Happiest person last night: The Greens’ Bob Brown and his partner
Youth comes to Parliament: Wyatt Roy, Coalition MP at age 20!
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:
- Three Amigos and the future Australian Government – Jim Belshaw
- The election that spelled the death of federalism – Ken Parish, Club Troppo
- HUNG PARLIAMENTS AND THE IMPORTANCE OF LITERATURE, PHILOSOPHY AND HISTORY – Darcy Moore
- Hung, drawn and quartered? – Legal Eagle
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.