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Federal Government

BLOOD ON THE RED CARPET: Brandis wins Deputy Senate stoush defeating Cormann

liberalgermans Kingmaker Liberal Senator Nick Minchin decided to leave the Senate after 17 years on the job. Minchin was a senior minister and then in Opposition led the way in destroying Labor’s controversial CPRS proposal by brilliantly maneuvering Tony Abbott into his party’s leadership.

BIG SHOES TO FILL
Legend has it that Minchin shrewdly directed at least a dozen votes to vote for Malcolm Turnbull rather than his candidate Abbott in the first-round of last year’s leadership contest ensuring that Hockey was eliminated and that Abbott would go head-to-head against Turnbull. Hockey would have beaten Abbott, the theory goes.

Just when Minchin star was shining brightly in Canberra, the Senator’s boy Oliver was nearly killed when he fell from a boat during Officer training near Canberra and was struck by the boat’s propeller. He survived but was seriously injured.

The incident was the catalyst for Minchin’s sudden decision to quit, arguably at the peak of his powers.

Replacing him in the Senate leadership will be Senator Eric Abetz, an earnest fellow whose distinctive clipped accent and perpetual scowl will help make him one of the nation’s most recognisable Liberals.

We see a cult of personality in his future.

Critics say “his speeches make more sense in the orginal German”(a nasty reference to his great-uncle Otto Abetz, the Nazi German Ambassador to occupied Vichy France during the War). He was also thought to be horrified about his involvement in the Godwin Grech affair where he quoted his infamously forged email that purported to reveal government corruption. He blamed former leader Malcolm Turnbull for feeding him the toxic forgery.

But for all that, Abetz is well-regarded by most party colleagues as diligent, thorough, socially conservative but not maniacally so. He won’t be opposed, although Victorian faction boss Michael Ronaldson and former Turnbull backer Michael Ronaldson is believed to have considered a full tilt at one stage.

RONNO LURKS
Ronno – who essentially in charge of the Victorian Liberal organisation in partnership with Michael Kroger – sees himself as the Senate leader in waiting but is happy to let Abetz have a crack. Ronno supporters tell VEXNEWS that “when Abbott stumbles, Ronno will not be looking to just return to the Shadow Cabinet but to take a leadership role.”

The interesting fight will be between Senator George Brandis, a Liberal lefty from Queensland and Senator Mathias Cormann, from the party’s right in WA. Some say that Ronno and/or Ian Macdonald might also have a run but neither expect to win with Ronno backing Brandis anyhow.

Cormann’s backers say he is a”breath of fresh air” and is a much more friendly and open figure than the “noblesse oblige pompous blow-hard barrister” George Brandis.

They claim Brandis is “well to Rudd’s left on many issues including climate change, he’s the worst kind of Brisbane Liberal wet that will eventually be hunted into extinction by the now fully merged LNP.”

Brandis is not thought to enjoy a particularly close relationship with Senate leader designate Eric Abetz, calling him all sorts of epithets that frequently relate to his German heritage.

Despite that, Tony Abbott and Nick Minchin are expected to back Brandis in a gesture towards factional inclusion and also – it is said by Canberra insiders – on seniority grounds. Brandis was elected in 2000 and Cormann in 2007. These things count for much in the boarding school that is Australian Parliament House.

They have attempted to encourage Cormann – who shares a Germanic background with prospective new leader Abetz – to back off. But he’s a bold chap and is not for turning apparently despite many phone calls imploring him to be that most praised of political serfs “the team player.”

Indeed, Cormann is seen as not having much of a chance either but has been working hard to ensure a respectable vote that won’t make him look like a fringe-player.

Without support from Abbott or Minchin, and without an unexpected close result,  it will be difficult for Cormann to avoid that appearance.

VEXNEWS UPDATE: Big win for Brandis. Deputy Liberal Leader in Senate – Brandis 18, Cormann 8 and Macdonald 5.

Discussion

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  1. Cormann (Clarke) will bring Liberals to the true path

    Posted by Observer | May 3, 2010, 9:30
  2. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by David Hutt, Asia Pacific Brief. Asia Pacific Brief said: VEXNEWS BLOOD ON THE RED CARPET: Libs to stoush it out over Senate deputy leadership today: Nick Minchin's had eno… http://bit.ly/9ylk8A […]

    Posted by Tweets that mention VEXNEWS 2010© | BLOOD ON THE RED CARPET: Libs to stoush it out over Senate deputy leadership today -- Topsy.com | May 3, 2010, 9:43
  3. My daddy told me it is ok to have either lead – as long as they believe the earth is 7,000 years old as it says in the bible!

    Posted by Mike Baird | May 3, 2010, 10:09
  4. Cormann has too much ego and very bad personal skills. He also has bad breath.

    Posted by Kris Kringle | May 3, 2010, 10:42
  5. We will miss you Senator Nick Minchin – but please feel free to plot behind the scenes.

    Posted by Ben | May 3, 2010, 11:31
  6. Atchung Baby.

    Posted by anon | May 3, 2010, 11:52
  7. Isn’t Cormann the guy who backed chair sniffing Troy Buswell for leader and as treasurer? If so, his judgement counts for nothing.

    Posted by Libby | May 3, 2010, 12:41
  8. “Victorian faction boss Michael Ronaldson and former Turnbull backer Michael Ronaldson. . . . “. Well, that just about puts paid to Ronno!

    The return of MT is just what the Party doesn’t need, least of all Ronno who without MT was on a pathway to rehabilitation.

    Ronno had better watch out – there are a couple of “senior Vic Liberals” anxious (justifiably) to see that MT doesn’t go any further, and Ronno wouldn’t want to get in their way – a couple of ’em are VERY ambitious, a few years to the better side of Ronno, and well connected.

    Cheers,
    Observer.

    Posted by Observer | May 3, 2010, 14:59
  9. Glad to see the back of that snake Minchin!! Brandis will make a much better deputy than Corrman, as Corrman is too “extreme” while Brandis is more “moderate” like me.

    Even gladder to see that my best mate Turnbull has decided to stay after my torrent of teary pleading phone calls. He was going to promote me.

    I’m not sure if I can support Abbott any more as his plan to suspend unemployment benefits for those under 30 unless they move to the Pilbara looks like it’ll be sending to of my key lieutenants who are “between jobs”, Failow and Fontana, to the other end of the continent. I’m not sure that the NSW Liberal Party would cope with such a huge loss of talent.

    Posted by Alex Hork | May 3, 2010, 16:47
  10. Glad to see the back of that snake Minchin!! Brandis will make a much better deputy than Corrman, as Corrman is too “extreme” while Brandis is more “moderate” like me.

    Even gladder to see that my best mate Turnbull has decided to stay after my torrent of teary pleading phone calls. He was going to promote me.

    I’m not sure if I can support Abbott any more as his plan to suspend unemployment benefits for those under 30 unless they move to the Pilbara looks like it’ll be sending to of my key lieutenants who are “between jobs”, Failow and Fontana, to the other end of the continent. I’m not sure that the NSW Liberal Party would cope with such a huge loss of talent.

    Posted by King of the Kids | May 3, 2010, 16:49
  11. Glad to see the back of that snake Minchin!! Brandis will make a much better deputy than Corrman, as Corrman is too “extreme” while Brandis is more “moderate” like me.

    Even gladder to see that my best mate Turnbull has decided to stay after my torrent of teary pleading phone calls. He was going to promote me.

    I’m not sure if I can support Abbott any more as his plan to suspend unemployment benefits for those under 30 unless they move to the Pilbara looks like it’ll be sending to of my key lieutenants who are “between jobs”, Faillow and Fontana, to the other end of the continent. I’m not sure that the NSW Liberal Party would cope with such a huge loss of talent.

    Posted by The Little General | May 3, 2010, 16:53
  12. It’s a minor detail but Mr. Corrman is Belgian

    Posted by potato potarto | May 3, 2010, 16:53
  13. I wouldn’t mind packing the fudge of the Hun hunk Cormann. I hear he likes it like that too.

    Posted by Fudge Packer | May 3, 2010, 22:01
  14. Macdonald!! eee-yi-eee-yi-oh

    Posted by The Third Way | May 3, 2010, 22:25
  15. But what about ME?

    I want to be a Senator one day.

    Nick – Pleeeeeeeeeeeease.

    Alex – Pretty Pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaasssssssssssssssse.

    Posted by Miles | May 3, 2010, 23:13
  16. I see a cult developing around Erica Betz. The cult of cross dressing Tasmanians pretending to be serious politicians.

    Posted by Taking of Pell 123 | May 3, 2010, 23:43
  17. Jeez! I hope you are not referring to Cro-Magnon Sen. Abetz’s WW2 war criminal German Uncle! Sen. Abetz is a primitive, unwanted immigrant from NZ who transferred to Tassie, thence to the Australian national parliament. His contribution thus far has been less than minimal.

    Posted by Fascists running Australia | May 4, 2010, 0:33
  18. “Big win for Brandis” – puh-leeze!

    Take away those compelled to vote for him by Abbott’s intervention and Cormann wins.

    Posted by BS Detector | May 4, 2010, 15:25
  19. At least we know Abetz will have the job for a long, long time – maybe 9 or 12 years ….

    And please Mr Fudge Packer, there are other websites where you can indulge your fantasies. This is about news, not your personal hygiene issues.

    Posted by Wendy | May 4, 2010, 15:31
  20. Wendy, you are such a fudge packerphobe.
    Why do you discriminate against the natural pleasures we are designed to enjoy.
    Have you ever had your fudge packed? Probably not otherwise you wouldn’t be so critical.
    Try packing your own fudge with a carrot and see what you are missing.

    Posted by Fudge Packer | May 4, 2010, 15:43
  21. Mr Fudge Packer’s dribble reminds me of those preachers in the US who rant and rave about sin, only to find they are living with a goat or some farmyard concubine.

    Sad, isn’t it, that people like you haunt the web looking for love, looking for respect, looking for a proper job and the respect of your peers.

    I’m interested in politics and affairs of state, which is what VexNews offers. may I suggest you try the back of men’s magazines if you want to have a potty mouth and teenage growth problems.

    Again, I think Abetz is in for a long haul in opposition and the Greens may prove a strong 3rd party after the next election.

    Posted by Wendy | May 4, 2010, 16:10
  22. Wendy, I’d love to use your mouth as a potty after packing your fudge but please don’t compare me to those fudge packing fakers in the USA.

    No one packs fudge like me and I have had plenty of affairs of state.

    If the greens do well as you suggest then it is a victory for the great green fudge packer himself. Forget the greens Wendy and always go for the brown.

    Posted by Fudge Packer | May 4, 2010, 22:45
  23. Wendy whips out the preacher comparisons as soon as someone disagrees with her or calls her fat. Roll with the waves Wendy, roll with the waves.

    Posted by Taking of Pell 123 | May 4, 2010, 23:19
  24. Please Cardinal Pell don’t make me visit Mr Abbott in his chambers tonight.

    Posted by Little Blonde Choir Boy | May 4, 2010, 23:32
  25. I’m very sorry, I didn’t realise that this is a site for men with latent homosexual issues. I mistook it for a news site with informed blogs. Obviously this is where lonely deperate men with minority views go to pretend they have opinions.

    Surely VexNews should monitor the toilet comments of this sad little men and remove them.

    Posted by Wendy | May 5, 2010, 12:52
  26. Wendy don’t knock it till you have tried it. Just use a lubed up finger to start with and get bigger and bolder from there.

    Posted by Fudge Packer | May 5, 2010, 15:43
  27. Wendy, I have told you before, I don`t care if you are an ugly fat lefty, I will drill your big fat arse like there`s no tomorrow.

    Posted by Beerpussy. | May 5, 2010, 16:15
  28. Fudge Packer… Beerpussy … let me guess, you are men without wives or girlfriends? You were not very good at school and never got a university degree? You are in menial jobs with moderate pay? You drink a lot and take recreational drugs to mask your lonliness and insecurities. You live on the web because your friends all seem to have richer lives. You vote conservative because being Green or queer scares you…

    Posted by Wendy | May 5, 2010, 16:50
  29. Wendy, I am the fudge packer – no more and no less. I did a degree in packing fudge and only use the amyl nitrate to assist my professional fudge packing work.

    I think being green is queer and that’s why I always aim for the brown. If you are willing I am happy to do the fudgehole to mouth transfer. Then you could taste your own insides. Yum Yum.

    Posted by Fudge Packer | May 5, 2010, 22:09
  30. Let me guess your an army boot wearing dyke with a chip on your shoulder who lives in Northcote and uglier than a hatfull of arseholes?

    Posted by Beerpussy | May 5, 2010, 23:31
  31. Wendy, what about me, it isn’t fair, they’ve had their spray, now I want my say, what about meeeee

    Posted by Taking of Pell 123 | May 6, 2010, 0:00
  32. Wendy sounds like either:
    a) A first year arts student
    b) A failed arts student
    c) A Greens staffer
    d) A 30 -something back-to-work Mum who’s just discovered blogging
    e) A complete git

    Posted by anon-e-mouse | May 6, 2010, 0:42
  33. Boys, boys, boys. Little boys really. I am actually a buxom 32 year old economics graduate who has worked for both the ALP and Liberal governments. I have never failed at uni (I suspect most of you sod busters never gained entry); I don’t vote Green but think they have some worthwhile issues and just because I find purile silly semi-educated men in menial and unhappy jobs a joke doesn’t make me queer.

    Why do lonely men always claim smart sassy women are either gay or like perverted relations? Perhaps this says more about their social and political views than mine!!

    Posted by Wendy | May 6, 2010, 10:35
  34. Fat bitch still think I am you are.

    Posted by Yoda | May 6, 2010, 10:55
  35. Yoda, anon-e-mouse, Pell 123, Beerpussy and Mr Fudge – may I suggest you all get into a room together and work on your failings as human beings, as intellects, as career minded people, as fathers, husbands, boyfriends and as bloggers. Honestly little boys, never I have come across such detritus and pickle minded babies. Is this what Tony Abbott’s Liberals have now become – a shelter for the half-wit, the pillock, the self congratultor, the politcial dunderhead?

    May I commend RSVP as a more appropraite website. You’ll meet some classy bogans there, i’m certain.

    Posted by Wendy | May 6, 2010, 12:02
  36. Sorry I told a few porkies I am actually an obsese smelly ugly unemployed dyke.

    Posted by Wendy | May 6, 2010, 12:05
  37. Wow – now we have fake Wendy’s!!! Gosh, is there no end to the frustrations of men without women? Sad to think of the physical frustrations some men have and that when confronted with a smart, good looking woman, what do they do – call you a lesbian. How original. How novel. Never heard that one before. Guess you boys don’t get much, do you? Back to the magazines I guess?

    Posted by Wendy | May 6, 2010, 12:25
  38. Wendy, you and me babe, how about it?

    Posted by Beerpussy. | May 6, 2010, 12:36
  39. No thanks, I prefer men, not hand karaoke experts.

    Posted by Wendy | May 6, 2010, 12:40
  40. Wendy, it’s one guy using multiple names- possibly the names of his imaginary friends, you seem to be cleaver enought not to be giving this loser his kicks. That is all I have to say on a threat that is way out of control.

    Posted by zzz | May 6, 2010, 15:12
  41. ‘Clever’- I never said I was though.

    Posted by zzz | May 6, 2010, 15:14
  42. the half-wit, the pillock, the self congratultor, the politcial dunderhead.
    Sorry, which one am I Wendy,
    as for my other friends, I am thinking perhaps a room in a nice hotel somewhere…

    Posted by Taking of Pell 123 | May 6, 2010, 18:08
  43. Wendy you’re a bit older than what I prefer but the buxom bit sounds ok to me. Give me a call or txt me if you need a lift…. Oh wait sorry. I see that you are an educated confident woman. Forget it you’re not my type

    Posted by RDR | May 6, 2010, 20:32
  44. Tell me Wendy, do you think the leader of all Greens, the King of queers, is a giver or receiver?

    Posted by Beerpussy. | May 6, 2010, 21:45
  45. Has anyone got a spare ‘strap on’ my dear friend Dean Mighell needs a service?

    Posted by Wendy | May 6, 2010, 23:22
  46. I love a hot halal kebab [deleted]

    Posted by Wendy loves kebabs | May 7, 2010, 16:09
  47. Even a kebab would go ‘soft’ with Wendy.

    Posted by anon | May 7, 2010, 22:43
  48. Boys, boys, boys. Little boys really. I am actually a buxom 32 year old economics graduate who has worked for both the ALP and Liberal governments. I have never failed at uni (I suspect most of you sod busters never gained entry); I don’t vote Green but think they have some worthwhile issues and just because I find purile silly semi-educated men in menial and unhappy jobs a joke doesn’t make me queer.

    Oh God, I am so unhappy and lonely. Will someone please love me for who I am not just because I am a genius?

    Posted by Wendy | May 8, 2010, 14:54
  49. Wendy, are you not even the slightest embarrassed at writing
    “Boys, boys, boys. Little boys really. I am actually a buxom 32 year old economics graduate who has worked for both the ALP and Liberal governments”?

    You’ve come across like a complete wanker.

    You’ve set yourself up for some serious ridicule but mouthing off like some pompus Leftard wann-be intellectual. Maybe you are, but do you have to make an ass of yourself too?

    Calling yourself “buxom”…really, who cares?

    For someone so smart you really are acting dumb.

    Posted by Wendy's best friend. | May 8, 2010, 15:00