Andrew Wilkie


Andrew Wilkie

Image by Christopher Neugebauer via Flickr

This issue is beginning to make sense, and it does say a lot positive about Andrew Wilkie, and perhaps less about others.

In the silence that followed the election of the last parliament Andrew Wilkie stuck a deal for meaningful Poker Machine Legislation by May of 2012. The Gillard/Brown administration was prepared to do that in exchange for which Andrew Wilkie agreed to support the government, including voting against motions of no confidence, and ensuring as far as possible supply. A simple deal, that in part was how Julia Gillard was able to form a Governemnt, take office and possession of The Lodge.

Late last year a deal was done, whereby Peter Slipper resigned his membership of the Liberal Party, and became the Speaker of the House of Representatives. This was a dexterous political move on the part of The Right Honourable, The Prime Minister, which shored up her numbers in the House, taking her majority from one to three, and so allowing her a little room to move. One of the issues still not resolved is the fate of Craig Thompson, the Central Coast Member who is under investigations for his conduct of affairs whilst part of the Health Services Union. The remains the possibility that there may need to be a bi-election there which would return the majority to one.

Whilst that has not happened yet, the need for Andrew Wilkie is diminished, and so having an each way bet herself, Juilia has set in place a modified version of the agreement with an extra 24 months thrown in so that the reality of this is well with the ambit of the next parliament where who knows what proposition will hold the balance of power.

Appropriately Andrew Wilkie has said a deal is a deal, the Government can no longer rely on me for support. It is clear that he is very unlikely to vote in favour of a motion of no confidence in the Government, and however rocky his relationship may be with the Labor Party, you can be certain it will be rather better than his relationship with the Liberal Party.

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