pyne has an annoying insincere whiney gripe to grind his duplicitous double-edged axe...
Here we go again.
Christopher Pyne – clearly deeply unhappy with independent Geoff Brock’s decision to back Labor to form a government in his home state – has declared that South Australian premier Jay Weatherill “leads an illegitimate government” and added, threateningly, “he will be treated that way”.
“The Liberal party won the popular vote and Jay Weatherill presides over an illegitimate government … the Liberals achieved 53% of the two party preferred vote. They won 51.5% of the two-party preferred vote in 2010 ... Jay Weatherill’s government is an illegitimate government. He presides over a parliament where he holds on with the support of a conservative seat independent in Frome, which is a seat that has always been traditionally held by the Liberal party,” Pyne fumed.
This sore-loser response to the failure to secure support from independents after a line ball election might sound familiar, because we heard exactly the same thing after the federal election in 2010, when Labor leader Julia Gillard formed government with the support of independents – even though she had won a narrow majority of the two-party preferred vote.
Senator George Brandis claimed back then that “most Australians wanted a change of government. Your government has as much legitimacy as the Pakistani cricket team (who were embroiled in a betting scandal at the time).”
And Christopher Pyne himself said “it's fair to say this government doesn't have any legitimacy".
Journalists tried to point out to Pyne that Labor won the South Australian election based on the existing electoral rules – that a government is formed by whomever wins support from a majority of members elected from single-member electorates, but the education minister would not be swayed by these facts.
Weatherill – despite winning the election based on the law of the land – was in fact “illegitimate” or, according to the dictionary, "not authorised by law” or “improper”.
It is a legal interpretation the Coalition seems to apply selectively.
In 1998, for example, John Howard won 48.9% of the two-party preferred vote but won a majority of seats and formed government. There’s no record of Pyne calling him illegitimate.