One thing is for sure - the Australian voters have given their own mandate - there are to be NO mandates.
We've had some weird results:
- Wilson Tuckey (Lib) lost to Tony Crook (Nat) in O'Connor (WA) who says he will operate independently of the Coalition.
- Bob Katter (Ind) got a strong swing as a result of a strong swing away from Andrew Turnour (ALP) in Kennedy (Qld).
- Wyatt Roy (LNP) took advantage of Queensland's swing away from the ALP by ousting the formerly sitting Jon Sullivan (LNP) in Longman (Qld) to become Australia's youngest ever Federal MP at 20 years of age.
- Speaking of Wyatts, in the electorate of Hasluck (WA), Ken Wyatt (Lib) seems to have ousted Sharryn Jackson (ALP) to become Australia's first ever indigenous MP.
We've also had the highest rate of informal voting since WW II, which shows quite strongly that people don't think there's any real difference between the two major parties and think that the election will result in them installing the best of two bad parties into government.
This election result shows a number of things to me, such as:
- People didn't like either of the two major parties nor their election campaigns nor their policies - at least not enough to make a clear distinction between them.
- The Greens have done extremely well because the two major parties have done so poorly. The Greens will now have to fight to hang on to their seats at the next election as I can't see this silver platter being offered in another 3 years.
- The Greens, still technically a minor party, have not only achieved their dream of controlling the balance of power in the Senate, but have also acquired a seat in a hung House of Representatives - so they will be able to punch well above their weight for the next 3 or so years. (Their Senate balance of power will start on 1 July, 2011 when the new Senators are installed.)
- The voters, even in a country with compulsory voting, can make a loud, clear statement that all parties need to listen to moving forward.
- State and Federal politics are not as distinct as some people would like. Anna Bligh's utter contempt for her Queensland voters and the level of distrust of her amongst those Queensland voters went a long way (when used carefully by the LNP) to helping the significant swing towards Lib/Nat/LNP in Queensland.
- FFP Senator Steven Fielding - the reason that Senator Stephen Conroy was keen on the Internet Filter - seems likely to lose his Senate seat. I think the input of all of the child protection bodies stating that this Internet Filter in no way at all will protect children deserves significant credit for removing Senator Fielding from Parliament.
- We're in for an interesting term of Government with a minority Government that needs to work with 4 Independent and one Green MP, and then pass anything they want implemented up to a Green-controlled Senate.
Hopefully these election results will give our Government cause to think about how they operate - no longer can they think of getting "re-elected" at the next election as they weren't technically elected during this one. This will, with any luck, mean that we can finally get long term infrastructure projects that will last well beyond 2 political terms, which has been the limit of any "long term vision" of any previous Government, including but definitely not limited to:
- the NBN (preferably a little better thought and costed out) to replace our currently failing and underperforming telecommunications infrastructure with something that will last us decades (and the infrastructure components should remain Government controlled/owned)
- A nationally sensible end effective water grid and usage plan enabling the rehydration of the parts of the Murray Darling Basin that we've not yet totally destroyed, as well as the distribution of water stores to where they are needed most
- A more efficient public transport infrastructure in high population areas
- Transition from coal-based power generation to renewable energy production (including solar and wind encouragement for residential and business alike)
- Recognition of the issues that affect rural Australia greatly, which therefore affect all of us in the cities
The Outspoken Wookie