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. m
    Just the leadership positions. Then Abbott will do a minor reshuffle, I believe he said. But the LNP might not like just a minor reshuffle since they picked up most of the motza of seats gained by the Coalition.

  2. Andrew @ 2766

    [I cant find the 2PP with Labor ahead. The good thing is the count will be complete before parliament.]

    Have a look in the Virtual Tally Room, then you can move forward into the broad, sunlit uplands of the minutia of the various seat counts!


  3. He should dump their broadband bloke, whoever he is. Useless. Lazy. Incompetent.

    He should also dump Dutton, but given he’s LNP that probably won’t happen.

    JBishop is another who’s incompetent, but it seems she’s off limits.

  4. confessions
    Posted Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Permalink

    ‘Is there such a thing? D/PM’

    “I asked the same thing ages ago and someone (Psephos I think) said no, not when the parties are in opposition.”

    Truss became D/PM if Abbott won But in In opposition he is Leeder of Nats , Abbott chief of Libs and Julie deputy Lib leader so chairs only change if Coalition get govt

  5. R Wilson of Institute of Public Affairs on The Drum abc24 says Labor is sneaky attaching sweeteners to whatever re mining tax. IPA = neo-con reptile nest. How do they get a spot on the ABC?

  6. Bronnie should probably go in the interests of renewal. But will Tone have the spine to dump her? Probably not.

    Kevin Andrews? Is he in the shadow ministry? If so, move him on. The coalition need to start renewing, and it’s counter-productive to their future with all these Howard has-beens cluttering up the front bench.

  7. Why is it accepted wisdom that the Libs and Nats are “The Coalition” when they are a coalition.

    Why were the media talking about a coalition govt, when what we now have is a coalition govt.

    Will this phrase be consigned to the dustbin of history?

  8. [IPA = neo-con reptile nest. How do they get a spot on the ABC?]

    Don’t forget that until recently IPA person Ron Brunton was a member of the ABC board, Puff, and Keith Windshuttle, whose junk is regularly published by the IPA, still is.

  9. Surely the tories would be a greater chance of retiring member by elections given all the living dead in their ranks?
    Problem is most of these zombies are in safe tory seats.
    There you go, just answered my own question. 😯

  10. […it’s counter-productive to their future with all these Howard has-beens cluttering up the front bench.]

    The just got Vasta, Gambaro and Enstch back, what to do with these Howard fossils?

  11. Bitar continues to make friends. There is a report that Feeney and Conroy are trying to have him dumped.

    Oh yes, there will be blood. 👿

    [Victorian powerbrokers Stephen Conroy and David Feeney are believed to have drafted a secret motion that they plan to put to the party’s national executive to oust ALP national secretary Karl Bitar.]


  12. Dio can you break that down for me.. what exactly do these guys stand for when its hauled out into the sunshine?

    Conroy.. Bitar.. Feeney.. ?

    I mean are they for or against particular policies or ideas?

  13. This one gives the scuttlebutt on the Ministry.

    Rudd – FA
    Smith- Defence
    Bowen – Finance
    Shorten/Arbib-not much change
    Probable winners- Kelly, Gray, Dreyfus
    Probable losers- Evans, Garrett

  14. [Mesma is the most hopeless deputy ever. But she’s loyal, now onto her third man]

    … and She knows how to “soften up” her men, except those Undies which she failed to flash.

  15. Henry
    [Is Feeney psephos boss? One faceless man knifes another faceless man!
    Come on psephos, spill the beans man!]
    I would agree with dumping Bitar though. The dumping of Rudd was one thing, but the direction of the national campaign was another issue. Arbib and Bitar must be acountable for that. I would agree with Feeney and Conroy on this one. The campaign was disjointed at best. It took too much of the NSW State campaign style into the Federal arena. If even 1% of those informal votes were dissillusioned Labor voters, then the campaign was very costly for several sitting Labor MPs.

  16. cc

    I report, you decide.

    I’m sure it has nothing to do with policy though. That lot are a policy-free zone.

    It would be very unfair to quiz Psephos about it as he clearly cannot confirm or deny.

  17. Dee wrote:
    Conroy slapped down Fran this morning stating there has been selective memory loss. 1998, Howard lost 18 seats & the 2PP vote.
    The Coalition had a swing of 2.62 against them.
    The AEC has it as a 4.61% swing.

  18. [Probable winners- Kelly, Gray, Dreyfus]

    Rishworth should also be promoted in my view. She’s proven herself a good worker, and exceptional campaigner.

  19. Diogenes
    Posted Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 6:28 pm | Permalink

    “… That lot are a policy-free zone.”

    That comment was naive even by your amatur politcal standards

    Conroy is a publicly elected Senator and part of Julia’s 2 person leedership team with Evans and Swan

    Conroy had prime responsible for NBN , not only th most far reaching infrastiucture , tech & econamic polisys in oz whole history , but it played great rile in getting Labor direct votes , and critical 2 Undys votes to actual form a labor Govt

  20. Feeney and Shorten have had their own face-offs in the past too apparently.

    A shot of one of the faceless in party retribution mode, ready to go for the facial epidermis:

  21. Rishworth will get something. Correct me if I am wrong but statisically she has performed the best.?. I’m pretty sure if I am wrong I’ll be told!

  22. Mac Yourselfathome MacYourselfhome

    Italian news tells me it’s safe for me to return to Australia. Berlusconi said to want an urgent and private meeting with new lady PM. half a minute ago via Touiteur

    Candles won’t be happy 🙂

  23. Dio,

    Conroy is not an idiot. He’s actually highly intelligent. He is also a great head kicker which made him useful for the NBN. He’s also either a religious nutter or more likely is a prisoner to the religious nutter lobby – which shows in his defense of the indefensible (the filter).

    Other than that, I’ve no clue what he stands for. Even less so the other blokes. I wish someone would tell me.

  24. Socrates

    Doesn’t go far enough. There are too many of them in the party. They truly are like Daleks. I think we need a formal split in the party, the new parties can then vote for PR on the HoR with the Green and off we go “to Denmark”. The LNP would then no doubt split too. A new party or parties would form from the current indies, and elswhere. A semi-permanent centre-left coalition of various shades. A transparent process engendering affection and admiration for the parliamentary process among our voting populace.

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