If stable government is desired the Greens must decide. It’s all well and good for Labor and Liberal-Nationals to be making their appeals to the independent members of the House of Representatives who will have the balance of power in the lower house but what the independents decide is irrelevant when it comes to the question of whether Australia will emerge with a stable government.

Like it or not we have a bicameral Parliament and from 1 July next year it is the Green Senators who will determine what things become law and what don’t. Without the agreement of the Greens any pact with the Independents will be worthless when it comes to guaranteeing that a government, whether of the Coalition or the Labor variety, can actually govern.

That harsh reality means there really is no choice for the Independents if stability is a principal aim as they seem to be saying. The idea of a Coalition-Green alliance is a sick joke and just not on. The Greens are too far away from the centre on too many issues for that to be workable. Any attempt by Bob Brown and his team to keep a Coalition led by Tony Abbott in power would result in a massive disillusionment among its supporters.

A minority Labor administration or another election are the only practical alternatives.

Don’t worry about mandates. At least we won’t have to listen to government politicians — a government of whatever colours — talking about having a mandate for their actions. Neither the Coalition nor Labor can claim to have one when they both got well under 50% of the primary vote and just about shared the two party preferred measure.

The Rudd factor. If the sacking of Kevin Rudd had an influence on Labor’s poor Queensland vote the available evidence suggests it was because of the way the deed was done rather than any great popularity for the former Prime Minister himself. The statewide swing against Labor in the northern state on Saturday night’s primary votes was 8.9% yet in Rudd’s own seat of Griffith it was slightly higher at 9.1%.

Wise words of Windsor. I thought the continuing member for New England Tony Windsor put things nicely in one of his television interview when he could not distinguish between the two alternatives for government, describing them both as nothing more than two sets of career managers after the same jobs.

Two deaths, a birth and a possible rebirth. Saturday’s Senate vote enables us to declare two political parties as effectively dead. The Democrats vote halved to just over 0.6 per cent of the national total with One Nation just making the half a percent level.

The only newcomer of note was the Australian S-x Party which ended Saturday night on 1.99%. That there is hope of life after death was shown by the Democratic Labor Party whose 2.2% in Victoria (1% nationwide) has given it an aside chance of actually winning a Senate seat.

Still a warming world. So back to really serious matters. The world is still having a very warm year. The daily global average temperature, which the graph shows as at 14,000 ft because it enables me to put in a record high and a long term average which the sea level one does not for some reason, continues to be the hottest recorded.

23-08-2010 globaltemperature