How they vote says a lot-Barnaby Joyce

Some LNP coalition members want to close down the “They Vote For You” website, because they feel it shines a light on how they vote on individual matters of policy. They appear to misunderstand the very nature of parliamentary democracy, which is no longer conducted in smoke-filled rooms, but in full public view. How they vote is thus in the public domain, and if they are ashamed of how they vote, they should change their position, or resign.

I live in the part of Australia described as “rural and regional”, so Mr Joyce, as the responsible minister, and an avowed champion of the regions, represents my interests. I am sure he thinks so. My house is coincidentally made of weatherboard and iron, which is the title of a book Mr Joyce once wrote. I am sure it can be obtained very cheaply these days, although his struggles with the spoken language would suggest his writing would be similarly ‘all over the shop’. I read a lot, but I admit I could not bring myself to sample his writing style.

His voting record is fairly consistent, and it could be inferred that he votes with his ‘heart, rather than his head’. But let us proceed to some of those votes.

On reducing inequality?

He strongly supports tightening the screws on welfare recipients. He voted to drug-test them, to pay their entitlements into a cashless debit card, and to limit the availability of payments to them. Clearly he believes that they cannot be trusted with money.

While many of his constituents in the regions rely on Social Security to live, he did vote for increasing the price of subsidised medicines, tighter means testing of family payments, and oddly, he voted for increasing parliamentary entitlements for current MPs and Senators.

He also voted against increasing consumer protections, against removing children from immigration detention, against increasing federal support for childcare, against closing the gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. He is definitely not a “leveller”.

He represents New England. Perhaps he lives in the ritzier part of the electorate, which might explain his disconnect between how the majority of his constituents live, and their needs, and his own. He received six months free accommodation after his marriage breakdown, so he is not averse to a freebie or two. We just have to trust the donor was not paying for access.

On education

His position on education seems to be about making it hard for the disadvantaged to get into university, because he voted to deregulate undergraduate university fees, and to increase indexing on HECS/HELP debts. He also voted against increasing funding for university education.

He supports charging postgraduate research students fees, as well as political interference in funding research. He voted to increase fees for humanities degrees. He did support a national school chaplaincy program, though.

On marriage equality

He voted for a plebiscite. He also voted to support civil celebrants’ right to refuse to marry same-sex couples. He voted against equal treatment for all couples, and against same-sex marriage equality. He could be credibly described as not being in favour of same-sex relationships.

On science & the environment

Mr Joyce is the leader of the National Party, which is the party for farmers and agriculture. His voting record on protecting the environment is spectacularly negative.

Here is a list of the policies he has voted AGAINST:

  • Government action on animal & plant extinctions
  • increasing investment in renewable energy
  • increasing protection of Aboriginal heritage sites
  • local community consultation on infrastructure projects
  • protecting threatened forest and bushland habitats
  • a carbon price
  • a fast transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy
  • a minerals resource rent tax
  • increasing fishing restrictions
  • increasing protection of Australia’s fresh water
  • maintaining or increasing CSIRO funding
  • protecting the Great Barrier Reef
  • restricting foreign ownership
  • the Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme
  • treating government action on climate change as urgent
  • ending illegal logging

This short retelling of Barnaby Joyce’s parliamentary votes is illuminating, and depressing. While strictly factual, it shows a disturbing pattern. His character has received much criticism over the years, exacerbated by his seeming shamelessness, and a singular lack of contrition. If we were to place him on a sort of political spectrum, he seems to embody eighteenth century social libertarianism, wilful blindness, proud anti-intellectualism, disregard for the poor, and a pumped up sense of achievement.

His attitudes expressly make it hard for his constituents to achieve social or economic mobility, and show an insensitivity to the needs of those less fortunate than himself, a complete disconnect between his role and the responsibilities inherent in it, and a drunken sailor’s lack of care toward the environment. For example, in 2017 he floated a plan to log old growth forests in Victoria, because of a couple of reported sightings of Leadbeater’s possum. Mr Joyce decided that it no longer needed to be protected from extinction.

He wears a floppy hat, and talks about shooting his cattle to stop them emitting methane, as if that makes him a farmer. He denigrates the latte sippers in the cities, accusing them of knowing nothing about the bush, but he has no concept of the duty to protect and nurture the land, as practised first by the Aborigines, and more recently by many of our farmers. He treats our natural environment as if it is a car-park, and our waterways as if they are solely for the use of multi-national cotton farmers.

He has been dubbed the Minister for Mining, and his record shows a total disregard for the future of life on earth, which borders on the sociopathic. He really appears to disrespect us all, and to treat the office of Deputy Prime Minister as a personal trinket.

As he said in his maiden speech in the House of Representatives, “Romans understood that political stability came from a public that was fed and, on a future stage, the British borrowed from this lesson and China is living it in a vastly more sanitised and politically correct form today. The basic rule remains the same; look after your own.”

Sadly, he appears to be conflicted as to who constitutes ‘his own’. Is it the people of Australia, or Gina Rinehart?

7 thoughts on “How they vote says a lot-Barnaby Joyce”

  1. This opinion particularly irks me as it is so damaging – He supports charging postgraduate research students fees, as well as political interference in funding research. He voted to increase fees for humanities degrees. He did support a national school chaplaincy program, though.

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  2. Very good Mark. Regards, Trevor Ward

    On Mon, 3 Jan 2022 at 14:04, Ask Bucko-he’ll tell you wrote:

    > Mark Buckley posted: ” Many of the LNP coalition members want to close > down the “They Vote For You” website, because they feel it shines a light > on how they vote on individual matters of policy. They appear to > misunderstand the very nature of parliamentary democracy, which is ” >

    Like

  3. Dear Mark

    may I send you an email about the upcoming Australia Day awards system.

    loved your article from last year on the Honours system

    regards

    John Thurgar

    0439610913

    Myocum NSW 2481

    ________________________________

    Like

  4. Great blog Bucko, what a fucking maggot is Barnaby

    On Mon, 3 Jan 2022 at 2:34 pm, Ask Bucko-he’ll tell you wrote:

    > Mark Buckley posted: ” Many of the LNP coalition members want to close > down the “They Vote For You” website, because they feel it shines a light > on how they vote on individual matters of policy. They appear to > misunderstand the very nature of parliamentary democracy, which is ” >

    Like

  5. Bucko – tells it like it is. “They Vote For You” is always worth a look into from time to time. The majority of the electoral constituency would not be interested or have the time to watch and listen in to public broadcasts of parliamentary debates or committees, a few may tune into the bizarro world of question time; more might watch or listen to news reports that are so compressed in editing for the “sound-bite” – when I hear the sound-bite “…meeting and beating our targets on emissions…” I actually hear them to be stating they are “…beating the meat…”- as well as contamination by editorial commentary rather than factual reporting.

    And so, we all could, given time and motivation, tune in to observe the elected representatives – it is better to consider and call our elected representatives “law-makers” rather then ‘politicians’ – deliver their views and see how intelligent or dismally stupid these persons may happen to appear in each case – by watching or listening to broadcasts of more than just question time. “They Vote For You” is always useful for a comprehensive snapshot of where the stooges – ahem, sorry, the lawmakers – stand.

    A final note of joy for the interested readers is that Barnacle will be living on the public tit until they put him into the ground, after which his family/families may benefit from continued albeit reduced payment of parliamentary pension. Ah, the public tit; how good it is for those intent on destroying the social welfare state and punishing the under-employed or the unemployable – who will always number at least 5% of the putatively available workforce, as a means of limiting uncontrolled wage growth – whilst voting for themselves superannuation contributions at higher rates – if these are employer guaranteed super contributions, then you and I are paying for those contributions to superannuation – coupled with the opaque parliamentary pension, which may well now mean the same thing: either way, the retired or un-reelected lawmaker benefits from a higher average salary and a higher superannuation contribution scheme and is able to start collecting it far earlier than the age of 67years for which the rest of us must wait before benefitting from an age pension.

    What the shit!? How many dead-shit deadwood party hacks who fooled their electorates that they were the best man/woman/person for the role, and succeeded in completing 3 terms of office will be on the public tit until they are buried. How fucking appalling. Worse even are the ‘retired’ or failed who sell their recent knowledge and use their access to their old colleagues and departments to benefit financially by selling their ‘service’ to private enterprise or to foreign governments.

    Equalisation would see that law-makers have the same entitlements – not superior ones – as those enjoyed by the people represented. And another thing, anyone who doesn’t have to bring their own lunch to work, or to pay for it themselves even granted a modest subsidisation by the employer, cannot be in tune with the lives of people who must bring their own lunch, or who must pay for their own fuel, office equipment, overheads and so on.

    So Barnacle and his predecessor leader of the dreadful Nationals – one McCormack who told the parliament, the whole country and the world that he was so displeased with people who held opposing or different viewpoints that he would wish plagues of mice to bite the faces of those persons’children whilst they slept at night – and all of the other dreadful stooges – ahem, lawmakers – like Angus Taylor, David Littleproud, Brigit McKenzie, Scummo the Shit from The Shire – I have to stop, if I start to list them all I may vomit or otherwise lose my shit – will all be on the public tit long after they have been defeated and expelled by their own electorates.

    I love the smell of gravy in the morning ….

    Thank you Bucko, I feel much better for the moment, Peace Be With you and your readers, and let us have the 2022 election deliver a change in the stripe of lawmaker occupying the Treasury benches

    dogma Australis

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