and that is not something I say lightly.
We had a state election in March. Our local electorate voted the incumbent MP back in. He had about 55% of the primary vote and even more after preferences. He also had almost twice the number of votes of the party which managed to form minority government. He was popular and he was considered to be an able and loyal member of his party. He had been leader of the party until he made a foolish blunder and was forced to step down.
Before going into politics this man was an officer in the army. His entire career has been built on the concept of loyalty and leadership.
Yesterday he abandoned all that. He betrayed his party. He betrayed the people who voted for that party through him. He betrayed those who voted for him. He betrayed the principles of democracy and political representation.
Without consulting his electorate or his party he announced that he was becoming an "independent" - and taking up a ministerial position in the minority government which has, until now, known it would have to rely on the vote of another "independent" with a ministerial post. Both "independents" are ignoring the wishes of their electorates.
Politicians are our servants. They are not are masters. Although they behave as if they are our masters they must at some point face the electorate. The system is not perfect. Our state saw a minority government retain power when it should, on the numbers, have been sent to oblivion. That makes the actions of this man even more reprehensible. He is not merely going against the wishes of his electorate but against the wishes of a majority of people in the state.
There can be very few reasons for an elected member of parliament to leave the party he was elected to represent. One possible scenario would be if the party was in power and abusing that power in a way that was harming the electorate. That is not the case here.
The decision this man made was made not, as he claims, in the best interests of the people of this state. It was made simply in his own personal interest. He will - if he lasts - leave politics at the end of this term with a pension relating to that of a Minister rather than a member of the Opposition.
Thirty pieces of silver does not even begin to describe his actions.