Editorial - Wednesday, March 23: Shuffling to the election
THE poker of politics is a game that always fascinates.
If you were in Malcolm Turnbull's position of holding the big chip stack at the table you'd only deal with a resistant cross bench in the Senate from a position of power.
That seems to be the PM's well-planned play in the ultimatum that these cross benchers either start passing his government's bills or accept that they have pushed the nation to an election.
Some have called it blackmail, Opposition Leader Bill Shorten an act of panic, his own party of course a masterstroke.
I reckon the man in the street calls it more bloody time wasting.
In an era of political scrutiny, where leaders ride opinion polls like escalators, the public is calling for results in parliament.
Responding to the PM's hand, some senators have stood strong saying "the Senate is the house of review not a rubber stamp for the government's policies".
If they are acting in the public's best interests you can't say they aren't doing their jobs.
Amazingly, the election date rests with four or so senators, who between them got less than 10,000 votes at the polls.
As Turnbull phrased it: "The time for playing games is over".
But we all know they have just begun.