Sunday, September 7, 2008


Well, the Birdsville Races have been won by Evading... and in local news, the Western Australian election has resulted in a hung Parliament, with no one party to hold a majority in the Legislative Assembly: the likely outcome - 28 Labor, 23 Liberal, 4 National, 4 Independents - to give rise to a conservative Coalition or a minority Liberal government, depending on whether or not the Nationals prefer to sit on the cross-benches.   (At least three of the Independents are Liberal-aligned.)

As I see it, people in Australia seem more distrustful of all major parties these days, and typically punish the incumbent party (in this case, Labor) while not always returning a strong alternative - because there isn't any.  I've certainly found the election campaigns extraordinarily lacklustre, and the rival candidates of depressingly poor quality.  It would be nice to have someone to vote for whose views I agree with!

So, once the election results are finalized, His Excellency the Governor will, it now seems clear, offer Mr Barnett, leader of the Parliamentary Liberal Party, on promising to command a majority in the Lower House, The Queen's commission to become Premier and form a government.  

[UPDATE: Apparently the National Party are negotiating with Labor as well as Liberal, and may offer their support to the former rather than the latter if they get a better deal for their rural constituency -  the National Party having been formerly named the Country Party.  So, all bets are off.]

As for the Legislative Council, since it has its members elected by proportional representation it may be weeks before the results are finalized... initial indications are that it may end up with the following distribution of members: 11 Labor, 14 Liberal, 4 National, 5 Greens, 1 Family First, and 1 Christian Democratic Party.

[UPDATE: the Legislative Council looks like having 11 Labor, 16 Liberal, 5 National and 4 Greens - but the counting of ballots and computation of preferences continues...]

One of my housemates, Michael, is currently employed by the Electoral Commission, and will be involved in the counting of ballots.  It should be interesting, though perhaps tedious work - and it pays quite well.

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