Sunday, July 10, 2016

Australian politics - the Liberal National Coalition to form government

Sou | 5:13 PM Go to the first of 11 comments. Add a comment
As a follow-up to my previous article about the "too close to call" election results, the Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced he will form government. This announcement was made, as is convention, following a phone call he got from the leader of the Labor Party, Bill Shorten, conceding defeat.

It's still not known yet whether the government will have sufficient seats for a majority in the lower house, however Antony Green has "almost" called it, and the ABC website shows the conservative coalition probably will just scrape in the required 76 seats, maybe with one more (or less).

What this election result will mean for climate action remains to be seen. The trends in the weather would be more certain.


  1. A very narrow win it would appear in the lower house were the Government is decided.
    Do i see any change in the direction of policy?
    Now this is a hard one because if Malcolm had won with a large majority then he would have been able to move away from the previous policies, as it stands he is only able to grasp the thought that he did not loose.
    I do not think he will be very adventurous at all because he risks schisms within the party which would spell election death next time.
    As to the make up of the senate there are a few very loose cannons there some of who could be called nincompoops.
    If this government survives 3 years I will be surprised.

  2. It is my understanding that they can't have another half-Senate election for two years, and even then the new Senators don't take their seats until the following July. To ask for _another_ double dissolution would be a brave step. So I think whoever becomes PM has to work with the current Parliament. If I was an independent supporting the Government, I would want an agreement _in writing_ that the Coalition wouldn't go to an early election.

    I am disappointed because Australia will continue rolling out outdated technology (Fibre-to-the-node) instead of future-proofing the country with optical fibre. It looks like FttN will be an expensive white elephant.

    1. An LNP-initiated double-dissolution election would be suicide for the Coalition for quite a number of electoral cycles after, and a half-senate election would likely be delayed until well after the minimum two-year period that needs to elapse after the DD just passed, given the likely choas that will reign with the senate they've manifested.

      What would be really interesting is if the wheels fell off the LNP's ham-fisted caricature of governance (for example, Abbott II) to the point that we had a second Dismissal...

  3. Sou

    This seems to be a very fragile coalition whereby a small shift in allegiances could spell defeat for the government. Does this lead to horse trading and additional power to the junior partners in the coalition, if so, what form is that likely to take?


    1. Tony, the coalition between the Liberal Party and the Nationals isn't all that fragile at the Federal level. The Nats can push for some "must haves", but they would risk as much as the Libs if the coalition were to break down. That means that what they can push for is somewhat limited.

      The coalition operates at the Federal level (Australian government) but there isn't a coalition between the two parties in every state. In some states the two parties have not formed a coalition, or it has broken down.

      In Federal politics, it's highly unlikely that either party (Libs or Nats) could gain power except for the coalition. The Labor Party is stronger than either of the other two on their own. That's not the case in every state government though.

      Even at the Federal level, in some electorates (like mine, Indi, this year) there will be a candidate from the National Party as well as a candidate from the Liberal Party, so the alliance isn't all roses or set in concrete.


    2. I should add that in some important areas of policy, the bigger battle is between the extreme right (DelCons or deluded conservatives) and the centrists within the Liberal Party, than it is between the Nationals and the Liberals. It used to be "wet" vs "dry" which was more about economic policy. Now it's between racist/homophobes/science deniers etc and the centre right.

    3. Add the vote for Labor and the Greens to that of the moderate wing of the Liberal Party and it is clear that support for climate action has won a resounding victory at this election. Which is also what the polls consistently show.

      Whether that translates in actual policy depends on Turnbull's courage in staring down the deniers in his own coalition.

    4. Wish I shared your optimism, Mike!

      We had a climate policy, and a reasonably successful Carbon Tax that was destroyed by Abbott the Wrecker, as a result of the IQ Test the country failed in 2013.

      Polls taken shortly into the tenure of that ludicrous regime also showed 'resounding support for climate action', because people lie to themselves before they lie to pollsters.

      I saw around me people around me who'd been noisy on the subject of 'doing something about climate' swallow hole the Great Big New Tax BS that was promulgated by the National Idiot, with the cooperation of the National Press which regards lying to the public on such existential matters as a brilliant masterstroke of Strategic Opposition. (See also Brexit)

      Even pointing out that you could *avoid* this tax by using less power and buying more efficient things - which was rather the point, after all - did not lessen the umbrage of those who are deeply committed to Nice Things Happening, unless there's any chance they might be expected to pay for them!

      Turnbull has proved to be rather more by way of being feckless than either he or the Canberra Press Gallery are apparently capable of comprehending. The only way we're going to actually get climate action in this country is to have a national leader who has the guts to tell the public to grow up and get over it; to really tackle the climate issue things will have to change, and, yes, you might be inconvenienced in that process!

      Turnbull is not that leader, and the World's Best Minister's ludicrous practical joke on humanity - the amusingly Trotskyite 'Direct Action' - is not that policy.

      I actually feel sorry for people in Canberra who sincerely want to do something about the climate or not torturing people in offshore concentration camps. They're actually stymied by the sullen belligerence of the majority in both instances. And with no sniff of courageous leadership in the offing, and (not unrelatedly) Extremist-in-Chief Murdoch still in control of our national media, that ain't going to change.

  4. The news must be a major disappointment.

    With such a thin majority, a retirement or even better a switch of party takes down the government.

    1. An urgent toilet break would do it!



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