August 22, 2010
I Suppose You Think This Is No Time For Glee
I didn't watch the count because election night coverage is the equivalent of watching people discussing the very slow developing of a Polaroid. ("It's going to be a yacht!" "No, I think I see tusks. It's going to be an elephant!" "I've just had a close look at the bottom left corner and I'm convinced it's going to be Albrecht Altdorfer's The Battle of Alexander at Issus. You can tell by the deliberate anachronism!") But I did tune in after Once Upon A Time in the West to see if we had a result and ... mwahahahahah! we didn't. Gillard was finishing up her speech, Kerry intoned the basics about the hung parliament and Antony Green quickly jumped in to explain that a number of seats they'd given away were actually still in doubt, oh, and apparently the Victorians have elected a DLP senator. Oh, stop your moaning, Mexicans - that's just funny! It was in fact about as much hilarity as I could take so it wasn't til the next morning I discovered that the fourth independent was Andrew Wilkie and laughed my guts out all over again.
OK, so - so much for the 52/48 polls immediately prior to the campaign, though the Minimal Effects Hypothesis might still be able to hold on to its dignity given it's doubtful the people who gave us the massive swings against Labor in NSW and Victoria were motivated by what happened during the campaign. As it turned out, Newscorp's 50/50 prediction got the gong.
There's a still a large swag of postal and prepoll votes to be counted so it will be some days before we even know the basic composition of the House, and then they can start courting the independents to see who gets to be the government. I could speculate about what's most likely before the facts are in ("It's going to be an abstract expressionist depiction of the sinking of the Graf Spree!") but we now have two 24 hour news channels to choose from where you'll be able to watch people discussing at great length what they don't know is happening, so I think I'll skip it. And, who cares, whoever gets in will still have to deal with a Senate where NINE Greens hold the balance of power. Well, in July 2011 they'll have that Senate, thanks to our stupid constitution, which is why if we end up with a minority Coalition government we'll be going back to the polls next May. ("It's definitely going to be a weasel-like whale. In a unitard!")
I will however take this opportunity to tip my hat to the large number of Coalition supporters whose willingness to vote strategically rather than ideologically has ensured the first election of a full term* Green MHR and, possibly, the election of Andrew Wilkie, famed Howard-hating whistleblower. Your staunch desire to see the Labor candidate lose to anybody may very well have ensured a Labor government that has to lean further to the left to stay in power than one with a boring old majority would have.
Oh, and that thuggish buffoon Wilson Tuckey lost to a NationalsWA guy. Even if the NationalsWA weren't a traditional farmer's party whose politics contrast markedly with those of the reactionary gits we usually call Nationals, that would still be worth a cheer.
*In 2002, Michael Organ was elected for two years to the Seat of Cunningham in a by-election in which no Coalition candidate ran. But you knew that.