You wouldn’t read about it!

Bob Brown-420x0

Happiest person last night: The Greens’ Bob Brown and his partner

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Youth comes to Parliament: Wyatt Roy, Coalition MP at age 20!

sydney2010

And here in Sydney: I was right about Tanya winning, but thought the Greens guy would come in second.

However, when I added the choice “The 2010 Oz Election will  lead to a hung House of Reps with Greens or Independents having balance of power” to my poll a couple of months ago I must have been psychic! Congrats to the 25.93% (7 votes) who picked it! Um, I confess I was one of them! See Oh, Kevin! What a fine mess you’ve got yourself into… (7 June):

A poll for you

POLL NOW IN SIDEBAR  You will note I have included a very unlikely scenario, but you never know. It just could happen.

[WATCH THIS SPACE] will be the next PM.

9 am update

Just checked ABC News where I found this great summary.

Key points of the 2010 election:

  • Australia set for first hung parliament since 1940
  • Greens hold balance of power in Senate with nine seats
  • Liberal Ken Wyatt elected first Indigenous member of Lower House in WA seat of Hasluck
  • Adam Bandt first Greens member elected to the Lower House at a general election
  • LNP’s Wyatt Roy, 20, becomes youngest person ever elected to Parliament in seat of Longman
  • Veteran Liberal MP Wilson Tuckey loses O’Connor to Nationals candidate after holding it since 1980
  • Labor’s 2007 star recruit Maxine McKew loses seat of Bennelong

Counting continues today but the final state of play may not be known for days and the three re-elected independents – Rob Oakeshott, Tony Windsor and Bob Katter – have vowed to work with whichever party can provide stable government.

After a night of surprises and firsts, whichever party forms government will also have to deal with a Greens member after Adam Bandt took the seat of Melbourne from the ALP.

A fourth independent is also in play with former intelligence analyst Andrew Wilkie a chance to take the Tasmanian seat of Denison…

And Wilson Tuckey’s out! 🙂 Small mercies!

Andrew Wilkie is an interesting character. I mentioned him on my Diary-X blog (no longer online) several times. For example, in 2004:

Future historians, if they are allowed to exist, will undoubtedly find the truth about what is happening in this crazy world, and probably then the stocks will rise of people like Chalmers Johnson, not to mention our own Andrew Wilkie, and Scott Ritter, and the carefully assembled indictments of western myopia and injustice in journals like New Internationalist will make future historians wonder.

The link still works and leads to an extract from Wilkie’s Axis of Deceit (2004):

… By early 2003, as part of my work at the Office of National Assessments (ONA), I was spending considerable time trawling through the vast intelligence database on Iraq so as to be ready to help cover the war once it started.

What jumped out at me was that the war had little to do with weapons of mass destruction and almost nothing to do with al-Qaeda. We were on the cusp of waging an unjustified war on the basis of a preposterous lie. Importantly, my work with ONA on transnational issues, such as people smuggling, had exposed me to some raw intelligence of very poor quality, which gave me a more critical eye in general when it came to analysing intelligence information. BY LATE 2002 nothing could stop the countdown to war.

Tony Blair and John Howard understood this clearly because their intelligence agencies were telling them so – I know this was the case in Australia and I’m certain the situation was identical in the UK. ONA knew Australia would participate in a war by late 2002; the Australian Defence Force had begun to prepare even earlier. As far back as mid-2002, for example, the Special Air Service Regiment in Perth was focused on the need to be ready for the formal order to deploy troops to Iraq.

Blair and Howard knowingly recycled the US’s case for invading Iraq so as to stay in step with Bush. They understood the broader US agenda and were sympathetic to much of it.

Although Howard had clearly decided by late 2002 to support Bush’s war, this decision was not a formal decision of Government. Rather it was an understanding of the US’s intentions and a determination to support them, at any cost. In this sense, Howard is correct in saying, as he has repeatedly, that no decision was made by the Government to support the war until just before the invasion began.

Nevertheless, Howard knew what was brewing long before the National Security Committee of Cabinet formally deliberated on the decision to commit Australian troops. ONA’s reporting on the US – in accordance with the Government’s direction – was prolific during the lead-up to hostilities. Moreover, the occasional telephone conversations with George Bush, about which Howard boasted publicly, also ensured that the Australian Government was well informed enough to be able to read the situation in Washington.

Washington was not always frank with its allies during the build-up to the war, so little so that UK and Australian intelligence agencies sometimes needed to treat the US more as a focus of intelligence interest than as a close ally. A reluctance to share information with allies is fine some of the time. US and UK officials presumably aren’t fussed about not receiving the Australian intelligence assessments on issues such as border security that shed light on the effectiveness or otherwise of specific Australian government policies. But it is a different matter when vitally important information, such as the latest thinking in the White House, isn’t shared about an issue as grave and all-encompassing as the impending invasion of Iraq…

Not hard to see which way he will lean.

Update 9 pm

Add to the list (thanks, Martin!) our first Muslim MHR.

See my fellow bloggers:

If the Independents and the Green can’t come to an arrangement with either Julia or Tony to form a stable government which satisfies the Governor General, then we get to have another election.

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5 thoughts on “You wouldn’t read about it!

  1. Interesting speculation on Whirlpool.

    The more I hear and read the less likely it appears the independents would side with Lib/Nats

    http://www.theage.com.au/federal-election/key-independents-berate-fool-barnaby-joyce-20100822-13aen.html?autostart=1

    Mr Katter said improving the ethanol industry and broadband infrastructure were high on his agenda.

    ‘A privatised broadband, I mean, please, don’t even talk about it, privatised Telstra has been absolutely disastrous for rural Australia,’ he said.

  2. I think there was a first missed in the above election summary. I may be wrong but wasn’t Ed Husic in Chifley the first ever Muslim elected to the federal parliament.

  3. This is interesting — arrived on my Twitter:

    RT @clembastow: Dear Wyatt “Just 20” Roy: http://u.nu/765ve “a member of the House of Reps […] must be of the full age of 21 years”

    Refers to this in the Constitution:

    COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA CONSTITUTION ACT – SECT 34
    Qualifications of members

    Until the Parliament otherwise provides, the qualifications of a member of the House of Representatives shall be as follows:

    (i) he must be of the full age of twenty‑one years, and must be an elector entitled to vote at the election of members of the House of Representatives, or a person qualified to become such elector, and must have been for three years at the least a resident within the limits of the Commonwealth as existing at the time when he is chosen;

    (ii) he must be a subject of the Queen, either natural‑born or for at least five years naturalized under a law of the United Kingdom, or of a Colony which has become or becomes a State, or of the Commonwealth, or of a State.

    Any thoughts, people?

    • Does “Until the Parliament otherwise provides” cover it? [I’ve been referring of course to ‘LNP’s Wyatt Roy, 20, becomes youngest person ever elected to Parliament in seat of Longman’.]

      Now we have the answer:

      COMMONWEALTH ELECTORAL ACT 1918 – SECT 163

      Qualifications for nomination [see Note 6]
      (1) A person who:

      (a) has reached the age of 18 years;

      (b) is an Australian citizen; and

      (c) is either:

      (i) an elector entitled to vote at a House of Representatives election; or

      (ii) a person qualified to become such an elector;

      is qualified to be elected as a Senator or a member of the House of Representatives.

      (2) A person is not entitled to be nominated for election as a Senator or a member of the House of Representatives unless the person is qualified under subsection (1).

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