Leslie Cannold â€“ a self-described ethicist (itâ€™s not a paying gig) â€“ has absurdly attacked the Governor-General on the basis she is related to a Labor front-bencher Bill Shorten and has demanded she â€œexcuseâ€ herself from any decision related to the formation of the government.
The Governor-General of course acts on the advice of her/his ministers so the issue wonâ€™t arise we suspect unless thereâ€™s a genuine deadheat between the Coalition and their friendly Independents and Labor and their ones. In that case, a new election is far more likely than not. But the truth is that itâ€™s far more likely that one side will prevail, will demonstrate through written agreements they can form a government and will show up to the GG and ask to be sworn in. No big deal.
But what occurs to us as a big deal is when an apparently independent ethicist emerges to attack an institution that is central to the proper functioning of our democratic system and is not herself properly scrutinised by a News Limited reporter Nick Tabakoff.
Before quoting the ethicist, he should have done some research. Normally she appears on ABC radio and writes occasionally for Fairfax, where she excoriates Labor leaders for being â€˜sell-outsâ€™ and Liberals for being â€˜evil.â€™ She is also uses Twitter very actively, prompting a VEXNEWS Investigations Unit probe of her v
Bottom-line: Leslie Cannold is a particularly angry, inner-city, left-wing, anti-faith, Greens party promoter.
She professes a particularly hatred for Labor moderates, specifically Bill Shorten, Mark Arbib and others.
She suggests that she voted for the Sex Party, Secular Party, Democrats, Greens party and Carers in the Senate, but is a near-constant spruiker for the far-left Greens party on Twitter and elsewhere. She even donated to GetUp, the left-wing ginger group, to fund the broadcast of anti-Tony Abbott ads.
Cannold really should have made this clear in her quoted remarks in News Ltd papers this morning.
Sheâ€™s entitled to her views but when you slag someone for being incapable of fulfilling the duties she has sworn to perform on the basis of a political conflict, then there is a high duty on oneself to disclose all.
Past Governors-General all owe their appointment to politicians, to the Prime Minister of the day.
Indeed, in the great constitutional crisis of 1975, an ex ALP mate Sir John Kerr sought the advice of a former Liberal Attorney-General then High Court Chief Justice Sir Garfield Barwick on whether to give a Labor government the boot.
He advised Kerr to sack them.
He didnâ€™t feel conflicted in providing this advice, even though he was closely related to the Liberal Shadow Attorney-General at the time Bob Ellicott. Indeed they were unusually closely related as Barwickâ€™s father married Ellicottâ€™s mother and Ellicottâ€™s father was married to Barwickâ€™s mother. Which means, as best as I can understand it, that a brother and sister married another brother and sister. As you do. With an arrangement that complex, one of them should surely have qualified as Governor of Tasmania.
Life can get complicated in politics.
When independent â€œethicistsâ€ emerge to pass expert independent commentary, we must always look to their bona fides.
Leslie Cannold should recuse herself from all future commentary on conflicts of interest.
The Doctor should heal herself. News Limited should know better than to plumb the depths of the dry-as-dust AgeBC well for â€œindependent ethics commentaryâ€.