Nov 30, 2012

Posted by in Business ethics, Government, Political comment, Politics, Queensland political comment, Social comment, Values | 0 Comments

Jumping ship should lead to walking the plank

Politicians elected to parliament under the banner of a specific party should not have the right to renege on that allegiance without causing a by-election.

It is becoming all too common for Members of Parliament to decide they are no longer comfortable with their colleagues and spurn the party under whose banner they campaigned for election.

Two examples of this syndrome have emerged in Queensland politics over the past week.

Longstanding MP, Ray Hopper, ratted on his mates in the Liberal National Party and ran off like a randy virgin to throw himself at the feet of Katter’s Australian Party. Another LNP parliamentarian, Carl Judge, decided that, after a mere eight months in a new government, he could no longer support the party whose policies and platform he endorsed wholeheartedly while assuring voters with hand on heart that he would deliver for them on those promises.

A mere thirty weeks or so later he now professes to be alienated from the LNP and its platform. Clearly just another guy dreadfully freaked-out by the whole commitment thing. Pathetic, Carl.

Ya gotta wonder what these people understand about loyalty, trust and respect. Not a bloody thing, obviously.

It is worthy of note that Judge offered the following view in the wake of declaring his lack of love for the LNP: “ . . . first and foremost I am here to represent my electorate and to make sure their views are heard by the government.”

Well, sorry, Carl old mate, but do you really think your views are going to be listened to by a government you have just angered and humiliated? Doesn’t work that way, son.  I thought, having been a detective, you’d have a far better understanding of the real world. Clearly not.

And I have to ask this: given that you begged your supporters to endorse the LNP’s published policies and platform – as your preferred means of getting into parliament – how do you now propose to claim you represent their views when you have trashed that platform? Please explain, coz I just don’t get it.

You’re a rat. And you’re a rat who cannot even adequately espouse a justifiable case to support ratting on the party whose expertise, time and money you used vaingloriously to ride their coat-tails into a position of power, prestige and privilege. And now you disown them but still believe you are entitled to enjoy the perks and privileges of your new status. Give us a break!

One of the compacts between voters and their representatives is that candidates seek a specific mandate to articulate voters’ preference for one political party over all others. This is the way our democratic system works. Carl, you pledged your allegiance to that party. You knew the entirety of its platform and said you supported it. Now, you not only disown it but trash it. What gives?

Having ruthlessly exploited the expertise, financial resources and volunteer labour of the LNP to get into parliament, you should now repay that debt if you wish to jump ship. You have done the dirty on them and you owe them. And regardless of how many voters may now say they support your stance, you have betrayed the solemn promise you gave to your electorate when seeking their votes.

Yours is an appalling breach of trust, Carl Judge, and you should be ashamed.

The only effective remedy to this type of dilemma is to force turncoat MPs to face a by-election – a new poll in their seat – to test their popularity with the electorate. Some may win but most will likely find voters prefer the party they originally supported to someone whose moral compass swirls like a leaf in a cyclone. Yes, there is a hefty cost involved but who wants to pay a rat to get fat?

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