Victorian Labor MP Craig Langdon cost himself tens of thousands of dollars worth of pay, entitlements and family sinecures resigning months early in an attempt to cause a by-election before the state election.
â€œHe really has made a complete mess of this,â€ one Labor strategist confirmed between laughs to VEXNEWS this morning.
Trouble is that the poor old bugger appears to have miscalculated the timing of the by-election by leaving his decision probably at least a month or two too late, as demonstrated in the Sunday Herald Sunâ€™s own Peter Rolfeâ€™s interesting article on the weekend. and confirmed by the Judge Judy of Victorian politics, Speaker Jenny Lindell who has ordered there wonâ€™t be a by-election at all. Those who have not yet seen Speaker Lindell dispense justice to boisterous Members of the Legislative Assembly, either on the Victorian Parliamentâ€™s website or going in for a visit to watch it live are truly missing out. We suspect the Liberals have got much of their inspiration for pretending Ted Baillieu is â€œtough on crimeâ€ from Jenny Lindell who actually is and carries it out from the Speakerâ€™s chair with a great sense of command.
Langdon â€“ never seen as a genius but acknowledged as exhibiting a great deal of rat-cunning over the years – definitely believed his resignation would cause a by-election, apologising for the inconvenience he had caused and making reference to what would be issues in the by-election in taxpayer-funded publications he had distributed at the time.
Neither side of politics wanted to be seen to be causing an inconvenience to Ivanhoe voters by forcing them to vote in a by-election that would be held just a couple of weeks prior to the November state election. It would also have been an expensive exercise that could elect an MP who might never serve in Parliament as they could be replaced by whoever was elected in the general election. With a federal election just a month ago, any desire the Liberals would have to demand one is trumped by not wanting to make a nuisance of themselves to voters in a seat that was held by the Liberals in the Kennett era (prior to a redistribution).
Langdon had previously enjoyed respect as a disciplined and shrewd local factional operator within his Labor Right faction.
The circumstances of his resignation where heâ€™s cost himself a lot of money and has no job to go to is regarded by his many foes in the local ALP in Ivanhoe as a fitting end. Many disgruntled ex Langdon chums are looking forward to his campaign for local council which is thought to be likely to provoke a â€œsmut-spreeâ€ as local rivals explore all aspects of the colourful ex MPâ€™s flamboyant private life and performance as an MP.