Australia’s House Speaker, Harry Jenkins, is resigning out of “frustration” with the role, which requires impartiality. Jenkins wants to resume participation in Labor Party policy debates. He will be replaced by his deputy, who is from the opposition Liberals. This change positively affects the balance of the closely divided House in favor of Labor. And it may undercut independent
Senator Representative Andrew Wilkie’s leverage. Wilkie, one of four non-Labour MPs providing Labour with confidence and supply, has threatened to withdraw support over reform of poker machines (yes, really, “pokie” reform is his big issue).
Meanwhile, one of the other four MPs providing confidence and supply, Green MP Adam Bandt, has been named Australian politician of the year by GQ. The Sky article says GQ “mistakenly” refers to Bandt as the first Green ever elected to the House. But wasn’t he the first? I thought so, and Wikipedia says so. Wikipedia trumps GQ for me, unless someone convinces me otherwise.