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- The Pulse Live with Judith Ireland
When it comes to lifting versus leaning, Clive Palmer likes to vary his regimen.
Having professed a wish to ''pay my own way a little bit'', some days the Member for Fairfax turns up at Parliament in a set of his own wheels, as opposed to the car supplied to him by the grateful taxpayer.
In order to keep the dancing monkeys of the media entertained, the Palmer United Party potentate alternates between various car makes, all of the kind you would expect a life-size version of a Monopoly board billionaire to use for his commute.
Some days it's a Rolls-Royce, other days he prefers a Bentley or a Mercedes Benz roadster.
We wait with bated breath for the leopard-print Lamborghini, rumours of which we hope are not apocryphal.
But on Monday, Palmer decided to lean a little, and arrived at work in his Comcar, telling the waiting reporters: ''We've got to keep people employed in the commonwealth.''
Palmer's automotive inconsistency was noted by a national newspaper with which he is engaged in something of a feud, and so on Tuesday he did the mature thing and again turned up in his Comcar, but kept his Rolls-Royce on hand, just to show the bastards.
It was pictured circling Parliament House, sans Clive, like a wobbegong shark working up the courage to ambush something.
This mercurial MP is the man who effectively controls the balance of power, and with whom the government must negotiate its budget. He likes to keep us guessing.
Tuesday's newspapers brought other news, too, specifically the latest polling, which was disappointing for both major parties. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten has a record high dissatisfaction rating (45 per cent), but it's not as bad as the Prime Minister's (61 per cent).
The two-party preferred numbers have moved one point closer together, with Labor going down and the Coalition going up. The beneficiaries? Independents and other parties, who are on a record 17 per cent of the vote.
Tuesday's Question Time debate gave us a flavour for the reasons why. The opposition focused its questions on the government's changes to pension indexation, the Prime Minister insisted pensions were going up and would continue to do so.
The opposition asked how young dole recipients were supposed to get by under the government's changes to Newstart, the Prime Minister responded that ''no one should start their adult life on social security''.
The opposition attacked the government's paid parental leave scheme as unaffordable, the Prime Minister defended it on the basis it ''establishes the same rule for the whole country''.
It was all very same-ish, each side locked in its rhetoric and repeating its lines. It made one long for a third way. Or at the very least, for a leopard-print Lamborghini.