This weekend brings news of sexual harassment of a staff member on the Speakers Staff.
Coupled with that is a further allegation of misuse of tax payer funded cab charges. This may be a follow on from the report that suggested he was wracking up $1000 a week in cab charge.
This may be something that the Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, could have done without. On the last day of Parliament last year the ALP Speaker resigned and Peter Slipper was appointed to the task. He resigned his membership of the Liberal Party in accepting the position, and effectively gave The Prime Minister some breathing space in terms of the numbers in parliament.
Most people felt that she was going to need that space with the ongoing possibility that the Craig Thompson matters may cost her a vote there, and her need to reduce her dependence on Andrew Wilkie, and so allowed her to defer the Poker Machine reforms he was after.
If Peter Slipper slipped from view, they would almost certainly need an ALP member to be speaker, or another independent. If the Craig Thompson affair gets much worse, this will be in crisis.
One presumes that bi-elections in those electorates would not give any comfort to the Gillard Government, and at that stage she may loose her capacity to form Government. At that stage either she will ask the Governor General for a General Election, or Tony Abbott would form Government and immediately ask the Governor General for a General Election.