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So apparently we have a minority government, with the ALP scraping in with 72 seats outright, 1 Green, and three Independents compared to the Coalition's 72 seats outright, 1 nominally WA Liberal-but-wants-to-be-Independent and Bob Katter.

Which means there's 76 declared ALP versus 74 declared Liberal. Well I suppose it could have been closer, but not by much. I mean one less to the ALP and we'd be back to the polls again... so I'm grateful for that small mercy at least!

That of course leaves the question of who they'll make Speaker, which could leave a 75-74 margin, which again - close.

I'm currently involved in an online discussion which has nominated Bob Katter for Speaker, providing he performs the duties while dressed as a banana. This would have the added benefit of focusing attention on Parliament and on Queensland banana prices. Oh and high visibility in case of emergency.

Still, it'll be interesting to see how this one goes. So far I've seen opinions ranging from "won't last 6 months" to "will stagger on for three years". Hard to say actually, I'm somewhere in the middle. I think there's going to be a lot of negotiations happening to get anything done. Worst case scenario of course is that we move into a period of Italian-like governance, with collapsing coalitions being the order of the day. (Worst case in the sense of anything being done, not in the entertainment sense.)

Still. 11 days with a caretaker government and nothing fell to bits that we know of. No rioting in the streets, no hiding in houses. I'm grateful to live where I do.

Now I just have to get through this year's state election... *sigh*
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For reasons of fun and profit (and because I was waiting for stuff to finish yesterday) I decided to see if we'd have an actual government by now under a first-past-the-post system rather than our preferential system. So I pulled up the close seats (as defined by the AEC) and went through 63 seats that were either close results or that changed hands to have a look.

7 of those 63 seats would have a different result under the FPTP system. 5 of those seats would have gone to the Liberals (O'Connor - from the Nationals; Latrobe, Deakin, Corangamite,Robertson - from the ALP) and two to the ALP (Dennison - from Wilkie and Melbourne - from The Greens).

So that would give us ALP on 73 seats (with a lot less whinging going on), Liberals on 49, Nationals on 6, LNP on 21 (Coalition total of 76) and 3 Independents. So yes, we would now have a government. Of course that's assuming the fairly massive swing to The Greens (up 12% in some seats) would have been the same under a FPTP system (which I doubt given the two party fear-mongering under the current system) so that would probably have changed some of the more marginal seats that went from ALP-Lib on first preferences (i.e. Latrobe, Deakin, Corangamite and Robertson!) Which then would have left us in basically the same place as we currently are, without a government.

In the meantime the Greens and ALP have done a deal; the Coalition turns out to be bad at maths and Katter still hasn't gotten on a white horse and ridden into Parliament while dressed as a banana. Which would totally make my day.
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So as far as I can work out from the current figures on the AEC website we're stuck at:
Elections, more of them. Still. )
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Hm, so there's 60 candidates for the Senate in Victoria representing 20 parties and 5 people running as independents. As per usual some of these parties I've never actually heard of, which is probably because they got set up in a hurry to put a Senate candidate or two in.

The parties are:

Socialist Equality Party (I read that initially as "Equity" which would also have worked)
Family First
Australian Greens
Senator On-Line (does this sound like they plan to work from home to anyone else? Just curious)
Democratic Labor Party of Australia (are these guys still going?? Seriously??)
Australian Democrats
Shooters and Fishers (oops, accidentally typed a 't' instead of a 'h' in the second word initially which changes the meaning quite considerably)
Australian Sex Party (?????)
The Climate Sceptics (as above, only more so - let me guess, they read the Herald-Sun article which quoted a lifesaver at Albert Park as saying "well I haven't noticed it being any warmer, it's been quite chilly this winter")
Socialist Alliance (perennials)
Citizens Electoral Council (also perennials, but I've no idea what they stand for/against - I only ever hear of them at election time)
Building Australia (the Master Builder's Association's running a party now? Probably not, but it'd be kind of amusing if that's who they were. Even more amusing if it's a group of incredibly frustrated engineers who want more infrastructure maintenance/construction projects.)
One Nation (see DLP comment)
Christian Democratic Party (who?? I've seriously never heard of this mob)
Australian Labor Party
Secular Party of Australia (I think more accurately they're the Atheist Party of Australia, but admittedly that's based solely on the one candidate interview I've seen)
Carer's Alliance (it's kind of sad when you get frustrated enough that you have to form a party to try and get someone to hear you. Understandable, but sad that it has to get to that point)
Liberal Democrats (yeah I'm not entirely sure what differentiates them from the DLP either)

Damn, no Natural Law Party? Who's going to Om For Australia now then?

Locally I have 5 candidates to choose from. Apart from the usual suspects (ALP, Lib) there's a Family First, a Secular Party and an Australian Greens. Given that we are a safe ALP seat I don't think it's really going to matter in the long run, but hey I'll still have fun preferencing.


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November 2016



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