D-day plus 17 …

… and finally, the small matter of the result. The winner is Labor. Not a famous victory by any stretch of the imagination, but under the circumstances they’ll be happy with the four points. For my part, I have my doubts about members of parliament going against the obvious preference of their constituents in so fundamental a matter as government formation, barring the proverbial extraordinary and reprehensible standards. I’m not entirely sure that a bit of creative accounting from the Coalition clears the bar on this count. That said, I have no doubt – none – that conservatives tempted to echo these sentiments will find themselves constrained by their philosophy’s most eloquent champion, Edmund Burke, who famously told his constituents: “Your representative owes you, not his industry only, but his judgment; and he betrays, instead of serving you, if he sacrifices it to your opinion”. (Burke’s speech has been given a fair run around the place in recent times, including by apparently learned people who would do well to read it through to the end.)

Besides, my difference of opinion with Windsor and Oakeshott is purely a matter of degree – there were respectable arguments that could have been mounted whichever way they jumped. Ultimately they deserve our gratitude for the patient and considered fashion with which they have navigated through their delicate position. Most particularly, they should be heartily congratulated for ignoring a fortnight’s worth of quacking and bleating from a section of the media that does not at heart believe in consensus, checks and balances or even particularly in democracy. Whatever uncertainties might lie ahead, one thing is sure: these voices will spend the coming months and/or years peddling distortions and hyperbole to create a sense of crisis about a situation which in reality has every chance of serving Australia well. Long may the independents continue to turn a deaf ear.

Author: William Bowe

William Bowe is a Perth-based election analyst and occasional teacher of political science. His blog, The Poll Bludger, has existed in one form or another since 2004, and is one of the most heavily trafficked websites on Australian politics.

2,892 comments on “D-day plus 17 …”

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  1. As Corinne Grant said this was the longest game of UNO in history.

    Thank you ball boys, thank you ball girls.

    Now everyone go home or to the pub.

    See ya!

  2. The Liberal & MSM meltdown will be fun to watch.
    Abbott won’t take this gracefully, neither will his media mates!
    Now Julia better be true to her word and put Kevin Rudd into a senior portfolio – the last box that needs to be ticked for me. 😉

  3. Now the real work begins. We didn’t win, we just avoided losing. Gillard has a lot of work to bring the nation back together and regain the trust of Australia. This could possibly be the best thing that has happened for the country, the democracy and the ALP, if we use the opportunity right.

  4. The biggest screamers will be the Nats. These two guys have achieved more for regional australia than the Nats have in 15 years.

    Also they have shown that you can be progressive and not reactionary in the bush.

  5. [Poor Murdoch, he tried his hardest and still failed. He must feel terrible.]

    don’t feel sorry for him – he’ll be instructing his journos to start dishing out a bucket-o-shyte on a daily basis to Labor, Green and the two Independents

  6. Windsor and Oakeshot have been mightily impressive representatives. They have been thorough gentlemen, diligent and honourable… if they are indicative of our next parliament then we will endure. Well done everybody.

  7. I think my children grew up and had kids while I was waiting for Oakeshott to get to the point.

    As previously advised, I’m never particularly delighted to see Labor win, but – for personal reasons I can’t entirely divulge – I’m walking on clouds at the moment at the thought of the pain and disappointment being currently experienced by Tony Abbott and some people close to him. I hope it soon developments into greater humiliation: I want to see pants off (metaphorically speaking).

  8. victoria are you on line

    you know the question you ask me the other day by 2 yes i did not want to say here because there is a lot or people who think i was mad.

  9. Yeeeeeehaaaaaaaaa!!!!!!

    Absolutely wonderful result!!!!!!

    And I had a nice wager on Labor last week when they were $3.10!!!!! Can now treat the OH to a nice meal with her favourite champers……..

    And I’ll get my NBN………:)

  10. This is how I felt when I pulled out into traffic and almost got cleaned up by a fuel tanker, coz I was not alert. 2nd life.

    Jules is first ELECTED female PM. Likes like broadband did it.

  11. These men acted with dignity, grace and ethics under enormous pressure. They will have the nation’s thanks as we move forward and make this a better place for ourselves, and our descendants.

    I suspect my most recent ancestor – still living and breathing at 90 will be have a little dance in his kitchen right now!!!

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