This moment won’t last long, so we’d better mention it quickly.
After Barnaby Joyce was officially ruled ineligible to sit in Parliament on Friday, his position as Deputy Prime Minister was left abandoned too. And, with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull departing on a diplomatic trip to Israel this morning, both positions (PM and Deputy) were left wide open.
Enter Julie Bishop. Who’s now been named acting Prime Minister in Turnbull’s absence, given the “special interim circumstances.”
Meanwhile the country is without a Deputy Prime Minister, after the Cabinet ruled that the post be kept open until the New England by-election on the 2nd of December, when Barnaby Joyce could be (eligibly) re-elected to Parliament.
And, with Opposition leader Bill Shorten also travelling to Israel to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Beersheba, Tanya Plibersek’s been left to serve as acting leader of the Labor Party.
Yep, that’s right– women are currently running our two major parties.
Add to that Jacinda Ardern being sworn in as Prime Minister of New Zealand last week, and it’s fair to say that women are running an influential portion of the Pacific.
Elsewhere it’s worth making a notable mention of Chief Justice Susan Kiefel. Presiding over the High Court, she led the massive, unanimous decision handed down on Friday afternoon that saw Barnaby Joyce, along with Nationals senator Fiona Nash, One Nation senator Malcolm Roberts and former Greens senators Scott Ludlam and Larissa Waters, ruled ineligible to have run for parliament.
I couldn’t help thinking about Kiefel, our first female Chief Justice, reading that decision to a packed court on Friday afternoon. One Joyce voter was certainly unhappy with the verdict on ABC radio this morning.
‘If you see the judge, kick him up the arse,” the male caller said.
“I can’t really do that,” Joyce replied.
Especially given he’d have seven such judges to deal with, including three women.