Sheep are curious animals. They run with the flock when frightened by a sheep
dog, but then turn towards the dog when cornered and repeatedly stamp
their feet. There is nothing quite as pathetic as a sheep stamping its feet
at a dog. Except possibly seeing Natasha Stott Despoja doing the same thing
at the media hounds.
An increasingly bitter Cheryl (no-blame-no-shame) Kernot, as she was
turning on her adopted ALP,
called the Stott Despoja / Ridgeway team the 'dream team' when they took power
from Meg (GST) Lees. A young woman and an Aboriginal in power was
obviously a feminist's wet dream. However the dream suffered a rude awakening
when the party fell apart this afternoon. Natasha's increasingly petulant and
tedious foot-stamping was rejected by the majority of the remaining tatters of
her party, and she resigned. When was first elected to the Federal Parliament
she boasted that she was the youngest woman to ever do so. Today she also
looked the silliest.
She has said that she will remain in the party and in the Senate. She
criticized Meg (not-gloating-just-friendly) Lees for taking her seat with her
when she left the Democrats, and she criticized Andrew (white-ant) Murray for
declaring himself Democrat in Exile, so she can't take either of those options.
She can either prostrate herself to the greater party
machine and sit in the senate corner like a naughty little girl, or leave parliament. Leaving
parliament is hardly on the cards though - she hasn't yet been there long enough
to comfortably retire on her pension. In theory she could go out and get a
job, but she has never worked in her life (unless you count celebrity
current-event chat-shows), and she is hardly about to start now.
This fiasco of course has been caused by the fundamentally
'super-democratic' constitution of the Australian
Democrats. The leaders are elected by the members, not by their
parliamentary colleagues, and 100 members can initiate a leadership spill. The
result: a leader who is popular with the barely-over-18s who participate in the
leadership ballot, but who the rest of the party can't work with, and whom
fewer and fewer Australians want to vote for. Australian Democracy at its
best. Well, the Australian Democrats at their best anyway.
So after earlier throwing out the leader with the brains, the Democrats
have now thrown out their leader with the looks. Where does that leave them?
Aden (expert-at-saying-nothing) Ridgeway has been described as 'charismatic',
by his fellow Democrats. Not very convincing perhaps, but 6012 repetitions make
a truth, and many people like the feel of wool against the skin of their
eyelids. Apparently now it's Aden's turn to stand in front of the frightened
flock and stamp his foot.
As for policies - maybe if every sheep in outback Australia gets a subsidized
mobile phone to report on salinity levels in the Murray, Telstra will be sold