Thursday 16 Aug 2018 | 07:02 | SYDNEY
Thursday 16 Aug 2018 | 07:02 | SYDNEY

Reader riposte: The new Government


Sam Roggeveen


8 September 2010 14:44

Scott Watson responds to my post, which argued that our new minority Government would have trouble coping with a US request for support for military action against Iran:

I'd hate to adopt a Howard-era mantra, but I hope you're simply being alert to the possibilities and not alarmist about them, as some of the recent posts appear. True, a minority Labor government would likely be apprehensive in such a situation. But for all the focus on the cross-benchers, I hardly think that the bi-partisan commitment to the US alliance is any less that it has ever been. If push came to shove, we know where the cards would fall.

As I have already said, I don't think this minority Government is any cause for alarm on foreign policy. Yes, it could be somewhat timid, but then again, there is something to be said for masterly inactivity. In opening up the possibility that the Government could fall in the event of a foreign policy crisis such as military action against Iran, I was merely alerting readers to Andrew Wilkie's own words — it is Wilkie who set the 'Iraq war standard' for calling a no-confidence motion.

Still, Scott adds something important. He's saying, I think, that in the event the Greens and independents split with the Government on a foreign policy crisis such as Iran, the Opposition would step in to maintain the bipartisan consensus and, effectively, save the Government.

Clearly, that's a possibility, but would you put money on it'