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Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Political Faultlines

The doomboosters and nay-sayers are in full voice declaring the minority Labour government is on shaky ground and won't last three months, let alone three years. We are just one by-election away from political catastrophe. All the positive talk about a new era in Australian politics is being drowned out by passionate pessimists and ignoramuses.

Coalition supporters are predicting the end of the world as the Axis of Evil (Labour and the Greens) plots the downfall of modern Australia. People are suggesting the Independents have prostituted themselves in their dealings with their enemies. The Coalition itself is moaning about the illegitimacy of the minority government led by a Prime Minster who hasn't been elected...again.

We have a democratic system for dealing with hung parliaments. Due process was followed and in case you haven't heard, the final seat count is Labour 76, Coalition 74. It's as simple as that really. The Coalition and their supporters need to build a bridge. You lost. I repeat, due process has been followed. A minority government has been formed and it is led by Julia Gillard's Labour Party. Don't like it? Too bad.

Here's a sporting analogy because there is nothing like a sporting analogy, is there?
NRL: National Rugby League. Suppose your team is clearly the best throughout the regular season. They win more games, score more points and concede less than any other team. They qualify for the play-offs in 1st place. Also in the play-offs is a team which only won half of its games in the regular season, and is statistically inferior. These teams meet in the Grand Final and your team loses. That sucks, but according to the rules of the competition, the only thing that counts is winning that final game.

Okay, its a imperfect analogy but aren't they all? Let's accept the umpire's decision and get on with the game. Let's believe that things will be better and that this government will be effective. Not all legislation will be contested. In fact according to Senators Minchin (Liberal) and Milne (Greens) roughly 80% of legislation which comes before the Senate passes easily with bipartisan support. The rest should be, and will be hotly debated. That's what a parliament is for, isn't it? And if you think all 150 of our representatives in the lower house are in it for personal gain, then you need help.

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