Clive Palmer: Australias next PM?

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(4 votes)

"Ladies and gentleman, please welcome Australia's 28th Prime Minister, Clive Palmer..."

Though these words may seem somewhat fanciful, it's a prospect that Mr. Palmer, the founder of the Queensland resource company Mineralogy, is hoping he can turn into a reality, and it's not without precedent.

The mining magnate has assured the Australian people that he is ready to govern as Prime Minister, with two members of the LNP already defecting to Palmer's 'United Australia Party', despite the fledgling party not yet being officially registered.

The larger-than-life billionaire, who only last year resigned his LNP life membership he's held since 1992, has recently launched the party's new website, with the motto "Bringing People Together". The website allows new members to sign up and also outlines the party's major policies.

The policy listing, though brief, addresses the major issues including the abolition of the Carbon Tax, equitable creation and distribution of mineral wealth, economic and job growth, protecting Australia's borders whilst giving refugees more opportunities for a better future and lifestyle. Mr. Palmer's more eccentric pursuits like building a replica of the original Titanic and creating an animatronics version of Jurassic Park were absent from the policy listing.

Whilst some are welcoming the addition of Palmer's 'United Australia Party' (UAP) to the political landscape, more cynical observers from both the left and right are questioning his motives for the creation of a new political party. In his own words, Palmer's motivation is simple: "Australians are [sic] clearly disillusioned with both the major political parties."

The creation, or more accurately, reformation of the UAP sees Palmer firmly setting his sights on the two major political parties. The outspoken Queenslander is seeking to provide a viable political alternative and is hopeful of recreating the success of Joseph Lyons - the leader of the original UAP - whose landslide victory in 1931 saw him win the Prime Ministership from Joseph Scullin, the sitting Labor PM at the time.

Many, including former PM Kevin Rudd, have questioned the wisdom of establishing a new political party only 5 months out from a Federal election. Mr. Palmer though, who last week claimed he would be "happy to sleep in one bed, eat one meal a day and be with one woman", is serious about creating an 'inclusive' party, and has signaled his intention to run a candidate in every Federal seat around the country.

As further news of Palmer's tilt for the nation's top job emerges over the coming weeks and months, it will be fascinating to watch if the UAP can become a serious contender that will ruffle the feathers of the two major parties, or if Palmer's latest venture is little more than a distraction.

Either way, Palmer may have already succeeded in his mission to add more excitement to the political climate; a welcome relief for many who view the current leadership options as, in Palmer's own words, "a boring duopoly".

References:


http://unitedaustralia.org/policies/
http://unitedaustralia.org/2013/04/palmer-announces-hes-forming-political-party/
http://www.brw.com.au/lists/rich-200/2012/
http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/douglas-joins-palmers-united-australia-party-20130430-2iq5c.html
http://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/breaking-news/two-qld-mps-to-join-palmers-party/story-e6frf7kf-1226632086936
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_Australia_Party

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