Conservative power bloc looms in the Senate

February 16, 2018

The latest shake-up in Senate numbers has given the Australian Conservatives strong leverage to push for the introduction of fiscally conservative policies.

Australian Conservatives leader Senator Cory Bernardi has already formed a conservative economic alliance with crossbench Senators David Leyonhjelm and Fraser Anning.

The Nick Xenophon Team's strength has been diminished with their number now 2, not 3. Three senators was an effective voting bloc, but the constitutional disqualification of South Australian Senator Kakoschke-Moore looks likely to elect Mr Tim Storer on a recount.  Mr Storer has fallen out with Mr Xenophon and looks likely to sit as an independent in the Senate.

The High Court has recently confirmed Devonport mayor Steve Martin as the replacement for constitutionally disqualified senator Jacqui Lambie. He, too, has fallen out with his party figurehead and is now sitting in the senate as an independent.

It remains to be seen whether either will vote in a conservative way or join the Bernardi-Leyohhjelm-Anning fiscal voting bloc.

Today's The Australian reports the government needs the support of nine of the 11 Senate crossbenchers to pass its desperately needed tax legislation, which would reduce the corporate rate for all businesses to 25 per cent by 2026-27.

This makes the 3 member voting blocs of the remaining One Nation senators, and the fledgling fiscal conservative bloc, as first ports-of-call for a government wanting to pass legislation.


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