Christopher Pyne’s announcement that the Coalition will not ‘accept’ Craig Thomson’s vote to overturn Conroy’s new media control legislation seems rather odd.
I can understand the Coalition providing a pair for any positive action – eg a vote of no-confidence in the Government which Thomson (hypothetically) wanted to vote in favour. Or a private member’s bill by the Coalition for which Thomson would support.
This preserves the status quo.
But to pair when Thomson is voting against a bill is silly. The status quo would mean a vote against the Bill.
Conroy’s legislation is so egregious and so harmful that the Coalition should have all of its members going into the Chamber and voting a resounding NO. If Thomson happens to move over to the left side of the Speaker, so be it. That is preserving the status quo.
Which, after all, is the lesser evil? Supporting an outrageous attack on the national interest and an ourageous attack on personal liberty, or standing on the left hand side of the Speaker near Craig Thomson?
The ethical position is to marshal all Coalition votes to defeat the Bill.