August 27, 2010

Horse 1102 - We're Going To The Polls Again, Or Not... Or Maybe... Who Knows Any More?

72 Australian Labor Party
44 Liberal
21 Liberal National Party of Queensland
1 The Greens
7 The Nationals
1 Country Liberals
4 Independent

With 81.52% of the primary vote counted, the Australian Electoral Commission's Website is now no longer listing any seats as doubtful. This means that the above statistics are now as accurate as it gets.

This means that officially, Labor is on 72 seats and the Coalition has won 73. To gain the 76 seats required to form government, Labor would need the support of all four independents whilst the Coalition only requires 3. Having said that it is still possible to end up with a double deadlock if Labor gets 3 and the Coalition gains one with the single Green member standing against the Labor/Indy group.

What is certain is that the Parliament must sit either on or before November 26, which itself is 30 days after the AEC must declare the result of the ballot. If another election is held as the result of a "no confidence motion", then that campaign must run for a minimum of 33 days.
Logically if no "stable government" can be formed, Australia would be going to the polls in early 2011.

Having said this, I'm finding the following comments from Family First Senator Steve Fielding a little curious.
Family First Senator Steve Fielding says he is considering blocking legislation in the Upper House if Labor forms government.
Now the outspoken Family First senator says he believes voters are "not happy" with Labor and says he could decide to block a Labor government's bills in the Senate.

Basically, Fielding would hold the parliament to ransom if the Labor Party was to form government anyway. What's even more startling about this is that Fielding doesn't lose his own seat until July next year, which means that even if the Labor Party were to form Government, they'd still not be able to pass the 2011 Budget and when the Budget (which is a supply and money bill) fails to pass, this immediately renders the government unable to conduct business and we'd be going to the polls again anyway.

It has been obvious for some time that Steve Fielding is a closet Liberal. During the Howard coalition government, he regularly sided with them and likewise regularly voted against the Rudd Labor government. His position on climate change was very clear, he didn't believe in it, although he vote against Work Choices.

What is looking increasingly likely is that we're probably going to the polls before August 2011, although we might not if Abbott can form his own Coalition government.

Having said that, news follows that Abbott has probably hit that threat back into the gutter:
A spokesman for the Coalition leader, Tony Abbott, said if the Coalition were in Opposition, it would not block supply.
The Greens Senator, Bob Brown, further ridiculed Senator Fielding's threat. From July 1, the Greens would assume the balance of power in the Senate.
Even if Senator Fielding succeeded in blocking the budget, the Greens would unblock it on July 1, the day the budget came into effect.

Who honestly knows anymore? Yes? No? Whatever? About the only thing that is certain is that:

Nobody's in charge, Australia! Let's eat the condensed milk out of the can!

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