Clive Palmer can be amusing and peculiar at the same time

Zach Hogg

MY grandmother used to conjugate the word "funny". On one hand there was "funny peculiar"; on the other there was "funny ha, ha".

What made me think of this was a recent ABC TV interview with Clive Palmer.

Clive seemed at the time likely to be robbed of a role as the federal parliament's most eccentric member since the likes of Al Grassby in the 70s.

The culprit, according to Clive, was the humble, blunt pencil used to fill in the ballot paper on election day - by inference, so blunt that it is likely your second preference could have been mistaken for your fifth preference.

Now that is funny ha, ha!

But at time of writing, Clive was three votes ahead of his Nationals rival on postal votes with just 1300 votes to be counted.

Given that most people who post their votes would have used a biro, not a blunt pencil, Clive's whine looks perhaps vindicated.

Now that is "funny peculiar"!

If Clive does become the new Al Grassby he will undoubtedly agitate for an American-style electoral system where voting is computerised and every voter has to provide identification before being allowed to click their choices.

Which recalls another of Clive's observations: it is theoretically possible in Australia to vote numerous times at different booths stealing other voters' identities.

And it happens according to Clive.

Whether the biggest PUP in history (bar Glenn Lazarus, I guess) will plump for beige safari suits and ultra-loud ties is in the lap of the gods.

Now that would be both funny peculiar and funny ha, ha.

Whoever wins in Fairfax, I hope they are half the member former MHR Alex Somlyay was.

During my days on the Sunny Coast in the 1990s, Alex was always ready and willing to help my clients and my readers in the Sunshine Coast Daily (sibling to the Gladstone Observer).

And he was not in the slightest way eccentric. A beaut golfer too!

Topics:  clive palmer federal election 2013 opinion

PHOTOS: Gladstone's most amazing 'chocolate smothered' desert

SWEET TREAT: They say an apple a day keeps the doctor away, but we're not too sure if this delicious chocolate treat counts. Michelle McGennan will sell these chocolate coated Granny Smith apples at the Feast on East Markets on Thursday. It's her market debut as Crush on Apples, selling seven different chocolate flavoured apples. The Gladstone mother has the apples sent to her from a man who makes them in southern Queensland.

Crush on Apples will be at Saturday's City Farmer's Market

Mum tells of 510gm miracle baby's near-death experience

Gladstone mum Sophie Saul is in Brisbane with her premature baby Madison, who can now breathe on her own.

GLADSTONE mum overwhelmed with relief.

'Cheaters, bludgers, leaners': O'Dowd's Centrelink vision

REIN IN: O'Dowd is calling on Centrelink to tighten up.

O'DOWD makes the call for Centrelnk to tighten up.

Local Partners

Artist unveils her island home

JEAN Kane's backyard has a unique and elusive history; but next week she's prepared to unveil it to travellers from across the country and world.

Your chance to win

Learn More

Barry Gibb is coming to Bluesfest 2017

FANS: Barry Gibb talks to a fan next to a cardboard cutout of his young self.

Aged 70, Gibb has re-launched his solo music career with a new album

Tim Finn headlining at Airlie Beach Music Festival

Music veteran Tim Finn from New Zealand will headline the Airlie Beach Music Festival.

Tim Finn: "It's the kind of festival that artists love"

WHAT'S ON: Fashion show, family events and live entertainment

Runway 7 Model and Talent Agency Roche Bailey.

Everything you need to know about what you can do in the region.

The Bachelorette: Courtney too slow for Georgia's love train

Courtney Dober in a scene from The Bachelorette.

FORMER favourite eliminated after introducing Georgia to his family.

Singing ex-diplomat brings Afghanistan war to life

Folk singer Fred Smith's concert draws on his experience as a diplomat in Afghanistan.

Fred Smith's regional Queensland tour focuses on the Afghanistan war

Shaynna'a blazing a stylish trail on television

Shaynna Blaze hosts the new TV show Deadline Design.

SHE'S the designer with no less than three shows on ours screens.

Ciara felt "empowered" after losing her baby weight


The 'I Bet' hitmaker was glad to drop the 60 pounds

Kim Kardashian West had tape tied around head in hold-up

Kim Kardashian West

"One of the gang kept telling her to shut up."

Madonna's filthy poll vow to Hillary Clinton supporters


It's probably not the endorsement that Hillary Clinton wanted

What our mayor thinks of the new draft SEQPlan

The plan to use the innovative technology as part of the new Maroochydore CBD was cemented on site today when Mayor Mark Jamieson and Envac Asia Region president Chun Yong Ha formally signed the contract for the $20 million underground waste collection system.

New plan accommodates Sunshine Coast Council's vision for growth.

Dusit Thani finance crisis 'just a small hiccup'

ON TRACK: Springfield Land Chairman, Maha Sinnathamby, Ipswich Mayor Paul Pisasale, Developer Richard Turner and Springfield Land Deputy Chairman, Bob Sharpless, at the recent resort sod turning ceremony.

Property developer says project remains firmly on track

Heavyweight enters real estate market

Des Besanko principal and director of Raine and Horne Springfield.

Major rebranding which has seen two big name brands merge

SEQ is the 'greatest market': property guru John McGrath

SPEAKER: John McGrath of McGrath Estate Agents is today's guest speaker at the Better Business Breakfast.

SEQ is the "greatest" real estate market, says property guru.

Bank could add towns to 'high-risk' home loan list

Suburban housing in Glenvale, Toowoomba, Friday, October 17, 2014. Photo Kevin Farmer / The Chronicle

NEW Gladstone region towns could be added unwanted bank list.

Tenants renting rooms on Airbnb breaching lease

Rental properties.

Tenants renting rooms on Airbnb is a no no