Business

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



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