September 07, 2010
Smells Like Victory
Judging by the stench of fear coming off Newscorp we may be getting an ALP/Green/farmer's rights government after all. They - well, everybody - certainly are predicting that will be the decision of the rural independents at 2PM, and the terror-stricken editorials coming out of The Australian and the rest of the stable are replete with the predictable gibberings: the horror of a possible wind-back of decades of "economic reform", the dismaying chance of an end to bipartisan foreign policy, &c. Their push already seems to have moved from "Australians want a quick resolution" to "Australians want a new election". It's probably superfluous to point out that, when Newscorp journalists say "this is what Australians want", they mean "this is what the man who owns The Australian wants".
Never mind the Green influence - watching Katter on Q and A railing against deregulation (he occasionally came across like a homophobic version of P. Sainath) stirred a faint hope that this may prove to be the beginning stages of driving a stake through the black heart of neo-liberalism (are we still calling it economic rationalism in Oz?). Judging by the aggrieved reactions of the two emissaries of the major parties there to that kind of talk, that's probably unlikely, although perhaps uber-Dry Nick Minchin and that corporate whore Peter Beattie aren't entirely representative.
UPDATE: Bwahahahahah! Oh, well. (Mind you, I will note that what with Katter's codicil that, in the interests of stability, he'll likely support whatever government is formed, his support of Abbott is about as meaningful as Wilkie's support of Gillard, who also said he wouldn't support unwarranted votes of no confidence against a Coalition government.)
Seeing I have a talent for being wrong, here's my last minute predictions: Oakeshott jumps to the Coalition (he can't survive a swing back to the Nationals), Windsor supports Labor. That still leaves deadlock so we get a new election. Before the Parliament sits - which it has to before the election is called - provisional votes counting changes the numbers by handing another seat or two to Labor. Result: hilarity!
Or I was right the first time.
INEVITABLE UPDATE II: Well, that was painless. Best case scenario, really, including Katter being on the outer.
The Australian dollar briefly spiked to a high of 91.78 US cents after an Australian independent MP said he would back the conservative opposition party in a bid to form a minority government and end Australia's hung parliament.Thanks, finance journos. Keepin' it real, yo.
Some investors want the conservative party to take power because it would spell the end of Australia's proposed 30 per cent mining tax. However, the Aussie edged back to 91.58 US cents after Bob Katter signalled two other independent lawmakers, who now hold the balance of power, may back the Labor government and its attendant mining tax.
And now the search for the media's next Bright Shiny Thing commences.