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Labor's contempt for the Senate.

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Tue, 23rd September 2008 LABOR'S CONTEMPT FOR THE SENATE

Senator the Hon Nick Minchin Shadow Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Labor’s contempt for the Senate was confirmed today by Labor Senate Leader Chris Evans when he admitted that Labor considered the House of Representatives more important than the Senate.

When asked in Question Time today whether he thought the House was more important than the Senate, Senator Evans replied ‘yes’.

When they were in Opposition, Labor masqueraded as great champions of the Senate. But now they are in Government, they have revealed their true spots.

Labor has always held upper houses in contempt. Whereas the Coalition has always respected our bicameral system, Labor has consistently sought to disarm upper houses so they can rule with unbridled power.

No-one will ever forget Paul Keating’s description of the Senate as ‘unrepresentative swill’.

Until 1979, the Labor Party platform committed Labor to abolishing the Senate.

The South Australian Government has a current policy of seeking to abolish the South Australian Legislative Council.

Mr Rudd no doubt loved being an unrestrained Cabinet Secretary in Queensland, given the Labor Party in Queensland had abolished their upper house in 1922.

Labor’s attempts to ram tax rises through the Senate without any appropriate review are just one more manifestation of their contempt for the Senate.

The fact Mr Rudd won’t even meet Senator Xenophon shows what respect he has for the Upper House.

Labor will get nowhere treating the Senate with disdain for the next three years. There will be no point Labor crying crocodile tears as the Senate reviews Labor’s policy agenda if Labor has done nothing to work constructively with all Senators.