Tag Archives: Parliament

Ce Parlement australien a l’air très européenne

I don’t know if the title is correct in French (I used Google translator) but this is what it feels like.  I haven’t written in this blog as I have been following with fascination the post-election events.

There are certain things that I like (like Association Football) where the attraction is partly because it reminds me of my childhood.  Fortunately the current Australian hung parliament and subsequent minority government is nowhere close to the multi-party fragile coalitions that characterised Italian politics in the 60’s and 70’s, but for the first time in my Australian life I am seeing a Federal government having to be formed with negotiations to arrive at a majority.

Of course this is not new in Australia. Just after Federation in 1903 no Party was able to get a majority. But normally the ‘Westmister’ system has created the ‘winner takes all’ type of governments with an opposition.  Also the preferential voting system has disadvantaged small parties to win seats.

As Oliver Marc Hartwich writes.

The most remarkable feature of Australian democracy is its party-political continuity. The combined primary vote share of the ALP and the Coalition parties was about 89 percent in the first post-war election in 1946 and it is still 82 percent today. While of course there have been great swings between the political camps, the basic dichotomy between the ALP on the one hand and the Coalition on the other remains the defining feature of Australian politics.

What it is interesting is how some of the commentariat is going ballistic about the current situation, it’s well…well….un Australian!  But as Adam Bennett wrote on the day after the election we are the exception when it comes to minority governments in the world.  Let’s grow up a bit here.

Well perhaps a bit of exotic type politics may crate some positive change. If good change is achieved, let’s hope it is not lost when inevitably we revert to majority government next election.

Anyone who has read my blog before knows that I would like Julia Gillard to form the 43rd Parliament of Australia.  But we just have to wait and see.

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