It’s hard to remember a time when our government wasn’t in complete and utter shambles, and the past couple of days certainly don’t inspire confidence in why they’re paid six-figure salaries.
Yesterday, federal senators were discussing a motion put forward by One Nation leader Pauline Hanson in September. The motion was controversial because, if it was passed, it would mean the Senate acknowledges that “it’s okay to be white”. That specific phrase has strong roots in white supremacist groups and was originally created as a meme on American image-sharing website 4chan.
Senators from the Australian Liberal/National government voted in favour of the motion, which caused a massive shitstorm because they were seen as endorsing this racist phrase.
Here’s the 28 senators that just voted in favour of One Nation leader Pauline Hanson’s “It is OK to be white” motion. List includes government ministers Mitch Fifield, Michaelia Cash, Simon Birmingham, Nigel Scullion (indigenous minister), Bridget McKenzie, Matt Canavan. pic.twitter.com/e56w9LlbIZ
— Alice Workman (@workmanalice) October 15, 2018
In the end, the motion was voted down by just three votes with the help of Labor and crossbench senators. But here’s the thing: the Liberal/National senators weren’t actually meant to vote for the motion in the first place. They’d made a mistake due to an “administrative process failure” which resulted in them being advised to vote in favour of the motion.
Naturally, politically engaged Aussies haven’t been too welcome of the government’s mistake.
an administrative error is when you use the wrong name in an email, not when you vote to endorse a white nationalist slogan tabled a month ago by australia’s most notoriously racist politician https://t.co/10xDpn0uXG
— Sabina Husic (@sabinahusic) October 15, 2018
[scene: the year 2020. A giant lizard sits on a golden throne on the Parliament House roof]
Senator: I am sorry. An administrative error led us to mistakenly vote for the ‘Giant Lizard Is Now President For Life’ bill. It slipped through. It shouldn’t have. I take responsibility.
— Josh Butler (@JoshButler) October 16, 2018
At this point, it might be a good reminder that federal politicians are paid at least $200,000 a year to do their jobs. Ministers or other portfolio holders get an extra amount of money on top of that. The Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, is currently raking in more than half a million dollars. To be fair, Morrison didn’t partake in the vote because he is not a senator.
Next time you screw something up at work, on your presumably less-than-$200,000 salary, try blaming it on an administrative error and see what happens.