Late this afternoon, the Turnbull government lost a vote on the floor of the House of Representatives, 61 to 69.
Not enough of the Coalition’s own members could be bothered turning up to vote on amendments to the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Act.
The AAP wire service reports:
Leader of the House Christopher Pyne asked the vote be retaken, claiming the bells for the division should have rung for four minutes instead of one.
But let’s just jump back a par.
Not… enough… of… the… Coalition’s… own… members… could… be… bothered… turning… up.
The government of the day is only the government because they have the numbers in the House. They only remain in government by keeping those numbers.
One thing is incessantly drummed into Reps backbenchers by the whips: when the bells ring, it’s their job to get into the chamber — pronto. Ministers, too.
After all, this is the government that lost a vote to bring on a debate into a banking royal commission in the first sitting days after last July’s debacle. They wouldn’t make that mistake again, would they?
So, should we swallow Pyne’s excuse?
Or was this a sign that even if the ever-ebullient Member for Sturt refuses to read the writing on the wall, enough of his colleague have: that they know that one day sooner or later even streaking down the corridors to the chamber at a pace that would rival Usain Bolt’s personal best won’t save the Turnbull government — and that they might just be better off letting it happen sooner rather than later?
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