Where has our government gone?

This is a guest blog post by Alex Lester.

If you think that the revolving door of Australian prime ministers is a cause for concern, what's even more shocking is what's happened in the Senate. Here it seems to be difficult for people to even stay with the same party, let alone the same leader.

Since the 2016 election, we've had the following changes:

  • Bob Day from Family First, replaced by Lucy Gichuhi who decided she would stand as an Independent and then later joined the Liberal Party.

  • Cory Bernardi, who was a Liberal and then decided he'd form a party consisting entirely of himself (the Australian Conservatives).

  • Larissa Waters from the Greens, replaced by Andrew Bartlett who was later replaced, again, by Larissa Waters.

  • Malcolm Roberts from One Nation, replaced by Fraser Anning who decided to stand as an Independent and then joined Katter's Australian Party (such a betrayal to the grand total of 19 people who voted for him).

  • Jacqui Lambie (from the Jacqui Lambie Network...), replaced by Steve Martin who decided to stand as an Independent and then joined The Nationals.

  • Skye Kakoschke-Moore from the Nick Xenophon Team, replaced by Tim Storer who decided to stand as an Independent.

  • Rex Patrick and Stirling Griff from the Nick Xenophon Team, who formed something called the Centre Alliance after Nick Xenophon himself resigned from parliament.

  • Brian Burston, who was with One Nation, decided to stand as an Independent and was then snapped up by Clive Palmer (not even in parliament) to join the United Australia Party.

On top of that, there have been 10 other senators who left but were, in relative terms, uneventfully replaced by someone from the same party as themselves. That means that a quarter of the senators we elected in 2016 have changed sometime since then, which is pretty (un)impressive given that 2016 was a double dissolution election.

This has got to be some kind of record. Where has our government gone?


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