James Allan

COIN: Coalition Only In Name

What do you think left of centre governments in Australia are thinking about right now having watched the annihilation of Anna Bligh’s Labor government in Queensland? Or as they look at the latest federal polls?

I mean when even Tasmania (with its truly bizarre voting system) now seems likely to turn to the right at the next election you can almost half sympathise with the poor blighters.

Of course there is one left wing government in Australia that is more or less protected against the swing to right wing parties. I refer of course to Ted Baillieu’s government in Victoria. In so many ways, most egregiously its having caved in to the lefty special interest groups over that State’s (and only that State’s) bill of rights, it takes non Coalition positions on issues. And one wonders how many members of these self-styled (but really just those on one side of debatable policy issues) ‘human rights’ groups would ever vote for Mr. Baillieu whatever he did. But I digress.

Ted Baillieu had the ideal opportunity to ditch Victoria’s statutory Charter of Rights just a little while back. Indeed all 4 of his party members on the review committee recommended taking the judges right out of the equation, which is close to the same thing. But Ted opted to side with the position of the 3 Labor committee members and has even mooted adding new rights to the thing. This is quite incredible really. Or it is unless you think of the Baillieu government as a ‘COIN’ one – Coalition Only In Name.

Once you see it as a COIN government you can see how clever it is to have positioned yourself so that there is no choice for the voters to your right. Labor can be slaughtered in Queensland. It can look dead in the water federally. South Australia and even Tasmania can seem certain to fall next.

But the human rights industry and the ABC can all relax because there will remain at least one left wing government in Australia when that happens.

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