Sunday, September 5, 2010

Update on Australia's Quagmire Down Under

It's been a full two weeks since Australia's federal election ended up with a literal tie, 72 for PM Julia Gillard's Labor Party, and 72 for the Opposition Liberal/National Coalition, with four independents, one Green, and one Western Australia National (a member of the National Party who doesn't sit with the Coalition automatically). The popular vote rests at 43.3 for the Coalition, 38.0 for Labor, and 11.7 for the Greens. The two-party preferred vote is, so far, exactly even - 50% to 50%.

Right now, Labor leads in the seat count with 74 seats, as both the Green's one member, and Tasmanian independent MP Andrew Wilkie have expressed their support for Gillard's continuing governance. The Coalition sits at 72, though most media outlets says they're at 73, including the Western Australia National member, Tony Crook, who insists he is not apart of the Coalition. Given that his demands are mostly in line with the Coalition's goals, however, let's just leave him in there.

That leaves three independents - Bob Katter, Tony Windsor, and Rob Oakeshott, all former National Party members who are considered ideologically conservative - with the balance of power. All three have said they'll work with either side, and have yet to make any decisions on what to do.

At the current moment, it seems that Gillard's Labor has the best chance to form a government, what with the edge in the seat count, plus she doesn't have the spectre of uncosted and clearly wrong promises in her platform. However, with the result being so close, the prospect of another election soon after this one isn't far off, and that's something that may work in either side's favour.

Whether she's in the right to do - she has cost her party a safe position, after a coup that probably wasn't needed - is another question. I don't think she is, but alas, it's not my opinion that matters - it's Australia's.

2 comments:

  1. Poor Kevin Rudd. We can see where he started to go wrong.

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  2. Ha, I didn't even realize Rudd went up against the Murdoch empire. Though I suppose the guy is Australian.

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