Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Keeping us in suspense

Our first hung parliament in fifty years and it certainly feels like a real democracy now, with voters refusing just to toe the party line either way. We are unlikely to know for a fortnight who will be in a position to form government. Not only that but there were other remarkable occurences:

  • our first Green MP, Adam Bandt, in the seat of Melbourne. It was a decisive win.
  • our first indigenous federal MP, Ken Wyatt  (preceded by federal Liberal senator Neville Bonner - who took office in 1971, and Australian Democrat senator Aden Ridgway. First state parliamentarian was Wyatt's fellow West Australian MP, and Labor minister, Ernie Bridge.)
  • our youngest ever MP, 20 year old Wyatt Roy
The balance of power is now held by independents:

though the only one who is being truly independent, arguably, is Wilkie who has accused the others of forming a bloc. He has refused to join in discussions with them in consulting with the two major party leaders over what would be required to secure support. Whether this has anything to do with the fact that the others come from conservative backgrounds - having all been former members of the National Party - is a matter for conjecture. Certainly some of the things that Windsor, Katter, and Oakeshott stand for (like an ETS and national broadband) are more in line with ALP policy than LNP.