Monday, August 18, 2008

The Ubiquitous Nick Xenophon's Flip-Flop

You can't get away from the ubiquitous Nick Xenophon now that he shares the balance of power in the Senate. This is especially true in South Australia where we are at present, but he also popped up on Channel Nine's new Sunday morning program and ABC Radio National's Life Matters this morning. He is the new Barnaby Joyce or Pauline Hanson. His opinion is sought about every topic, sometimes even the issue he was elected on, poker machines.

His interview with Laurie Oakes yesterday was intsructive. He promised that he would not indulge in horse-trading or bartering his vote. He'll be the first! He will determine things on the merits of the the facts. He claimed his approach is evidence-based. He looks at the facts. He will " look at every piece of legislation on its merits". Nick's going to be a busy boy!

I'm more worried about a values-based approach such as we have seen from the likes of Brian Harradine and Steve Fielding. The government gets fuel watch or its equivalent and we get restrcitive laws on sexuality, scientific research and censorship.

It is easy to play the populist on water for the Lower lakes and fuel prices. Interesting that he supported a fuel watch scheme in the SA parliament but admits to doing his homework afterwards and is now opposed. He told Oakes, "I live and learn". In the major parties it's called shooting from the hip followed by a flip-flop.

It's not as easy to find out where independents stand on other more controversial topics. I tried to find out more on his website and Facebook but didn't find much that was new or enlightening.

If the Senate is meant to keep the bastards honest, let's hope the media will apply that to all of our elected, not just the government.

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