A week after its election, Australia is waiting for a new government. Neither side won a majority of the 150 House of Representative seats. Though counting is still continuing, the likely result is:
72 Australian Labor Party, 73 Liberal/National Parties, 1 Greens, 4 Independents. The nation watches while negotiations take place to form a minority government.
Bloggers have been busy speculating not only on possible outcomes but also the reasons for the hung parliament. At his self-titled site Adrian Phoon speculates on the rise of the Greens, blaming the ALP for its own woes:
The ALP’s assumption that it could rely on the progressive vote even when it offered progressive voters little comfort was proven false. (Obama in the US would do well to take note of the ALP’s election woes.)
He echoes a common cry:
One thing’s for sure: the ALP needs to get back on the climate change bandwagon, for its own sake as well as the planet’s, and soon.
Australian Election 2010: How the Left Was Won
Colin Jacobs of Electronic Frontiers had campaigned hard against the Labor Government’s proposed internet filter. He sees the result as vindication:
I believe many internet users had their political consciousness awoken by this attempt to slap censorship on the country's net connections. When this issue was important to people, it didn't just put them slightly off-side, but made them hopping mad, if not lifelong skeptics of the ALP.
How you shaped the Election
At Café Whispers, a blog where I occasionally post, Nasking laments the state of play:
What does surprise me is the amount of people who are willing to vote for these “win at all costs”, “say & do anything to gain power” politicians & media allies who often display the moral development level of a “me me me” adolescent willing to destroy all of the community fair’s Leggo constructions because they didn’t get the blue ribbon & prizes when they expected them…and petulantly stand with hands on hips screeching out: REMATCH!!!.
Friday Siesta At The Cafe (“Waiting” Edition)
Duckpond is more concerned with one big issue than who forms government:
Next week we will probably have a government to replace the caretaker government but will we have a government prepared to act on Global Warming?
… Global warming is not an issue that will go away. It is a looming crisis unfolding over the next century that demands policy, foresight and courage. If the non-scientific opinion is put aside, its effects will impact Australia as anywhere else on the globe.
… A week may be a long time in politics, but is a short moment in global warming.
WAITING IS NOT A OPTION
The gay marriage blog has renewed hope for legalisation, touched with realism:
With the Greens now potentially holding the balance of power in both houses of Parliament gay marriage has never been closer to the political centre stage.
… In fact, all it would take would be the opportunity to introduce a Private Member’s Bill with a subsequent free vote. Gillard could even take some of the credit if she dared – by having a Labor MP introduce the bill. If that sounds alarms on her political radar a Greens Senator or Bandt could do it.
… the post-election negotiations are a tough moment for gays and the politicians they have placed their faith in.
AUSTRALIAN GREENS MUST HOLD LINE
The Political Sword has two posts on what may have brought about the election result. They analyse possible factors:
The Rudd factor seems to be the most convincing explanation of why it has come to this. There are many others: the Gillard factor, the Queensland factor, the NSW factor, the Abbott factor, the Coalition factor, the media factor, and even more. They are for other pieces.
I still like Kevin Rudd. I believe him to be a fine person of high integrity and lofty ideals who has a splendid vision for this nation, and many policy ideas for improving the lot of its people. It has been the process of implementing policy and communicating with the electorate that has come unstuck and has disappointed so many of us who have supported him throughout. But I for one still admire him and regret it has come to this.
More on: How has it come to this?
Lorenzo at Thinking Out Aloud is far more optimistic than the rest:
It was reasonable to complain about the limited substance in the recent Federal election campaign, and the hung Parliament result made its own statement about the lack of defining content in the election. Yet, we also had two personable, intelligent, public-spirited people on offer as Prime Minister. Leading proposed ministerial line-ups of generally sensible and experienced people. (Claims that there is some great moral urgency that one or other lose or win, or that one or other becoming PM is some grounds for moral despair, tell us far more about the folk indulging in such extravagances than Julia or Tony.) The election campaign was fought with a lack of violence we take entirely for granted but would be regarded as a miracle in large parts of the globe.
The Lucky Country
At Peter Black’s group blog Election Blackout, Emma Anderson has some meta-blogging, blogging about blogging about the election. She also hits a positive note:
… being part of this blog, has had a strong impact on how I see the world of politics. I'm still cynical, I strongly believe that much needs to change, and I believe that being a voice of dissent and criticism is absolutely neccessary. However, for the first time, I feel like my vote might actually have counted, and I'm kicking myself for not having been enrolled in time.
… We need to encourage people to think for themselves. To be a voice against propaganda, a voice in favour of facts, not agendas. We need to respect the diversity of our culture and our people, but we also need to balance this out realistically. The world should be run on the best ideas and the facts, not on ideology.
A future blog developing out of this blog: some personal as well as more general lessons
Orange Tim at Despatches from Agent Orange hopes that a hung parliament may bring some changes to the way our legislature operates:
One thing is for sure, I reckon there are a large number of voters who are probably thinking it’s time for some sort of parliamentary reform. To be blunt, politicians are frequently “reforming” the way we live & work, yet aren’t so keen on reforming their neck of the woods.
He also wants to see some constructive soul searching by the major parties:
I’m certain that the major parties will both be looking inwards and looking to reform themselves. If they’re not, then they’ve got some issues. It’s very clear the Australian voters believe they have issues and need to reform their parties.
He’s not alone in those sentiments.