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. The power of Grog indeed.

    Dear Ari, how many read Grog’s blog?

    [ONE of the most influential – albeit obscure – commentators during the election campaign was an anonymous blogger with the Twitter handle @GrogsGamut.

    During the campaign – at the end of July – he logged a lengthy post on the failure of the mainstream media properly to cover the policy announcements which would allow voters to make considered choice………. “The contributions of bloggers – the constant feedback and commentary of thousands though the #ausvotes stream on Twitter – were watched and considered by every mainstream media editor.]


    From Little Things Big Things Grow. The small things that we did with Margo Kingston at Webdiary, when “blogging” wasnt even in the vocabulary are growing. Margo, wherever you are, take a bow.

  2. [ALP advantage in 2PP approaches 1 000 votes who’s laughing now?]

    Don’t forget yesterday’s “we won more seats” lie (from the ABC’s Australia Votes 2010):

    ALP 72+Brandt +Wilkie + Oakshott + Windsor = 76

    Coalition 72 + Crook + Katter = 74

    Swing to the Coalition: +1.5%

  3. do you all feel your skills and insights as a PBer are being under utilised by not being so?

    (Just encouraging us PBers inflated sense of importance 🙂 )

  4. 1958

    All but three of the 1943 ALP Senators were re-elected in 1949. One in Victoria did not stand and one in each of WA and Tasmania were defeated by other ALP candidates.

  5. [ALP 72+Brandt +Wilkie + Oakshott + Windsor = 76

    Coalition 72 + Crook + Katter = 74]

    Oz, PJK would say “a beautiful set of numbers” 😆

  6. Agreed Bitar must go, just reminds of me of Dracula. Bloodless and colourless. Just doesn’t strike me as a true labor man.
    what I would love to see is a round table of true believers to advise on policy and campaigning. People like Hawkie, Faulkner and Tanner spring to mind.

  7. For a country national or whatever he is Crook looks very metrosexual.
    (Btw he has opted out of the coalition now that labor has won. Such principles.)

  8. [This one gives the scuttlebutt on the Ministry.

    Rudd – FA

    I still genuinely wonder whether Foreign Affairs is the portfolio that Rudd really wants.

  9. jen authour the bug really hit me today at work about getting involved i had given some contemplation in the past, but not as strong as now

  10. [Correct me if I am wrong but statisically she has performed the best.?]

    Not sure. But MacTiernan also performed very strongly considering the anti-ALP backlash in WA. She got a swing to her against sitting Lib Don Randall in Canning, I think the only Labor candidate to do so in WA. It’s a shame she’s ruled out running again because next election she might just jag the seat.

  11. [is anyone here a member of any politcal party or have been in the past ?]

    Nope, and nope, and never will be. Always loathed the party system, and preferred (roughly centrist) independents.

  12. [is anyone here a member of any politcal party or have been in the past ?]

    i wasn’t but we’ve now joined the greens.

    my father came to australia to study. he got a scholarship awarded to him, even though he wasn’t australian, by gough whitlam’s government. at the time his family was being persecuted by his government and it was an opportunity he would never have had a chance at back home. when he came here, out of the goodwill of people half-way around the world, he and my mother lived here for several years, my father’s phd thesis was on the mcleay river alluvial something or other. he never (to this day) forgave the liberal’s for gough’s dismissal or forgot the personal debt he owed his government.

    somewhere in the middle of that, i was born an australian citizen, again granted to me by people who lived half-way around the world from where my parents came from. my parents returned home (the dream of most first gen migrants) and i grew up in many countries overseas. despite the problems of a family of 5 travelling on 4 different passports my dad never countenanced changing my citizenship. when i grew up i came back to australia to finish my education. before i left, my father reminded me of the debt that i owed, through him, to this country and reminded me to never forget it. it was why he was always keen for me to stay an aussie citizen, despite my family’s new adopted country granting our family citizenship for my father’s service to the country.

    now you know that it becomes rather obvious that there is no way i’ll ever vote liberal. but neither will i vote for a labor party that has become the antithesis of the labor party my father would have voted for if he’d been able. when they come back to me, i’ll vote for them. till then it’s green for me.

    most australians have no idea what a unique place australia is. they say they do, but it’s difficult to really understand it unless you’ve lived in places where there is no such thing as a welfare state. places where rich people control everything and that’s ok, because they’re rich, they deserve it. places where good governance means looting the treasury for the benefit of your tiny clique, or killing and imprisoning your opponents. once you experience these things it’s hard not to stay passionate about australia achieving our potential and i’m proud that our son will live the first 3 years of his life (i hope) under a government that holds so much potential for our country.

    ok, normal abusive service will be restored now. carry on.

  13. Diogenes
    Posted Wednesday, September 8, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    1/ “Ron I was MORE referring to Arbib/Feeney/Bitar/Farrell.”

    but you were refferring to Conroy as well Fact is NBN stands as proof he is one of Labor’s most success Ministers with NBN itself a far reaching infra , tech and econamic effect on this Country that you obvous not realize how significant it will be , nor that only a very competant minister par excellency could hav got NBN to its current roll out stage

    Conroy is prob oz’s greatest ever communications Ministers

    and in passing , it further histary making inviolves monopoly separation of Telstra , someting Libs/Alston tried and failed

    2/ “He’s still an idiot though.”
    reely , given th above you look quite foolish

  14. Neither, Scott, I’ve played, coached and followed Rugby Union all my life.

    Amazing how this blog, when you scratch the surface, is inhabited by people from a polyglot of languages cultures and backgrounds.

    That as a people we engage with each other so well is a tribute to the national psyche we have developed and the manner in which we continue to foster it.

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