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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-23-10 12:27 AM
Original message
Where do we go from here?
Antony Green has posted a summary of what will happen if and when one of the two major parties thinks they have the numbers to form a government. As always, he's a mine of information:

http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2010/08/23/2990782.h...


One person he hasn't factored in is the new WA Nationals member, Andrew Crook. The WA Nationals have nothing to do with the federal Nats, and according to Crook, he "won't be sitting on the Coalition benches". He claims to be as likely to negotiate with Labor as with the Libs, so he's a real loose cannon, and can't automatically be counted with the Coalition members. He says he will be sitting with the Independents. When it's as tight as this, it looks as if both sides will just have to talk to him too.



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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-23-10 01:48 AM
Response to Original message
1. It's Tony Crook, not Andrew Crook.
I couldn't find anything on him, and was relying on my memory.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-23-10 01:54 AM
Response to Original message
2. Labor's not going to go back on their agreement on the mining tax
In order to back Crook's pet Royalties for Regions scheme:

http://www.royaltiesforregions.wa.gov.au /

Nice to see Wilson Tuckey gone- though something tells me we haven't seen the last of him. He wants, in his own words, to be like Billy Hughes and "go out in a box."

It's also interesting to note that two of the independents despise Barnaby Joyce (who was ket on a very short leash these past few months).

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Esra Star Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-23-10 02:00 AM
Response to Original message
3. It looks as if there might be a spot of real democracy
in Australia for a short time at least.
There is no reason why a minority governmant can't work. They will all have to learn how to negotiate.
Both major parties will already be trying to figure out how to win a fresh election as soon as possible.
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velvet Donating Member (950 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-23-10 04:30 AM
Response to Original message
4. There's a kind of hush ...
And the sound of head-scratching can be heard all over the land as Australia works out the answer to the OP's question. But whatever happens, the volume has been turned down on the two major parties and more voices will be heard in parliament.

As someone said to me on Saturday night "A hung parliament is a people's parliament."



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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-23-10 08:37 PM
Response to Reply #4
5. I have to admit, I'm kind of enjoying the situation.
I didn't want a clear win for Abbott, obviously, but I'm glad there's a protest against the actions of the Labor right-wing faction, and Gillard's grab for power.

A very interesting Q&A last night, with very pertinent discussions on how the major parties have both lost the plot, and how best to revitalise politics in the interests of the people and the country. I think everyone was in agreement that we saw a boring, lacklustre campaign that was too tightly scripted and completely lacking in courage or vision. If this impasse can bring about some positive change in attitudes, it will be worth all the angst.

And it was very telling that Mark Arbib wasn't brave enough to show his face - nobody believed the story that was given out, and he's come out of it looking like a gutless wonder. And very, very guilty. The ABC leaving his empty chair in place was a wonderful touch.
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velvet Donating Member (950 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-24-10 02:57 AM
Response to Reply #5
6. and those jibes - empty chair/empty campaign
Edited on Tue Aug-24-10 03:01 AM by velvet
Alannah MacTiernan, outgoing Labor MP for Canning in WA, was interviewed on Sunday and she describes her frustration with the campaign strategy thus:

"Until we have a change in that whole culture about how we run the campaigns, until we transcend the reliance on a set of political cliches that come from the West Wing brigade going over to America and doing their courses and coming back all wise about politics and laying these cliches out as our fundamental operating principles, we're not gonna get anywhere.

And I think it's such a disappointment because I think the Labor Party - this Labor Government has so much to offer. But we've got to have some courage. Take the mining tax. That is absolutely the right policy. I'm not angry about the mining tax, I support the mining tax, and I was very keen to get the mining tax resolved so I could go out and sell it. When it was resolved I was so excited because now we can go out and sell this story - oh no. Wrote beautiful pamphlets up on it - oh no, you can't put that on there. This is good! It's good! Selling the mining tax! Oh no, you can't talk about it.

I mean can you believe you would do all that work and then vacate the field? So you let all of the story that was told to the public about the mining tax was from the other side. Who can blame people? Who can blame people? They're only getting one side of the argument, I think it's expecting a bit much of people to take a balanced view on it."

http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/opinion/post/-/blog/ga...


LOL at "The West Wing brigade" - perhaps that explains the pathetic "Yes we will".

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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-24-10 03:29 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Pathetic was the word.
Obama punched the air and shouted "Yes, we can", and Julia stood there po-faced and in a deathly monotone said "Yes, we will". It epitomised her completely lacklustre and passionless campaign.

What Alannah McTiernan had to say was in accord with Maxine McKew, who wondered aloud why Labor hadn't campaigned on all the good things they'd achieved? Was it because all those things were achieved by Kevin Rudd's government, and they didn't want to admit it?

It's political lore that governments can't win by campaigning on a negative, but that's just what they tried to do. Telling us that Tony Abbott just MIGHT break his word and reintroduce a new version of Work Choices, so we should be afraid, was an exercise in negative supposition that could never get them across the line.

Oppositions can campaign on negatives, because they can simply point to all the mistakes and say "they did these things, don't vote for them again". Never once did Labor try to tell us about health reform, or a national schools curriculum, or Fair Work, or the stimulus that kept Australia in high employment and out of recession. They might as well not have happened.

I still can't believe just how badly they screwed up.
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Ken Burch Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-24-10 03:41 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. Is there any chance that this will help break the grip of the Labor right-wing on the party?
Could this possibly lead to Labor actually acting like a labor party again?

From what I could see from afar, Gillard's popularity declined with every rightward tack on policy(she announced some fairly brutal poorbashing policies, from what I heard).

They need another Gough Whitlam. Is that too much to ask?
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Aug-24-10 07:53 PM
Response to Reply #8
9. There's going to be a bloodbath come next March in New South Wales' state election
Edited on Tue Aug-24-10 07:55 PM by depakid
The overwhelming consensus is that the current Labor government is most corrupt, inept and least effective in memory. These folks are going to get booted out hard and depending how the Liberals manage, may not be able to run a credible campaign for two election cycles. People really do hate them. How much that damages the Sussex Street gang is hard to say.

The Greens have effectively coopted much of what was Labor left, though this gets interesting when preferences are counted.

In my booth or "polling place," the Labor preferences for the lower house had a strong tendency to run exactly as the party materials provided. Not so with the Green's. Indeed, quite a few had Liberal as their second preference (somewhat though not totally surprising) though the reverse was only rarely true with the Liberal's #2.

This seemed to be what several other scrutineers observed at their counts as well. Not sure what to make of it- this is a safe Labor electorate and the rep is reasonably well liked and responsive to constituents. And there likely was a larger than normal protest vote against labor (for a number of reasons) -so some considerable amount the Greens 18% at my booth (and at another nearby booth) could be soft in terms of future elections.
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velvet Donating Member (950 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-25-10 12:14 AM
Response to Reply #9
10. Liberal-preferenced Green votes
I think it's highly likely these are people concerned about the effects of climate change. If you're looking for a third party to push Parliament into action on that issue the Greens are your only option.


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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Aug-25-10 12:26 AM
Response to Reply #8
11. We might hope.
You'd think the Party members would learn, but look at NSW, where the right-wing have always had control. Labor's been going downhill since Bob Carr was first elected, and one incompetent bozo has simply been replaced with another, and still the Right dominates. They're going to get slaughtered next March, but they keep right on doing what they've always done the way they've always done it.

The people have delivered a very clear message, but all the right-wing cares about is holding on to power at any cost. If they can do that, I'm sure they'll think it was all worth while.

Kevin Rudd must be having a quiet chuckle to himself behind closed doors.
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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-26-10 01:23 AM
Response to Original message
12. Libs ahead by one seat - 72-71.
Two seats still in doubt - Brisbane, where the LNP is ahead, and Corangamite, where the ALP is ahead.

That includes Tony Crook as Coalition - Antony Green is factoring him in as Coalition because according to the AEC, there is no such entity as "WA Nationals". Mr Crook is a National until he makes an official statement to the contrary. If he does stick to his guns and remains outside the Coalition, then he'll join the ranks of the Independents, and the two parties will then be even at 72-72.

As it stands now, with Crook as Coalition, the Coalition is ahead by one, and that will remain the status if the two remaining seats fall as expected. But Adam Bandt will support Labor, so that will have them level pegging again. If Tony Crook officially changes his status from National to WA National and becomes Independent, that will leave the ALP ahead by one, with five Independents to negotiate with. I think I've got it right!

it's still anybody's.

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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-26-10 08:07 PM
Response to Original message
13. Now Senator (cough) Fielding proves why he should never have been elected,
promising to vote against any and every piece of legislation should Labor remain in government, regardless of what it is.

A nasty piece of gratuitous spite from a so-called christian, and it demonstrates that there is something inherently wrong with the current Senate system.

This man was elected (through the stupidity of Labor power brokers) in 2004 and has been given his marching orders by the Victorian people. I'm afraid I don't comprehend why it is that the Senate can't change when the lower house does. It's ridiculous that we have to wait until July for the Greens to take their place, and meanwhile put up with this piece of "unrepresentative swill" who was elected on about 1.4% of the vote.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Aug-26-10 09:03 PM
Response to Reply #13
14. Fielding's little temper tantrum on supply wasn't well thought out
Even if Senator Fielding succeeded in blocking the budget, the Greens would unblock it on July 1, the day the budget came into effect.

I agree with you about the arcane rules of the Senate, though. Seems somewhat absurd- though in practical effect it works both ways.

Greens will hold the balance of power for at least 6 years.
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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 12:38 AM
Response to Reply #14
15. I don't have a problem with the length of the terms,
nor with half-Senate elections every three years.

But I truly don't understand the rationale behind making everybody wait until the following July - nearly a year in this case - for the new Senators to take their place. The people have voted, and the Senate should reflect that with the next sitting.

And we've all put up with the dim-witted Senator Fielding for quite long enough, thank you!
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 11:02 AM
Response to Reply #15
16. Interestingly enough a quirk in our senate rules turns over territory Senators in that manner
Edited on Fri Aug-27-10 11:03 AM by depakid
The election of territory senators coincides with general elections for the House of Representatives, and their term expires and the new term begins on the day of the election (Commonwealth Electoral Act, s. 42).

http://www.aph.gov.au/senate/pubs/odgers/chap0112.htm

So, if The Greens had taken the ACT seat from the Liberals, Gary Humphries would be already be out- replaced by Lin Hatfield-Dodds.



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Matilda Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Aug-27-10 10:14 PM
Response to Reply #16
17. According to the revered Antony Green,
it would take an amendment to the Constitution to change the rules governing the terms of Senators, and that would have to be put to a referendum. It's been tried in the past, and the public knocked it back, but after this perhaps people would see it differently. It's something that's never bothered me much in the past, but it does now, and perhaps others will be thinking the same thing.

Meanwhile, Peter Hartcher has an interesting article on why it's taking so long for the Independents to make up their minds who to support:

"They're just playing for time while the Australian Electoral Commission inches towards a final result on the seat count. They're not the three wise men from the East. They're just another clutch of politicians.

"The truth is that the three independents didn't want to make a speedy decision to choose a side this week in case it turned out to be the losing one."

http://www.smh.com.au/opinion/politics/leaders-walk-the...


So much for integrity. It's still all about winning, in the end. And that's looking increasingly like the Coalition, God help us.
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velvet Donating Member (950 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Aug-28-10 03:52 AM
Response to Reply #17
18. I'm glad they're taking their time
I don't want speedy decisions, I want considered ones. A week in politics might be a long time to a journalist working for a daily, but it isn't to me, they can take as long as they need. This is an opportunity for reflection and discussion for all of us. On land and online, in public and private, people are energised, discussing the pros and cons of the situation in which we find ourselves. Good ideas might grow out of this mega-conversation. I wish the media would shut up about the need for speed, them and their fast-food attention span.

My personal impression was that the Opposition was caught unprepared by the Independents' request for costings and needed to stall for a day to get their paperwork ducks in a row. Peter Hartcher may well be right that it was cock-up not conspiracy, but the Libs could have announced the delay in a calm and measured way. Instead they served up melodrama - "We was robbed! You bastards! We've called the cops!". I'm not surprised the Indies were not amused.

I think the Independents' integrity will in time be proven on the floor of the House, on the issues. I find myself in sympathy with some of their positions on some issues. Whichever side they back, I want to see them keep debate on these issues alive.
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