Do we have a government yet? No, thank goodness
I stumbled upon a new and informative website today: http://doesaustraliahaveagovernmentyet.com/
It sums up the current political situation pretty well, and what a bizarre situation it is.
Gillard stabbed Rudd in the back, Rudd stepped up and helped out his Lady Macbeth during the election, interim-mad-monk-Abbott pushed a relentless campaign, we discovered that there was Julia and then there was the “real Julia” (along with two impersonators) which was confusing, the Greens slid gracefully into the Senate and House of Reps, Bob Katter… I don’t know what Bob Katter is doing, but one somewhat effective campaign video and all of a sudden he’s the force to be reckoned with.
More interestingly, since http://doesaustraliahaveagovernmentyet.com/ reassures me that “no” we don’t have a government yet.. is the increasing political concern being shown by the independents which was sadly lacking from either major party’s election campaign this year.
Firstly, they banded together. Thank god someone has learnt something from the fiasco that both parties called their “election campaigns” - undercutting, undermining, fear tactics… They’ve always been a big part of politics but this year the campaigns seemed to be entirely founded upon this idea that “we’re bad, but the others are heaps worse!”. United not divided, the independents have shown some savvy with that one.
Secondly, they’re making demands! It’s been a long time since our government has had to answer to demands of any sort (they do a great job at ignoring the demands of their constituents) and these are demands which demand transparency, another concept our government is not particularly familiar with.
Gillard’s bending over backwards to accommodate them, which is more a reflection of her sense of eminent downfall rather than any innate respect for processes of open disclosure. Whilst Abbott is largely trying to do the same, he just quite bring himself to put the costings on the table (well, without a set of conditions). For a party that uses the Australian fear over anything economic related (GBNT, deficits, surpluses, overspending, underspending…) hopefully that gesture alone will clear through some of the mist and mirrors.
Thirdly, they’ve stepped away from the hot election issues (refugees, health reform and a mutual commitment to do nothing about climate change) and decided that they’d like to look at all the other incredibly important portfolios that we seemed to forget existed – like Education, Workplace Relations, Transport, Agriculture, Defence … It certainly feels more like an election now than it did a couple of weeks ago.
And finally, they’re proposing a new style of politics, one that would allow for a “concensus option” and a majority government to be formed. This is the most radical non-radical idea anyone has had since Kevin Rudd took the radically non-radical steps of apologising for the hideous past treatment of Indigenous Australians and decided that climate change was probably a little problem we should address relatively soon. Unsurprisingly, Abbott’s finding this all a bit confronting and difficult, but Gillard seems relatively receptive to the idea.
So there you have it, the election period is over, the campaigning has been done…and all of a sudden it seems like it’s about to get political.
Nope, not yet. Perhaps that’s not such a bad thing.
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