It’s been over a week since Australia went to the polls, but we’re still without a PM.
Independents of the hour — Bob Katter, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott — are commencing talks with Treasury today over budget figures, while fellow independent Andrew Wilkie also busy courting both parties, but won’t commit to the independent bloc that the other three have.
But it’s still not clear who the independents will support. Originally it was assume they’d be more traditionally aligned with the Coalition, but with reports of the independents being harassed by Liberal MPs at home and complaints about Liberal costings, either party could edge over the line with the magic 76 seats. The Nationals are also raising their heads, saying they won’t automatically support everything the Liberal Party does in a Liberal minority government.
Instead, the blame game continues to be Canberra’s favourite pastime, as the media both thrashes and exalts the Greens, wonders how a hung parliament will work and tries to figure out whether Labor or Liberal is more in a shambles.
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Here’s what the commentariat are saying:
One in three Greens voters in key seats would have supported Labor if it had not delayed introducing its Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme.
David Burchell: Harsh light of reality about to hit Greens
At present the Greens, rather like religious revivalists of another era, are lost in an attitude of rapture over their party’s impressive electoral showing, a state of mind so joyous and uplifting that it prohibits them from observing what is actually going on in the political world around them.
Henry Ergas: Marginal wooing costs too much
The Greens secured more than 11 per cent of the popular vote, but won only one seat in the lower house out of 150. Could it be time for Australia to introduce proportional representation?
David Hetherington: Independents may hold key to policy reform
Paradoxically, the election result means policy reform may now be the big winner: the independents have stated clearly that, alongside parliamentary reform, policy delivery will be the price of their support.
Sydney Morning Herald
Phillip Coorey: Kind and gentle no more than words
When Abbott knifed Malcolm Turnbull less than a year ago — the Liberals’ third leadership change in two years — this too was driven by ”faceless” MPs and senators such as Nick Minchin and Kevin Andrews. There was nothing kind and gentle about that either.
Mike OConnor: Blame game in full swing amid election 2010 fallout
Beattie’s motives were hardly pure but he did, at least, concede fault. This puts him at odds with developments in the current political paddock, which has become a curious place in which nothing is anyone’s fault but everything is someone else’s fault.
Malcolm Farr: Anti-war hero now in firing line
There has been an outbreak of more-independent-than-thou at the start of this crucial week in which a handful of MPs might decide who governs Australia for three years.
Alan Howe: Poll plots a lot of rot
Had Julia Gillard clearly got over the line last week, I am sure there would have been some people wrongly claiming that Mark Latham handshakes had cost two elections. But I reckon Maxine McKew is the only woman to defeat a sitting prime minister, and then possibly cost her government power.