Sunday, August 22, 2010

And you shall be hanged...

I woke this morning to find Australia was going to have a hung parliment. Ha! I knew I loved this country and they'd merely been lulling politicians into a sense of false security to get them all into one place before culling them. Good on yer, Australia. Now if South Africa could take a few lessons from this and copy this instead of sticking to other people's proven failures (like OBE which they cribbed from New Zealand as New Zealand turfed it) well, it would be a better country and many of the problems of corruption and maladminstration would resolve themselves overnight. Besides that, they could sell tickets... Maybe even spell 'hung' right (hanged).

I was terribly disappointed to find out that that it meant something more like the process whereby meat is placed in a chiller to mature a while. So the answer to : "Under which King, Bezonian?" becomes not "Richilliam."* but 'Gillot or Abbard'. Well, as yet I am not really too familiar with the parties or policies, and we won't be able to vote until 2014, so I can really just sit back and look at it rather like the locals look at our antics. I was impressed to see the election posters come down today, which I suppose is a plus for not having laissez faire government.

Tomorrow looks like good weather and hopefully we can get some fish and abelone for the rather depleted freezer.

*Lewis Carroll IIRC


  1. Been lurking since you posted on Ilona's blog...

    It's not a hung parliment, but a minority one. Unlike here they will have to negotiate enough seats from independants to decide who's going to attempt to form the gov't, then they will go to their Gov. General and request permission to do so. It will either be accepted (mostly likely outcome) or they will be sent back to the polls. They are that close. BUT, it will be a "lame duck" (which is what Obama will be after Nov) government unless they can work together. More than likely they will be back to the polls within a year.

    That makes #3 lately and will probably become the "norm" there as it has here... too many parties.

  2. Like most Aussies, I think it's a pity they don't take "hung" literally - but, oh well.

    What will probably happen is that one of them will form a secure enough coalition with one or more of the independents to form a minority government. That can cause interesting effects, especially if someone dies or resigns part-way through - then there's a by-election, and if the replacement is a different party, the government could change hands.

    Watch for recounts of the tightest seats, investigation of any hints of vote-rigging, and a lot of nastiness along the way - and of course, what happens in the Senate will have a big effect on what happens in the House. The last time there was a government with a hostile senate, it ended badly.

  3. @farmwifetwo: There is a small possibility it might become a hung parliament (75 seats a side). At the moment it looks like (72 seats for the current government and 73 for the opposition). However the Greens member has said he'd side with the current government making it 73 seats a side.

    Which leaves power in the hands of the four Independents, three of whom are likely to choose as a single bloc. However for various historical reasons which I won't go into, no one really knows which way they are going to jump. [A decade or so ago it would be a done deal, but then, they would never have felt the need to become Independents; there is a lot of bad feeling there.] It is probably that the side that offers them the best deal for the bush (they are all rural seats) will get their support in forming a government. The other Independent is a bit of a wildcard; many are predicting he favours Labour because of his history, but one cannot be sure.

    Our big problem is with the Senate (Upper House), because newly elected senators are seated up to nine months after the election. This can produce a hostile senate that can disrupt a new government (as happened to the last government). However the Senate is also a check on the Parliament (Lower House), and if a party gets a majority of both Houses there is no check on their behaviour (as exemplified by the previous Liberal government). Which is why the increased Greens presence in the Senate is good (they have inherited the mantle of the most viable socially aware party from the Australian Democrats). [Theoretically the Senate is there to guard States rights (we are a Commonwealth), but in actuality it is just another political platform, but one with the power to stop government functioning (totally, if anyone would be brave enough to block supply again)].

  4. I find it sincerely amusing that your followers wrote more in their comments tan you did in your entire postXD that's not to say they didn't all make perfectly valid points... Still, funny

  5. @Lamb: You should have seen the first reply that Blogger ate because it was too long...

  6. The want me to learn.

    It's also an interesting element to the function of the democratic process, especially when, in this case, it seems to have sparked a change in the cultural political zeitgeist.

    It appears that everybody was so sick of the negativity of the campaign and poor leadership of both major parties (admittedly this was heavily a function of the media bias during the campaign), that people seem to be realising that this may actually be something to be sought after. Possibly leading to an escape from the red vs blue politics of the last few decades. Or at least the media are starting to transmit this idea (especially since it is a view espoused strongly by at least one of the Independents).

    Everyone is eager to escape politics and return to statesmanship. Except probably for the movers behind each of the two major parties.

    [I mean, the leader of the current Coalition actually apologised (without actually saying "sorry" [Australian in-joke here]) for the confrontational nature of the political process for the last three years! Shock! Horror! What have you done with the Mad Monk? Although it was greeted with a great assumption that he was only doing so to woo the Independents.]

    [Then again, it's also a good example of the contempt that established democracies definitely hold their politicians in. We need more personal examples of regimes where democracy doesn't happen to sure up our political immune systems. Which, come to think about it, is possibly a reason why at least one party is against refugee immigration. But then I have a nasty suspicious mind. And I don't think the spin-doctors are capable of planning that far ahead.]