So, our election here in .au failed to deliver a conclusive result for our two-party system. We’ve been waiting for about 2 weeks to find out whether the Abbott for the Libs or Gillard for Labor will form government, and we still don’t know. So far, Labor appears to be winning, which suits me just fine, (by the slimmest of margins at the moment)
A majority government requires 76 seats in the Lower House (Aka the House of Representatives) Labor won 72 outright, and the Liberals won 72+1 (I’ll explain this in a minute) Labor are Left-leaning, promoting social reform and building infrastructure. The LNP (Liberal National Party) are Right-leaning, looking after business, mainly concerned with the economy. The reason the Liberals(LNP) have 72+1 is that the WA National Party has said “We are a separate party to the LNP, our representative will sit on cross-benches and will not necesserily vote with the LNP on any particular matter.” so while the news reports it as 73, they are really 72 as well.
So with 76 seats for clear majority and thus to form government, the Big Two search for alliances with independents and minor parties. We have 1 Greens, and 4 independents in the mix. the Greens and 1 independent have gone to Labor, which puts them at 74 seats, meaning that they need 2 of the remaining 3 independents to form government, if they get 3, they’ll have some margin for sickness. (a tie is deemed equal to a majority block in .au’s parliamentary system.)
So we have 3 independents who are still deliberating, one of whom has just released his 20-point wish list… 2 weeks after it became obvious that the Libs and Labs would be trying to woo them. The Libs are fortunately taking it for granted that the independents will come to them, while labor is showing them some respect, and making an effort to influence their choice. Then there was the issue with Abbott’s costings being $11 billion different from the costings of his promises produced by the Australian Treasury.
I work for a Labor project – the National Secondary Schools Computer Fund, a project where there will be 1 computer in schools for each student between year 9 and year 12. I’m really hoping Labor get in, not just because in a way, they pay me, but also because they actually have plans, and are planning to actually do things, unlike the liberals who have said “We’ll abolish the mining tax, but we’re gonna cancel every major project that labor started” (That includes the NSSCF – going from a grant of up to $1m per school to a max grant of $50,000 per school – and the National Broadband Network – where even rural areas *will* have decent internet speeds, and most of the nation will have Optic Fibre to the home – FAST internet – not a good thing to cancel since the independents are all from regional/rural seats) and that’s so that we can wind up with the same sort of budget surplus as Labor.
What I wanted to say when I started this post was:
Dear Independents… Pick a damn side already or send us back to the polls. I don’t care which you do, but I’d like a decision of some description. (And if we went back to the polls, it looks like labor would win, no-one trusts Mr Abbott anymore)