The Motoring Enthusiasts Party had a very much against the odds win in the senate election in Victoria, resulting victory for their lead candidate, Ricky Muir (R) who has since then been making the news for all the wrong reasons. The first thing noticed after the election was a YouTube video which he posted when half cut; but we have all done some silly things and there are sillier beer commercials around.
He then dropped out of sight, raising speculation that his party told him to stay out of the media.
Since then, the party has imploded with the Queensland leadership sacking the Victorian branch, which is fighting back. Then Muir surfaced again yesterday in a press conference, announcing a deal to support Palmers party with the apparent blessing of the federal leadership.
The Victorians have responded by seeking something that will force him out of the senate:
THE jilted Victorian arm of the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party has hired a private investigator to dig up senator-elect Ricky Muir's past. The Herald Sun understands the father of five has expressed concerns to party executives that his past would haunt him.
"We've got an investigator looking into him," former AMEP Victorian chairman Scott McDonald said. "There's definitely things in his past that he's very worried about." It comes as 290 Victorian AMEP members were invited to a meeting in Melbourne next week to vote on whether to eject the Denison family man from the party and put at risk his $200,000-a-year Senate seat.
"We've got a lot of angry members at the moment," Mr McDonald said. "This deal was never discussed before or after the election. It seems at this point a decision signed off by two people with no consultation with members, council or executives. The AMEP is now a puppet to the Palmer United Party."
The rookie politician today announced an alliance with mining magnate Clive Palmer. Within minutes of Mr Muir announcing in Sydney he had signed a memorandum of understanding to work together and vote in line with the Palmer United Party, fans took to social media to express their disappointment and outrage.
Supporters slammed Mr Muir for "jumping into bed" with Mr Palmer. …
… "With three extra Senators working together, I will be able to achieve more than I would have on my own for the people of Victoria and Australia," he said.
The deal extends the PUP's power in the new Senate. It could also mean Mr Muir, who was born and bred in the Gippsland region, would have to back against residents' wishes in his stomping ground if PUP decides to support the controversial coal seam gas exploration in the area.
Muir has been elected and the result declared by the Electoral Commission, and it is doubtful that even if the branch disowned him, he would have to quit the job. It is uncharted waters at present.
The only way they could force him to stand down is if he were found to be a bankrupt or have a criminal record. Whatever it is in his past that he is referring to, may be simply something embarrassing and embarrassment is not a disqualification.
Were he disqualified, under the constitution the seat is the property of the party and he would have to be replaced by a party member. Given that the Victorian branch has been dissolved, this could get interesting.
At this stage it looks very much like Palmer has used his financial clout to purchase the MEP and intends to use it as a way to increase his influence. The story line about “three extra Senators working together” simply makes no sense, as the proposed caucus of minor parties would have a greater effect.
Palmer appears power crazed at present with his threats of making the government unworkable if he doesn’t get everything he wants. If he tries this line, the result will be a double dissolution election in which his party will be seen as a bunch of nutters and if he manages to get any senators at all, they will be irrelevant.