Thursday, September 9, 2010

Told You So.

Philosophy, in terms of both these [major] parties, died a decade ago. Probably longer.
— Tony Windsor.
We should have a great big swear-jar in this building.
— Rob Oakeshott.

Normally I don't like to brag. Okay, that's a lie, I'm actually wonderful at banging on about how awesome I am. Still, I'm not exactly experienced at this game. I didn't expect Katter to faff about with making up his mind for 17 days, and I certainly didn't expect Wilkie's decision to rest on a party offering him too much. On the other hand, I saw pretty much the rest of the scenario playing out in my first post, a few days after the election. I felt pretty sure it'd come down to these two. While I think Oakeshott was quite wrong to say that there was almost nothing in the decision — both because that's not the kind of talking that wins you votes and because both parties, despite their shriveled husks of ideology, are still distinguishable on policy grounds — and I got tired of his waffling on once he made it plain he wasn't sending us back to the polls, I am thankful that they went with what is on balance the lesser evil.

Am I happy with the result? As happy as I could expect to be, I suppose. I didn't want to see another election any time soon; and the Greens strongly disapprove of Conroy's internet filter, which should keep that off the table for the time being. Whatever happens over the next few years, the Greens will almost certainly grow in power. We might even get that gay marriage bill through before the next election.

I was amused that some protested that a Labor-Green alliance would lead to the most left-wing government we've ever seen. That's supposed to be a bad thing? Progress is inevitable. The right, by and large, tries to control it by limiting it. The left tries to control it by guiding it in the right direction. I think it's quite clear whose approach is going to be more successful. It always has. I'd like to hope that this represents a turning point for Australian politics: that even if a major party does regain a majority in the lower house, the number of crossbenchers in the Senate who actually do stand for something — the Greens, Xenophon, maybe even the Sex Party given their performance this election — is able to keep the bastards honest in a way we haven't seen so far.

Also, to Barnaby Joyce and others who think the independents have acted against their electorates' wishes by supporting Labor: Have a cup of concrete and stop whinging. If their electorates wanted the coalition to win, they would have voted for them. To those who think that the resulting government is in any way illegitimate, remember: it's not the individual party with the most seats, or even the most votes. If it were, Labor would have taken government several times when it took the Nationals to get the Libs over the line. Just because Labor has resorted to a coalition doesn't rob them of legitimacy. If the Libs had managed to woo Windsor and Oakeshott, we wouldn't hear any of those complaints — or if we did, it would be from the other side and it would be just as misinformed. If you don't like the rules, that's fine, but you have no right to suggest they aren't being followed.

1 comment:

  1. I get annoyed at people who don't understand that we are voting for a party, not a party leader. This whole thing about "voting for Labor with Rudd as the leader" is bollocks - you vote Labor, you don't vote for Rudd. Rud is just the face of the party, and they can change that face any time they damned well like.

    In any case, isn't it a bad thing to give one man too much power? Isn't that why Abbot (allegedly) had his ower over RU486 removed; because that kind of power in the hands of one man was considered to be a bad thing?

    Nobody complained about THAT.

    So yeah. Them's the brakes, quit yer bitchin'.