Today is the day of reckoning, when the three independents will finally announce whether they are Team Gillard or Team Abbott, leading Australia out of political purgatory.

Parliamentary reform was the catchcry of the day yesterday, with Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor announcing the changes as part their key negotiating demands in this last fortnight.

Question Time may never  return to its days of long-winded Ruddesque answers, with a time limit of 45 seconds for questions and four minutes for answers. Each parliamentary sitting will also open with an official “Acknowledgement of Country” and an independent speaker will be nominated — no word yet on who that might be — which indicates potential for private members’ bills.

Here’s a round up of what the commentariat are saying, a combination of pleading for it all to be over and trying to figure out how a minority government will work:

The Australian

Matthew Franklin: Independents secure overhaul of parliament

Independent MPs have flexed their political muscle to force Labor and the Coalition to accept parliamentary reforms as a pre-condition to their verdict on who will form the nation’s next government.

Samantha Maiden: Parliamentary reform brings out the love

Four grown men ended a twilight press conference on the dry subject of parliamentary reform with a group hug last night. It was that kind of day down the rabbit hole of post-election weird.

Tom Dusevic: Stimulus package favoured key three independents’ regions

Labor’s pre-election spending splurge favoured the electorates held by rural independents Bob Katter and Tony Windsor.

Niki Savva: Shackled with a few rogue fence jumpers

There is no misty-eyed rainbow coalition in the making here but one weakened bloc relying on a bunch of misfits, oddballs, rebels, megalomaniacs and ideologues to cling to power. Take your pick which is which.

Editorial: A question for those three MPs: what price stability?

Indeed, it is arguable whether the search for stability is the correct basis upon which to form a government. What price stability if it destroys sound public policy? Who will thank the independents for shoring up a Labor government if it proves hostage to a Greens agenda that overturns 25 years of economic reform?

Michael Stutchbury: NBN is good for Gillard, not taxpayers

Labor’s $43 billion National Broadband Network may be the most politically rewarding pork barrel of all if it gets Julia Gillard over the line with the country independents.

Wesley Aird: Rhetoric shades tangible plans

As Australia went to the polls, the Greens were there with open arms for anyone who was annoyed by one main party but couldn’t quite bring themselves to vote for the other. In the wrangle to the magical figure of 76 seats, Labor and the Coalition could use the support of the Greens MP in the lower house. The question is whether his party policies are of any use.

The Age

Michelle Grattan: Decide today … the time for procrastination is over

Please, no more delay. It is time for a decision today. The three country independents have reasonably had some breathing space to make up their minds but there is no excuse for any more procrastination.

Tim Colebatch: It’s about the skills, stupid

But last week, amid the fog of uncertainty engulfing federal politics, the Bureau of Statistics sent out a burst of light to illuminate the economy. It issued new figures on GDP growth, surprisingly strong figures that dispelled some of the uncertainty that the new government will have to deal with.

In so doing, they made it obvious that the biggest economic issue confronting the government is not going to be deficits and debt, the subject of obsessive focus of both parties during the campaign. It’s not even going to be interest rates, or infrastructure.

The Sydney Morning Herald

Mark Davis: Keeping MPs alive, at work and free of scandal the order of the day

Whoever gets the nod from the three independent MPs to form a minority government will be vulnerable to any unexpected departures, spectacular dummy spits, acts of God or other conniptions inside their own ranks during the next Parliamen

Gerard Henderson: Beware risks of change when political system is working well

How strange it is that the calls for greater accountability of elected politicians have been accompanied by scant attention in the media about what is on the agenda of the rural independent MPs and their supporters.

The Daily Telegraph

Sue Denlevy and Simon Benson: Clock is ticking as angry nation grinds to a halt, as election drags on

Since the Gillard Government went into caretaker mode almost two months ago, thousands of cancer patients have gone without drug treatments, pay rises have been delayed and a solution to the asylum seeker issue is on hold.

With national retailers and business leaders claiming consumer confidence was also being affected by the uncertainty, the way is finally clear for Bob Katter, Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor to make a decision.

Malcolm Farr: Reform on the QT

The enigmatic independents seem to live in another world given their apparent obsession with how many MPs can dance on the head of a pin in Question Time… Nobody marches in the street over the number of Matters of Public Importance motions allowed in the House of Representatives, or over increases in the number of private members’ bills.

Herald Sun

Marianne Bets: The Federal Election farce must end now

While the three independents, for a 17th straight day, were grandstanding and backslapping instead of deciding who they will support to form Government, the 58-year-old grandfather and leukemia patient was at home waiting for approval for funding for a new drug that would extend his life.


Annabel Crabb: Kiss Me Like You Mean It: Negotiating in the New Paradigm

One of the most noticeable things about the New Paradigm is how much it looks like the Old Paradigm, apart from there being more people in jumpers involved.

Greg Milner: Labor must take on the Greens

Labor must take on the Greens. They must take on the Greens, because a strong Greens party will do far more damage to Labor than to the Coalition.