Federal Election 2016. What a huge letdown on the night, no result, no victory/concession speeches.
And yet….there remains a level of excitement in the fact that as at 6:00pm this evening, 3 July, the ALP are claiming 69 seats and the coalition, 64 with seven seats thus far undecided. According to the Australian Electoral Commission, the following seats are undecided:
There is a possibility that the coalition might secure all those seats they currently hold. They might even secure all seven, who knows, but they won’t get to the mythical 76 seats required to form a majority government of even one seat. Despite all of the protestations from both major parties in the leadup to yesterday, for either, a deal with the cross-benches will be essential. It’s the content of that ‘deal’ which will prove fascinating, and this is where the excitement lies.
The cross-benches are highly likely to be even more eclectic than that left from the debris of 2010. In that Federal Election, we, the people, put into place a minority ALP led government with cross-benchers providing the majority. That government, the 43rd Parliament, was the most productive, negotiative and collaborative since Federation. Hopefully, we can look forward to even greater results this time around. I’m a little dubious that records might be broken given the probable makeup of those cross-benches. Pauline Hanson is there, she might even get a couple more candidates across the line. The Leyonhjelms, the Days, et al are gone, yet the conservatively aligned Xenophon Team have a couple of voices, Jacqui Lambie remains and Andrew Wilkie made it. Lazo didn’t make it, despite my vote on his behalf and wonder of wonders….Derryn Hinch gets a chance to use his voice.
We’ll not see a triumverate of cross-benchers holding sway this time, we’ve got a circus ring with a collective of clowns wearing a wide variety of makeup from serious, to laughable. Satirists are going to have a field day. Sadly, one thing is certain. We’re not going to see any changes to the disgusting, distasteful and repugnant immigration policies regarding those who courageously seek for themselves a better life. We’re also not likely to see any abolition of the re-birthed ‘Pacific Solution’. What happens to those people is anyone’s guess.
So, will we see much in the way of change to Australia’s body politick? Other than the anticipated circus antics surrounding just which major party will secure government, I think it unlikely. The 45th Parliament, I believe, will be disappointing, short-lived and ineffectual. Neither major party will be able to work productively with the eccentric mix of likely minor partners. Neither major party collective will WANT to work that way. Sharing power does not come easily to the majors. On top of this disruptive potential political environment, we have a conservative coalition which appears likely to tear itself asunder. Whether the loopy extreme right froot bats of the once-Liberal Party opt to go it alone, or simply carry on with their sniping and undermining of the dominant moderates is yet to be seen, but the early signs are not good for the party of Menzies…..
…..and of course, the hangers-on punditry are damning in their vitriol. We, of the progressive mindset, are eagerly awaiting the fallout.