Q&A: The 'Barnaby Joyce says odd things about women' edition.

Last night’s show could’ve been titled “Q&A: The ‘Barnaby Joyce says controversial things’ edition.”

Tonight’s Q&A panel featured Shadow Health Minister Catherine King, Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce, journalist David Marr, Museum of Contemporary Art director Elizabeth Ann Macgregor and Institute of Public Affairs boss John Roskam.

It was a recipe for fiery debates about a wide range of issues including abortion access and domestic violence — and Mr Joyce, in particular, made a few eyebrow-raising comments throughout the episode.

Here are the key moments you’ll need to know about from last night’s show.

1. Barnaby Joyce said abortion access shouldn’t be discussed on Q&A.

Barnaby Joyce struggled when asked about abortion access. (Screenshot via ABC)

When an audience member asked the panel why abortion is still criminalised in several Australian states and territories — and when we can expect to see some changes — Nationals senator Mr Joyce fumbled his way through a vague, tangental answer.

“My view is that a life is to be respected wither its within the womb or outside the womb. It’s based on me going back through my life and saying, when did I attain the rights that I had now? At what point did that happen?” he said.

Host Tony Jones pressed Mr Joyce to answer the actual question and the Agriculture Minister responded: “Well I’ve really said what view is. My view is, At what point in my life did someone had the right to point… therefore I don’t agree with abortion.”

Jones pressed further: “Nor that women should have any right to choose what happens with their own body?”

To that, Mr Joyce responded: “Well this is a discussion I think, Tony, that is not really for Q&A.

“It could occupy a whole discussion piece itself. It’s one of the most profound discussions that people have, and you’re approaching it from your view. Other people will approach it from theirs. Um, and I think that it’s, it’s one thing that’s certain, it will draw up the emotions of the night.”

Right, then.

Catherine King argued that abortion should be decriminalised across the country. (Screenshot: ABC)

Fortunately, Shadow Health Minister Catherine King weighed in with a powerful, straight-to-the-point, pro-choice response.

“I think it should be removed from the criminal code of every single jurisdiction. This is the 21st century and frankly, it should not be in the criminal code at all,” she said.


Bravo, Ms King.

Some reactions from Twitter:

2. Barnaby Joyce made some unusual suggestions for combating domestic violence.

An audience member asked why the Turnbull government’s $100m domestic violence action plan doesn’t focus primarily on primary prevention programs or emergency accommodation for victims — and Marr, Macgregor and King all agreed that emergency accommodation was an important focus for such funding.

Barnaby Joyce admitted that $100m could not “fix the problem” entirely, but that “it’s going to assist” in tackling the issue.

He then went on to make a rather quirky suggestion about the kind of cultural change he’d like to see in the fight against domestic violence.

“[T]his might seem a bit quaint and a bit whoopy, but I think we’ve got to start changing our attitudes all the time in how we deal with women — like don’t swear in front of them, it’s not politically incorrect to open a door,” he said.

David Marr couldn’t resist a dig at My Joyce’s response, facetiously suggesting: “Perhaps, Barnaby, there needs to be some education in schools to teach people to walk through doors ahead of women.”

Catherine King would be heard chuckling loudly at Marr’s response.

3. The panel discussed whether Mr Shorten’s days are numbered.

The panel discussed Malcolm Turnbull’s ousting of Tony Abbott as Prime Minister– and what the country’s new leadership meant for Opposition Leader Bill Shorten.

“Bill Shorten is finished, and it’s just a matter of when it’s going to happen,” Mr Joyce predicted.

“Once Malcolm Turnbull got elected, it was quite obvious that Bill Shorten just doesn’t have the goods to get that connection with the Australian people. And everyone knows that one-on-one, Malcolm Turnbull’s going to beat him.”

He said he predicted Labor would oust him as leader before the next election.

“They are scheming and plotting now,” he said.

David Marr: “This is the graveyard slot for any leader of any party, either side of politics, and [Shotern has] done it well.” (Screenshot: ABC)

“This is the graveyard slot for any leader of any party, either side of politics, and he’s done it well.”

What did you think of last night’s show?

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