his family's hometown, so I guess that's why they moved there. Daddy Nelson was a marine chief steward. I don't know exactly what that is, but I can deduce that it probably has something to do with ships.

When Nelson was a teen, his family left Launceston and moved to Adelaide. There Nelson attended the high school Saint Ignatius' College. After that, he went to the University of Adelaide and studied economics.

This didn't fit well with Nelson for some reason. He dropped out of school after a year. I guessed he realized economics wasn't as exciting as he had imagined. Or maybe someone had pressured him to go into economics.

For a while (not sure how long) Nelson worked at various retail and hospitality jobs. Then he returned to school to study medicine. Wow. I wonder how he decided to go down that path. I like that he chose to leave school and work for awhile....instead of pursuing a degree he didn't like.

For most of us, we're bombarded with message of never give up. Don't quit! Sometimes we need the opposite message. It's okay to give up, and pursue another path. I saw something online about this...maybe from one of my friend's blogs. It was brilliant and thought-provoking. I wish I remembered where/what it was.

Lord Wiki says that Nelson eventually switched schools. He went to Flinders University. There he got a Bachelors of Medicine and and Surgery.

While he was a student, Nelson married someone. But that didn't work out. Nelson chose the quitting route once again.

Nelson moved back to Tasmania, but this time went to the south part. He became a general practitioner in Hobart. He did that from 1985 until 1995. In 1986, he got married again. The lovely couple had twins.

In 1987 he got together with the brother of Simon Crean (the Labor politician). The two of them, plus someone else opened up an after-hours locum service. I have no earthly idea what that means. Was it something do with medicine, or politics?

Well, I googled locum, and it seems to have a medicine connection. Maybe it's an Australian concept...or an Australian word. Yeah. The websites I'm seeing are Australian based.

In 1988, Nelson joined the Australian Medical Association. By 1990, he was president of the Tasmanian part. Oh! Then in 1991, he became the Federal president of it all.

And I had no idea that Brendan Nelson was a doctor.

Nelson's big issue was smoking. He was against cigarette companies sponsoring sporting events. He wanted to increase the number of nonsmoking seats on airplanes. That surprises me. I think I have a stereotype of conservative politicians being more likely to support the big tobacco companies. I don't know if this stereotype of mine is completely faulty, or based on some element of truth.

Wait. I made a mistake. Nelson didn't become President of the AMA in 1991. He became Vice-President. Then in 1993, he was elected President. During this time, the AMA had major hostility with the Labor Party. I don't know why. Was Labor in power then? Would that be a Keating year, or a Howard one?

Okay. It was Keating.

So far, I'm not seeing anything that awful about Nelson. I guess I'll get to that later. He seems decent so far.

Lord Wiki says he advocated gay law reform. Now was that in support of gay people, or not in support of them? He wanted people to show more concern for the environment, and he wanted to improve Aboriginal health. In a speech at an Aboriginal conference in Sydney, he blamed Aboriginal Health problems on the fact that people had been denied their land, hunting grounds, citizenship, freedom, and children. So, if this is right....he was at least acknowledging a stolen-generation.

Nelson was personally against euthanasia, but he did support the rights of doctors to withdraw treatment from consenting patients. Well, I think that's pretty reasonable.

I'm thinking....if I didn't know any differently, I'd probably assume Nelson was a Labor politician. This is all surprising me.

Ah! I just read further down. Nelson WAS part of the Labor Party. He joined when he was thirteen. He resigned from the party in 1991 when he became an AMA executive. It had something to do with him feeling the AMA job should be apolitical.

At one point, at some kind of rally thing, Nelson declared he had never voted Liberal in his life.

Ah, but later in an interview, Nelson said that Labor governments were generally better for Australia. But he said this might not be so in terms of health issues.

In 1994, Nelson joined the Liberal Party. So, what happened there? Why did he do it?

Around this time, he also moved to Sydney. He did more medical stuff there. He opened a surgery in the Rocks. I'm not sure what is meant by surgery. Is it a place where they do surgery, or is it just a doctor's office?

By 1995, Nelson was renouncing his support of the Labor Party. It had something to do with him losing faith in Medicare.

Around that time, Nelson retired from the AMA and went to Africa to hear about the country's struggle with AIDS. Lord Wiki says that Nelson's brother had died of AIDS a few months before that.

During this time, there was some political stuff I don't quite understand. It's something to do with a seat in Parliament, and something called pre-selection. Well, basically Nelson wanted the seat of Bradfield, and eventually he got it. Although Lord Wiki says that John Howard and Peter Costello supported his opponent.

In July 1995, there was some controversy. Nelson attended a party honoring Howard. He did some funny stuff that was a bit too risque for some ears. For that he received some criticism. Some people even wanted him to lose his pre-selection thing.

By 1996, Nelson became the Member for Bradfield, and John Howard became Prime Minister.

Lord Wiki says that Nelson (unlike Howard) was a vocal opponent of Pauline Hanson. He asked her to come with him to various Aboriginal communities. Nelson wanted the government to have a bipartisan condemnation of her statements. On 30 October 1996, a motion was passed regarding tolerance, nondiscriminatory immigration, and Aboriginal reconciliation.

All right. I'm still waiting to hear the bad stuff about Nelson. So far, he still seems decent.

Wait. Here's some controversy. I read it quickly and totally didn't understand it. It involves euthanasia, and maybe some plagiarism. Let me read it more SLOWLY.....

Well, I'm still not understanding it. I'm going to have to take it piece by piece.

It happened in the Northern Territory. Nelson and a former NSW premier were accused of trying to get someone to change his mind regarding euthanasia. Shit. Never mind. I give up. The wording here is too confusing. I'll try to remember to read about it elsewhere.

I do understand the plagiarism bit. Nelson did a speech. Later it was discovered parts of his speech had come from a paper done by an immigration expert. Oops. Nelson had to give an apology to Parliament.

In 2001, Nelson became Minister for Education, Science, and Training. Okay. I found the first thing I don't like about him. If I'm reading this right, he pushed for higher university fees. Not only that, but he pushed for more government support of non-government schools. What's the deal with that?

In 2005, Nelson introduced the whole voluntary student unionism thing. I've written about this before. I forgot when. The idea behind that is students can choose whether or not they want to join the student union. At first, I thought it sounded quite nice. I liked the idea of students not being forced to pay for something they might not want to take part in. But then I realized it's kind of like saying people should be able to choose whether or not they pay taxes.

Also, that year Nelson expressed support of schools teaching intelligent design (creationism). However, he emphasized that he felt evolution was the more important subject to teach. He was against creationism being taught INSTEAD of evolution. Then later, he said this creationism stuff should be taught in religion or philosophy classes. I can totally agree with that. I'm really not okay with creationism being taught in science. It doesn't belong there, in my opinion. But if there's enough kids from one religion in a particular school, I see no problem in providing classes that promote their belief system. I just think kids who are not of that religion should have the right to opt out.

In my PUBLIC (government school) I had a biology teacher who pushed her intelligent design views on us. That, to me, was HIGHLY inappropriate.

In 2006, Nelson became Minister for Defense.

In 2007, John Howard got some major rejections. Nelson became party-leader.

Now I'm getting into some stuff about Nelson that I like less. In a speech he said, I don't support gay marriage, adoption or IVF. But I believe in addressing the social and economic injustices affecting homosexuals. Okay. Does anyone else see something wrong with that statement? Wouldn't discrimination in adoption and marriage BE a social and economic injustice?

What if we changed the statement. What if I said, I don't support interracial marriage, adoption, or IVF. But I believe in addressing the social and economic injustices affecting interracial couples.
Something is not right there.

Okay, here is the sorry stuff....or the NOT sorry stuff.

Lord Wiki says that in 2008, Nelson opposed making a formal apology. He said it would fuel feelings of guilt in some Australians, and feelings of victimhood in Indigenous Australians. See, the thing is those feelings have ALREADY been there. I'm betting those feelings have been there since those First Fleet people stepped onto the land. Apologizing is just taking those feelings and bringing them more out into the open. Sweeping them under the rug really doesn't help anyone.

By February, Nelson changed his mind. He said he supported the apology. It's hard to know what feelings truly come from Nelson, and what feelings are merely a matter of him kissing political ass. Was he always in support of the apology, but then sided with his party to get more Liberal endorsement? Or was he always against the apology, but then faked a change of mind because he realized it would make him look better?

Around this time, Nelson started having some problems within his own party. By July, he had very little love. Then in September 2008, Turnbull was in and Nelson was out. Nelson then announced he'd be retiring from politics. He did this in September 2009. Then Kevin Rudd appointed him as Ambassador to European Union and NATA.

Lord Wiki ends with some personal stuff. Nelson has been married three times. I wonder if he's still with his third wife.

He likes playing guitar and riding motorcycles.

I'm now trying to find a good article regarding the euthanasia stuff. Well, I just joined some British website called BMJ to get my hands on an article. It was free, so that's cool. I always ignore those sites you have to join. I should stop that. There's probably good stuff out there that I'm missing.

Now I'm going to read it.

It's from 1995. There was a bill introduced into the Northern Territory that caused lots of debate. The AMA was against the bill. I'm guessing the bill supported euthanasia.

Okay. Here we go. The bill was passed by the Chief Minister of the Northern Territory. His mother had suffered a very long and painful death. He wanted to make things a little better for other people.

In the bill, a patient must be at least eighteen years old. And they need to have two doctors saying that the patient is likely to die within twelve months. I like the two-doctor deal. I mean what if you just have one crazy doctor who lies to you?

Now we get to the Nelson stuff. He was against the bill even though he had admitted to assisting two patients in their morbid endeavors. Nelson said, We can't reach for a legislative pen every time we have a problem or we see something in life we'd like to regulate. In the end doctors will continue to do what they believe to be right in the interests of the patient and his or her immediate family.
Interesting. It sounds to me like he supports euthanasia, but prefers that doctors do it outside of the law. I guess that brings us to a basic moral/legal question. Is it better to legalize something, or is it better to make something illegal, and just kind of expect people to go underground with it. Nelson said he worried legalizing Euthanasia would lead to unethical use of the law. Are people more likely to be unethical with something when it's legal, or is unethical behavior more likely to happen when something is illegal?

I don't know. Well, my gut feeling is that unethical behavior might happen either way. My other feeling is this. Yeah, I think there may be a few doctors who encourage patients to throw in the towel a little too early. But for the most part, I think it's less ethical NOT to help someone die peacefully.

I'm probably more against the anti-euthanasia movement than the anti-abortion movement. Although I'm pro-choice, I can sort of see the pro-life argument. It really isn't just about a woman's body, and her choice. There is ANOTHER person involved....or a potential person. But with euthanasia, how dare we tell people whether or not they can kill themselves or not? Now I don't think we should be required to help them. Some doctors might feel uncomfortable with this. But I definitely don't think it should be illegal to help someone if you're okay with it.

I'm looking at Lord Wiki now for an update on Australian euthanasia. He says it's currently illegal in Australia, but it was legal at one point in the Northern Territory. I guess that got shot down.

In the United States, it's legal in Oregon, Washington, and Montana. You gotta go west to die. Even my own state is mentioned. In Texas, it's a little more passive. Doctors have a right to withdraw treatment from patients when it's seen as being futile and inappropriate. I think it's crazy that a state wouldn't have that law. Although we do have that living will can fill out something that says doctors aren't supposed to go through excessive means to revive you. I wonder if those are valid in every state.

Let's see. What should I look at next?

This blogger (queerpenguin) talks about Nelson's brother dying of AIDS. Although Nelson has never admitted it, the blogger believes the brother was gay. That could be true. It might not be. The blogger quotes from Nelson who said, Homosexual people are our brothers and sisters, our aunts and uncles, our sons and daughters, and some are even parents, and they should be able to live in a society that is free of intolerance, persecution and hatred. He says this, but then he also says he's against the Mardi Gras parade. Nelson sounds like a guy who's trying to be loyal both to this brother and a homophobic political party. I think this is common in politicians...even Obama. They try to play both sides. They want to protect homosexuals, and at the same time...protect homophobics.

The blogger says, Nelson must tread very carefully while preparing the path for his leadership bid. John Howard will not allow any queer-friendly MP to go far in his government, which is why Nelson, as well as Communications Minister Helen Coonan, have attempted to bury their past records of positive queer activism.

It's sad when we let politics get ahead of our principles.

I like the blogger's conclusion. He says, I believe there’s still a good man itching to burst out of Brendan Nelson. I just hope he hasn’t been lost forever. 

I'm believing the same thing. From what I've read so far, Nelson seem like a confused man. I think his heart is in the right place. I think perhaps he just tries to hard to fit in with the Liberal Party. Mayne now that he's free from that world, he can do some soul searching and find out what he truly believes.

Now I'm going to read about the sorry stuff. Here's an article. What I'm wondering is whether people previously planned to turn their back on his speech. Did they have prejudices against his speech before it was spoken. Or did they listen with an open heart, and then he said something really awful?

It definitely sounds like people were very angry at the speech. People turned their backs. Some people pulled the plug on the TV playing.

The article has a few lines from the speech. One is, Our generation does not own these actions, nor should it feel guilt for what was done in many, but certainly not all cases, with the best intentions.
Yeah. I can see why that would anger people. I'm not sure if guilt is an appropriate word. Well, I think it is. Maybe we can say people don't have DIRECT guilt over what happened. Although it didn't happen that long ago. I'm betting some child thieves are still alive today. But in terms of something happening in the more distant past, I don't think we need to feel direct guilt. I'm not personally responsible for slavery. I never owned a slave. Well, unless we bring reincarnation into the picture.

I could have some indirect guilt....some SHAME for what my fellow white people did. I also need to have guilt for the injustices that African Americans face today. Even though I don't purposely support discrimination, I do participate in a society that tends to favor white folks.

In terms of best intentions. If you have good intentions, but end up causing great hurt....I think you still need to apologize. Let's say a parent never showed their child affection. They never hugged them. They never kissed them. They never expressed any love. They did this because they heard that too much affection might make a child weak. If the child grows up and confronts their parent, is it enough of an excuse to say, I had good intentions?

No! The parent needs to say, I made a mistake. I hurt you. I'm sorry. They can explain why they did what they did. But that doesn't excuse them from guilt and the obligation of an apology.

Here's the entire Nelson speech.

The beginning of the speech sounds decent.

This sentence might be a bit iffy. It sounded good when I first read it. But I think you can read into it a bit. We will be at our best today - and every day - if we pause to place ourselves in the shoes of others, imbued with the imaginative capacity to see this issue through their eyes with decency and respect.
I might have some issue with imaginative capacity. He seems to be saying we need to use our imaginations to understand what the hell these Aboriginal Australians are whining about.

It kind of reminds me of those yucky apologies I get from people sometimes. A good genuine apology says something like I'm sorry for what I did. It was wrong. I hope someday you can forgive me. The bad apology says something like, I'm sorry you were hurt by what I said.
There definitely ARE times when both parties are at fault. I've been in those situations. I'm to blame. The other person is to blame. One of us (or both of us) might apologize for the situation rather than our behavior. But in other cases, one person IS more to blame, and they tend to hide from the guilt by saying sorry for the other person's feelings rather than for what was said or done.
There's a big difference between saying I'm sorry we stole your children from you, and saying I'm sorry you feel sad that your children were taken from you.

In the latter, you're really putting blame on the victim's feelings rather than the action of the wrongdoer

Shit. I'm rambling. Let me get back on track.

Here's another not-so-beautiful paragraph in the speech. Whether Australian by birth or immigration, each one of us has a duty to understand and respect what has been done in our name. In most cases we do so with great pride, but occasionally shame.
Yeah. I'm not ignorant enough to believe that Indigenous Australians were perfect people. They made some mistakes too. But one group is definitely more to blame. It's like the husband who is caught cheating. His wife expresses anger over his cheating and lying. He then brings up the fact that she's not perfect either. Remember the time you messed up on the laundry and my favorite shirt turned pink! I'll forgive you for that, if you forgive me for my affair.
That may be a crazy analogy. What can I say.....

This speech is long.....

Here's more controversy: In some cases, government policies evolved from the belief that the Aboriginal race would not survive and should be assimilated. In others, the conviction was that half-caste children in particular should, for their own protection, be removed to government and church-run institutions where conditions reflected the standards of the day. Others were placed with white families whose kindness motivated them to the belief that rescued children deserved a better life.
This goes back to the best-intentions argument. I already rambled on about that earlier. So I won't do it again.

Nelson says, It is reasonably argued that removal from squalor led to better lives - children fed, housed and educated for an adult world of which they could not have imagined.

I disagree. I don't think parents should lose their children because of poverty. That's so unfair. I think we should help the WHOLE family not be in poverty anymore. I think we should work to keep families intact. Now when it comes to abusive families, that's a different story. I do think sometimes children should be removed. But during this time period, how many wealthy white children were removed from their abusive parents?

Nelson says, There is no compensation fund, nor should there be. How can any sum of money replace a life deprived of knowing your family? That's true. Money can't fix the past. But then we should also get rid of all wrongful death lawsuits, and other things like that.

Nelson goes on and talks about bad stuff happening in Indigenous communities...sexual abuse and all that. I don't deny that bad things happen to children living in these communities. But I think it comes from poverty and lack of resources and determination. It's widespread depression. And I think that comes from being displaced. What happens when your land is stolen, and you're then deprived of essential human rights? I don't know. Invasion is a scary thing. It makes people feel angry, lost, hopeless, and powerless. Yeah. I learned that from V (both the original and new series). And yeah, these feelings can go on for generation upon generation.

The right thing is NOT to remove children from their families and cultures. First of all, it's not like the majority of these children were put into fairytale white people homes. They were put into awful unloving institutions. Of course there were exceptions. I'm sure some Indigenous kids had awful abusive parents, and then got adopted by loving decent white people. But those stories don't negate the other less happy stories.

I think the right thing to do is help the community and the families become more self-sufficient, healthy, and safe for the children. I think families should be kept intact.

Well, really. I think I just have to imagine how I might feel in a similar situation. What if somehow my family lost everything. We if we became unemployed and homeless. What if we didn't have enough food to feed Jack? What if I became depressed and incapable of good mothering. What if we became incapable of providing Jack a decent home? Would I want Jack taken away from us? Would I want him to go to another family? Would this be the right thing for him? Or would I prefer that someone help us to gain our strength back?

And that analogy just deals with some cases. For many, it wasn't about providing children with a better home. It was about assimilation and cultural superiority.

I don't know. In terms of apologies, my feeling is this: By apologizing, you do not negate that there are exceptions in the story. Nor do you negate that SOME good people did decent things. I think maybe that's why people are afraid to apologize. They think if they say sorry, they're really saying, I'm worthless. I'm bad. I've never done anything good. You should hate me to the core.
I personally don't feel an apology implies any of that. And when a person offers an apologies with references to the good they've done, I think it really makes their apology much less impressive and meaningful. It becomes weak, and almost...embarrassing. I can't promise that my apologies aren't sometimes like this. I hope not. But I'm guessing it's human nature to do it sometimes. I'll have to watch out for this in the future.

Anyway, I want to go take a walk with Jack so I'm going to quit now.

As for Brendan Nelson, he's an interesting guy. I don't hate him. He seems to have some decent qualities. I think he's very confused. And I think he says some dumb stuff sometimes. But I'm used to being around people who say ridiculous things I completely disagree with.


  1. Hi Dina,

    I think todays post is good timing and explains the current situation of the Liberal Party. I think Dr Nelson is/was a decent man and to me he sold he soul to the Conservatives of the Liberal party. I cannot believe he changed his opinion so much to me he was just sitting on the fence on most issues and not showing his true opinions.

    This is want the current infighting in the Liberal Party with Malcolm Turnbull trying to stand up to the conservatives within the party on the emissions trading scheme. Turnbull is saying he is not a climate change denier and will not lead a party that doesn't believe in climate change and agree to cut emissions. Now they are going to challenge his leadership and I think what happens here will dictate what happens to the Liberal Party for years to come.

  2. Matt,

    You continue to amaze me with your ability to take something complicated (in my opinion) and make it very easy for me to understand.

    Although it made me feel guilty because I had MEANT to go look up the Liberal issue, and I never got around to it. I guess my excuse is I've been busy with Thanksgiving holiday stuff...and doing research on convicts from over two hundred years ago.

    Anyway, you made it so easy for me. I think if you didn't tell me it was about climate change I would have been wading through the articles...lost.

    After reading your explanation though, I did go read some articles. I'm feeling a little caught up now.

    I don't know what to think. I kind of liked Turnbull despite the fact that he was in the Liberal Party, and that wouldn't be my party of choice. I just went back to reread my post about him, and I think I had found him to be fairly moderate.

    I'm glad he's sticking up for what he believes in. I think it's sad that there's pressure to stand against something simply because the Labor party supports it.

    Are any Liberals standing with Turnbull, or is he being totally ostracized by the party? Could he maybe switch sides and join the Labor Party. Maybe he can become an independent?

    I'm probably not going to be too happy if Joe Hockey becomes Prime Minister.

    Oh and Nelson! Yeah. I think he did sell his soul to the Liberal Party. But maybe now he'll get it back.

  3. Hi Dina,

    Thanks for the compliment, im glad i help you understand things better.

    Going on the lastest research i think it was around 70% of Australian's believed in climate change and thought we needed to do something about it. The funny thing is at the last election the Liberal Party went into the election with a similar scheme to what the Labour Party is currently proposing.

    Malcolm Turnbull is a moderate and so is Joe Hockey and both accept climate change as real and think something needs to be done about it. So i cannot see the benefit of changing to Hockey for, the Liberal Party or for Hockey. First of all if they change position on the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) they will be unelectable because around 70% of Australian's think we need to do something. Also if Hockey becomes leader and changes position he will be seen as selling out to the conservatives in the party to get the leadership. So to me its a no win situation.

    I think the reason for the Hockey ticket is the conservatives know that they cannot win the leadership and the Australian public wont like there candidate Tony Abbott (a former Howard crony and vocal anti-abortionist, typical right-wing Christian). The big problem is Hockey has said i will not run against Turnbull and Turnbull has said he will not step aside for anyone, so if both are true to their words it will be Abbott against Turnbull with i think Turnbull triumphant.

    Last week there was a leadership challenge from Kevin Andrews (another Howard crony who was the one who implemented Work Choices and was also Immigration Minister at one stage, so very unpopular) of which Turnbull won and the day before the Liberal Party had voted on the ETS and voted to pass the legislation so Turnbull seems to have had majority support within the party but that was until Abbott declared that he was going to challenge this week, and resigned from the front bench, 7 other shadow ministers followed. So now Turnbulls leadership is very shaky as half of his senior ministers have resigned.

  4. Matt,

    I knew I had encountered Abbott before, and I did a search in my blog. He's the one who had a fight with Nicola Roxon because he was late.

    So I guess you're saying he'd be much worse than Joe Hockey.

    That's good that 70% of Australians want to do something about climate change. I wonder what the percentage is in America.

    Well, I found this website which has some polls.

    Anyway, I'll keep reading the news to see what happens to Turnbull and the Liberal party.

  5. Hi Dina,

    Just in, Tony Abbott has won the Liberal Leadership. I think they are in for some real trouble now. Its good for Labour now especially if the world gets some binding agreements in Copenhagan

  6. Matt,

    Well, it seems the party shot itself in the foot. Do you think Abbott will have a lot of influence in the climate change vote? I read that some Liberal senators are still planning to vote with Rudd.

    I saw that Abbott won with just one vote. My goodness.

    I really wonder what's going to happen next.

    I liked Turnbull's speech, or the little I heard of it. Maybe the Liberal party will fade into obscurity, and the Green and Labor party can be the dominant ones. I'd like that. I doubt it will happen though.

  7. I not sure i think we will find out in a couple of days but if i was a Turnbull supporter in the party i would cross the floor and vote for the ETS just like the Abbott supporters planned to do.

    I think Abbott is going to find it very hard to unite the party with a one vote majority and again if i was a Turnbull supporter i would be doing all i could to destabilise Abbott's leadership.

    This is going to take the Liberals further the the right and make them unelectable for the next election and maybe for the next one or two after that.

    I think what might happen is you will see a double dissolution election with Rudd returned with an increased majority, and with an increase of Greens in the Senate meaning Rudd will have to do a deal with the Libs or the Greens to get things past instead of just the Libs

    The other interesting thing is what will Turnbull do, i know he is going to the backbench but is he going to just bide his time or quit politics altogether.

  8. Matt,

    The Abbott supporters planned to vote for the ETS...or do you mean they planned to cross the floor. I'm confused.

  9. Sorry i should have said 'i would cross the floor and vote for the ETS just like the Abbott supporters planned to do against Turnbull and the ETS if he had won'

  10. Here's a cartoon our national broadcaster (the ABC) has put on their news website about the recent political events (I'm being a bit cheeky because I know how much you love cricket):

  11. I think the other cartoons at that address are worth a look though even if you don't like cricket. By the Way, I should note where I first found the cartoon:

  12. Martin,

    I'll pretend I totally understood the cricket cartoon ; )

    I liked the jokes on the page. Thanks for the link. I'm going to look at their archive now.

  13. Does anyone know if Brendan Nelson was in the United States specifically California in or around 1981 82 .. ??

  14. Leah Louise,

    I don't know.

    But someone else might.