Barnaby Joyce is a fruitcake. He always has been, and he always will be. He seems to think he is the swing voter that count. Funnily enough, more often than not, the parties have been able to arrange to make his vote redundant. One example that springs to mind is V.S.U., where Stephen Fielding aligned himself with the Coalition (funnily enough, he’s running on an extreme-right platform while the Liberals are on a right) to sway the vote.
Now he goes out and say:
“To be completely honest I don’t see a huge amount of difference between where Labor wants to be and where the Coalition already is”
You could say that about a few things and be right. But what issue do you think you could never say this about? Perhaps environment. No one would be so stupid to say this about I.R., right? WRONG! That’s exactly what Senator Joyce was talking about! Industrial Relations. Does he seriously see no difference between Labor and the Coalition on this issue? Is he that blind?
The two parties pit themselves as opposites on this. Rudd, whenever accused of being ‘another Liberal’, counters first with a difference on Industrial Relations. Everyone has had it drilled into them that the two parties are opposed on this point. Why is it that the rest of this country can see the difference, and Barnaby Joyce can’t?
I suppose it’s promising that he’s prepared to vote in favour of Labor changes if they get elected. Then again, we probably have to hope that he remembers to front that day and that he doesn’t get lost in his own house. Dear oh dear …
This does more damage to the Coalition than it helps Labor’s cause. When one of your own senators is saying he will back opposition policy he is saying that he doesn’t agree with your own. Joe Hockey, the poor guy who is the face for all this, had to try and smooth it all out. Mark Vaile too had to save face. It’s questions devoted to problems, inches in papers that aren’t talking about the pro’s of their party, and time wasted for the Coalition. Joyce is probably in the bad books now – if he wasn’t already.