The natives — the Canberran natives, that is — are restless. They want a result, and now. In the press, amongst MPs, amongst business leaders — who apparently regard parliamentary democracy as an inconvenient stumbling block for investment, and certainly among staffers and senior public servants.

Every single utterance, every sighting of the three independents, is being analysed to the atomic level for its significance in determining which way they’ll lean.

Regardless of the hundreds of thousands of words of speculation, most of which is about on a par with the deliberations of Paul the Octopus, the most rigorous logic surely remains that the three rural independents will need a good reason not to back the Coalition. That reason may have been furnished jointly by the costings debacle, the NBN, the slightly greater stability offered Labor by the Greens and Andrew Wilkie, and Tony Abbott’s relatively poor performance in negotiations after a brilliant pre-election effort. Or it may not. We’ll learn in the fullness of time, regardless of the incessant commentary.

Meantime, the real world has got on with life, apparently untroubled by the lack of an executive government for a fortnight.

Perhaps Australia, one of the most over-governed societies in the world, burdened with three layers of government for its tiny population — and an expectation there is no problem, personal, economic or social that cannot be solved by politicians appearing to do something — might reflect on the failure of the sky to fall in due to the hung parliament. We might consider whether there aren’t many occasions when less government, rather than more, might be in the public interest.

And we might decide whether our impatience to return to business-as-usual politics might be entirely justified.