ONTD Political

Australian Opposition Leader sprints out of parliament

8:58 pm - 05/30/2012
OPPOSITION Leader Tony Abbott bolted from Parliament as former Labor MP Craig Thomson voted with the Coalition so it could continue debating the federal budget.

The extraordinary scene, captured on television cameras, came as the Government moved to "gag" shadow treasurer Joe Hockey, who was addressing a suspension motion regarding the Commonwealth debt ceiling.

The Hansard record shows Mr Abbott voting alongside Mr Thomson on the initial gag motion, despite the Opposition Leader's vow never to accept the MP's "tainted vote".

Deputy Speaker Anna Burke had already ordered the parliamentary chamber doors to be locked to count MPs' votes.

But on three subsequent motions the Liberal leader was allowed to leave the chamber and did not record a vote.

Mr Thomson is sitting on the cross-bench as an Independent MP after dissociating himself from the ALP while investigations into his tenure at the Health Services Union continue.

The NSW MP was found by Fair Work Australia to have misused his union credit card, including to pay for prostitutes, but has emphatically denied the findings.

Despite vowing never to accept Mr Thomson’s vote, Mr Abbott was caught out and was unable to leave the chamber.

"Abbott actually tried to sprint out of the room for the first division,'' said one observer.

"The doors were locked before he got out. He started to walk back but they reopened to let him out.''

But the Coalition withdrew one of its own MPs from the vote, meaning that Mr Thomson’s vote was effectively negated.

Manager of Opposition Business Christopher Pyne stood to the side of the chamber to avoid being included in the vote.

The move by Mr Thomson is unlikely to signal a switch to Mr Abbott, but caused uproar in Parliament.

Mr Abbott accused Labor and Mr Thomson of manufacturing a stunt.

"It was obviously a stunt orchestrated between Craig Thomson, (Leader of the House) Anthony Albanese and the government," he told reporters in Canberra after the vote, adding journalists had been alerted in advance that it was about to take place.

"As soon as it became apparent the government was pulling this stunt Christopher Pyne and I absented ourselves from the chamber."

The Opposition Leader vowed that the Coalition would absent one of its MPs whenever Mr Thomson chose to vote with the opposition - just as the Howard Government did when it received the support of former Labor senator Mal Colston.

"I call on Julia Gillard to do the same," he said.

Mr Thomson told AAP he did not speak to any Labor MP regarding how he planned to vote on the gag motions.

"It is complete rubbish," he said of Mr Abbott's accusation.

"I didn't call for the suspension of standing orders and I didn't know the government was going to move gag motions.

"I was in a meeting of the economics committee when it happened."

Later, Mr Abbott vowed not to be stymied by the Gillard Government trying to "Abbott proof" its legislation.

The Opposition Leader told a Minerals Council lunch in Canberra the Gillard Government was trying to put in place measures to stop the next elected government changing its laws.

He admitted some policies would be "difficult to undo" but he vowed he would keep his promises.

Mr Abbott said his concerns related to the carbon tax and mining tax that he has pledged to scrap. He said he would also reinstate the Australian Building and Construction Commissioner, change workplace relations and cut red tape.

TL;DR - Abbott runs out of parliament because he didn't want to vote with an MP who is currently being investigated for some shady stuff.

Ladies and gentleman, Australian politics.

Source has a video.
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chasing_breezes 30th-May-2012 11:50 am (UTC)
When are our politicians going to realize these STUPID stunts arent doing them any favours? I swear, it's like they exist in a vacuum and theyve forgotten that spitballs dony impress anyone outside primary school. I don't even know whose vote it is that they're angling for with this idiocy.

I have feelings about this, obviously.
chasing_breezes 30th-May-2012 11:51 am (UTC)
*don't impress...
mel_darcy 30th-May-2012 11:54 am (UTC)
This was brilliant. Could watch that clip forever.
cyranothe2nd 30th-May-2012 02:16 pm (UTC)
It's hypnotic...
johnjie 30th-May-2012 11:59 am (UTC)
I'm just surprised at how fast hew can leg it, to be honest.
burntspaghetti 30th-May-2012 12:45 pm (UTC)
He does do a lot of marathons and other sporty stuff so it doesn't surprise me that much.
I'd have thought that someone running for PM would try not to look like such a dickhead on camera, but it is Tony Abbott. He doesn't seem to be that self-aware.
keeperofthekeys 30th-May-2012 12:50 pm (UTC)
I can't stop watching that gif
astridmyrna 30th-May-2012 01:59 pm (UTC)
It's the Yeti from Skifree.

You'll be skiing along until...BOOM, YETI DECIDES IT'S GAME OVER.
pinkprincessnat 30th-May-2012 01:23 pm (UTC)
The whole situation is a farce. Although seeing Abbott and Pyne run for the door was pretty amusing.
thecityofdis 30th-May-2012 01:52 pm (UTC)
... but why? He couldn't have like, walked quickly? Dude had to triathalon it?
chasing_breezes 30th-May-2012 01:58 pm (UTC)
They lock the doors before a vote. I don't think they'd been paying attention, they didn't actually make it out in time.
bnmc2005 30th-May-2012 02:52 pm (UTC)
Who are the other two men also running for the door?
mel_darcy 31st-May-2012 02:08 am (UTC)
Chris Pyne was the one who made it out. I can't recall the other guy.
lozbabie 30th-May-2012 02:52 pm (UTC)
Seriously Turnbull make a play for leadership. I could handle Turnbull as PM, I can't handle this clown.
blunder_buss 30th-May-2012 06:33 pm (UTC)
That's what I don't get - Turnbull seemed like a reasonable guy, but then they replaced him with Abbott, someone NOBODY really wants to vote for.

But after Rudd's failed bid, I'm afraid that if Turnbull tried then all hell would break loose.
cuterabbit33 30th-May-2012 03:01 pm (UTC)
Needs the Benny Hill theme music.

Yeah, he's really proving that he is the most mature man there. Surely everyone will respect him now.
aviv_b 30th-May-2012 03:18 pm (UTC)
poetic_pixie_13 30th-May-2012 03:55 pm (UTC)



soundczech 30th-May-2012 04:44 pm (UTC)
crossfire 30th-May-2012 05:26 pm (UTC)
I have no idea what this is all about but that gif is slaying me.
blunder_buss 30th-May-2012 06:27 pm (UTC)
When I saw this on the news, I paused it and threw back my head and laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed AND LAUGHED BECAUSE OH MY GOD, ARE YOU SERIOUS.

And then I sighed because oh god how can I vote for any of these people.

I feel horrible for the poor Madam Speaker though for putting up with this shit. ABC news did a great report on just how shitty things are getting, and poor Anna Burke has to deal with this class of naughty school children.

I'm even wondering if this continues, the Governer General might start getting calls to force a re-election.
ms_maree 30th-May-2012 11:37 pm (UTC)
Ugh the misogyny from the shock jock radio programs.

octoberstarlite 30th-May-2012 08:16 pm (UTC)
Wait, you spell it Labor not Labour too? My mind is blown.
ms_maree 30th-May-2012 11:31 pm (UTC)
We spell it labour, but the party is spelt Labor.
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