The end of the Parliamentary year isn't called the killing season for nothing. Only this time, it's not a leader being assassinated, it's the Speaker.
The Prime Minister claims this was a decision made by Harry Jenkins alone.
But it's far more likely that he was pushed out by a party desperate to strengthen its grip on power.
Harry Jenkins loved that job. It was held by his father too, in the 80's. On both sides of the House, he was widely regarded as one of the best Speakers to have served in recent history.
The suggestion that he would take a $100,000 pay cut to serve on the backbench simply because he wants to be more involved in policy is laughable.
Perhaps he has been promised a ministry or a plum overseas gig once he retires. Only time, or a loose-lipped colleague, will tell.
Equally laughable is the government's claim that Peter Slipper is the best man for the job. His nickname isn't "Slippery Pete" for nothing.
The Sunshine Coast-based MP has an infamous history in Parliament. A former National turned Liberal, he's been implicated in several travel and printing allowance rorts. He once fell asleep in the chamber during an address from Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. He's also reported to have got in to trouble a number of times on the drink.
Despite all that, he has survived. "Slippery Pete" has always got away.
Of course, his track record won't necessarily prevent him from being an excellent Speaker. Again, time will tell.
It is 'time" which is crucial to all of today's extraordinary developments, as it potentially buys Labor more time in government.
You can't blame Labor for electing Mr Slipper. It was a bold move, which caught most people by surprise, especially Tony Abbott.
Getting the carbon and mining taxes through were important victories for the government. But today's win is even more significant.
Independent Andrew Wilkie's threat to withdraw support for Labor if his poker machine reforms don't go through has been neutered.
Labor can also afford to lose MP Craig Thomson over the union credit card scandal without losing government.
The Prime Minister will also find it easier to negotiate controversial legislation through the Parliament because it will need to satisfy the demands of one less person.On the fourth anniversary of Labor winning power, Julia Gillard could not have asked for a better present.
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