Bleats

This Nationals Senator Says He's Now A Woman And Can Criticise Abortion All He Likes

Your daily reminder that Australian politics is a farce.

Barry O’Sullivan, a Nationals Senator for Queensland and someone you’ve most likely never heard of, has announced to Parliament that he is a woman, in an effort to get women to stop their “attacks” on his anti-abortion views.

This all started because he moved a motion calling for pro-choice activists to be banned from disrupting the “Day of the Unborn Child”, established by Pope John Paul II and held on March 25.

During the debate, Greens Senator Larissa Waters said:

“Senator O’Sullivan needs to get his hands and his rosaries off my ovaries and those of the 10,000 Queensland women who have an abortion each year, 10,000 women who have the right to make a decision about their own bodies without the opinion of senator O’Sullivan getting in their way.”

She later withdrew those remarks after Tasmanian Senator Eric Abetz objected.

Fortunately, the motion was voted down, but Barry was clearly distressed by Senator Waters’ request that he stop focusing on what people do with their own bodies.

He was so distressed that today, he announced to Parliament:

“I am going to declare my gender today, as I can, to be a woman and then you’ll no longer be able to attack me.”

He claims conservative politicians can’t even utter the word ‘abortion’ without being attacked by the Greens, and that the purpose of his announcement was to “call out the vomit and vitriol” of the Greens.

He continued:

“These people come and attack me for my religious basis the other day, using words like rosary beads, because I had the audacity to raise issues around late-term abortions where babies that are only minutes away from getting a smack on the arse and a name are being aborted under the policies of the Australian Greens.”

According to Buzzfeed News, O’Sullivan had told people he was planning the stunt on Tuesday. And what a childish stunt it is.

Not only is it based on a flawed premise – that women’s views on abortion are above scrutiny (the number of women involved in the pro-life movement put that notion to rest), but it’s incredibly insulting to transgender people, for whom being open and honest about who they are is a hugely important thing. And O’Sullivan turned all of that into a joke, just to get a dig in at the Greens Senators who disagree with his views on abortion.

A Dead Guy Was Just Elected To Nevada’s State Assembly, Which Is A Huge Win For Dead Guy Representation

No word on how his reanimated corpse is taking the news.

A brothel owner and reality TV star winning the election for Nevada’s 36th Assembly District during the US midterms would be weird enough on its own, but once you factor in the fact that he’s dead, it’s frankly outlandish.

Dennis Hof, a self-proclaimed pimp according to CNN, ran as a Republican in Nevada’s 36th district and won, beating his Democratic opponent by over 7000 votes, despite the fact he died last month.

Despite my sincere wish to see more reanimated corpses enter politics, Hof will not be entering Nevada’s District Assembly. Instead, county officials will appoint another Republican who lives in the district.

It must be pretty rough to be his Democratic opponent, Lesia Romanov, right now. Being beaten by a dead guy? That’s gotta sting.

And one of the weirdest things about him winning is that before he died, the Nevada Republican Party declined to endorse him. It wasn’t until after he died that they began campaigning, all to ensure the district stayed Republican. Is there a German word for the phenomenon of people only liking you once you’re dead?

 

The Atlantic rounded up several other examples of dead people winning elections in the US.

In 2016, a Californian city reelected its treasurer a month after he died. A sitting council member encouraged residents to “vote for him anyway” so the city could appoint a replacement.

And all the way back in 2008, following the death of a Pennsylvanian Republican state senator in a car crash, his opponents halted their campaigns as a show of respect. Meanwhile, his own campaign pressed on, encouraging residents to vote for him. He won in a landslide.

Hof was the owner of the Moonlite BunnyRanch, the legal brothel featured in HBO’s series Cathouse. 

He was found dead on October 16 after celebrating his 72nd birthday. At least he went out with a bang.

That Awesome Minister From Gosford Anglican Church Is Going To Run For Senate And He's Already Got My Vote

Expect a lot of sassy billboards.

At a refugee rally in Sydney over the weekend, Father Rod Bower from Gosford Anglican Church announced his intention to run for federal parliament in the next election as an independent Senate candidate.

You might not recognise Father Rod’s name, but you’d definitely recognise one of his signs.

Accompanying the video of his speech from the rally, Father Rod wrote:

“I hope to be one of a number of independents committed to rebuilding the ethical framework of our national parliamentary system. 

The parliaments inability to act ethically on issues such as climate change, refugees and basic human rights is systematic of a deeper malaise within the two-party dominated structure which has led to legislation being put forward for reasons other than the common good.

I will spend the coming weeks gathering a team to facilitate a successful campaign. I would welcome expressions of interest from people with experience in the campaign field.”

His announcement comes just one week after the Wentworth by-election was won by independent Kerryn Phelps. Phelps’ win saw other prominent figures such as Jane Caro contemplate running as independents, but Father Rod is the first to formally announce his intentions.

As rector of Gosford Anglican Church, Father Rod has developed a reputation for his vocal support of progressive causes, such as marriage equality, climate change and asylum seeker rights.

He will continue to work at the church until the next election (which will take place some time next year), but according to a statement published by The Guardian, will resign if elected “to maintain a clear separation between church and state”.

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