|My bum is stuck to the seat!|
Well, it's not over till the fat lady sings, but Meg (not-fat-just-cuddly) Lees
finally sang her swan-song, and left the kids-party. After consistently denying
the accusations of breaking Democrat rules, she left. It was more like
a Gothic opera than a parliamentary cat-fight, right down to the dying relatives
from far away places, but now the music has stopped, it's musical chairs time
as Natasha (not-so-stout) Despoja and Meg argue over who owns the
senate seat occupied by Meg.
Natasha (the-needs-of-the-many-shall-outweigh-the-needs-of-the-few) Stott
Despoja says it belongs to the Democrats because people voted for the
party. Meg (my-need-is-greater-than-yours) Lees says they voted for her,
especially since she was the leader at the time.
Meg clearly worked all this out before-hand, and
knows she can't be forced out. They may make her move her seat to the
cross-benches, but she gets to keep it. If she had died yesterday, she would
have been replaced by another Democrat senator, but it's hers until either of
the two certainties of political life occur - death or election (taxes don't
count when you live out of the taxpayer's pocket).
Of course there is a small matter of the rules of the Democrat party, which says
that any senator who resigns from the Democrats must first resign from the
Senate. A clever bit of rule-making except for one thing: Meg
(I-now-think-for-myself) Lees is no longer in the Democrats! What are they
going to do if she doesn't follow the rules - expel her?
Natasha (king-of-the-kids) Stott Despoja has made another error of
judgment. She should have made it quite clear a week ago that 'anyone who
leaves the democrats has to give up their seat'. It would have been
provocative, effectively saying 'leave if you like, but leave the chair', but
that wouldn't have affected Meg's departure - she would have gone anyway. What
it would have done is to make Meg (my-bum-is-glued-to-the-seat) Lees look bad
in leaving. Now it's too late, she's gone, and the democrats have lost the
balance of power.
Some would say that there's no point playing musical-deck-chairs on the
Titanic, but one good thing has come out of this for the Democrats. The
National Executive has something they have been after for quite a while -
convincing proof that Meg (naughty-girl) Lees is in breach of the rules. Great!
Now she can be ... expelled?