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Federal

Sep 8, 2010

Gillard's wild ride has just begun

Crikey media wrap: After a thrilling finish, Julia Gillard clings on to power by the barest of margins: just one seat. How will Gillard negotiate a government with so many interested parties and different agendas?

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This rather vacuous election campaign resulted in a thrilling finish, with Julia Gillard clinging on to power by the barest of margins: just one seat.

It was eerily quiet in the morning as the Canberra press gallery tried to firm up what time the three independents would call a presser with their all important announcement…

Until Bob Katter went rogue. The fiery independent MP for Kennedy split from the Three Amigos trio and called a press conference in his office at 1.30pm, declaring his support for the Coalition.

Shortly after, Rob Oakeshott and Tony Windsor announced — after a painfully drawn out 20 minute speech by Oakeshott — that they both would be supporting a Gillard government, giving Gillard the thumbs up to continue as PM.

But how will Gillard negotiate a government with so many interested parties and different agendas? It won’t be easy, seems to be the collective message from a wary commentariat.

Michelle Grattan at The Age is already imaging the future: “In the months and years ahead, Gillard will be caught between the need to take some tough, bold decisions, and lowest-common-denominator buyoff politics to accommodate the small players.”

Yes, it’s a tough road ahead for our newly minted PM. “It is Gillard’s task, given she failed to win the popular vote, the primary vote or more seats than the Coalition, to mould public support to her cause and portray any opposition to that cause as being destructive, anti-democratic and against the will of the people,” says Dennis Shanahan in The Australian.

“This is a recipe for weak and uncertain government…” declares Paul Kelly in The Australian. In another article in The Oz, Kelly expands his argument: “Despite the talk of sunshine, the legacy is more likely to be bad political blood, a war between the pro-Labor rural independents and the Nationals, and a guaranteed Tony Abbott-led Coalition campaign that the Gillard government is without legitimacy.”

Michael Stutchbury worries for the Australian economy in The Oz: “Australia political peril now is that a minority Labor government with no policy mandate will be consumed by a struggle to grab a bigger share of our extraordinary national prosperity.”

Let’s not forgot the facts. “Yesterday’s theatre of the three rural independents doesn’t change one thing: the new government will be a minority administration,” notes Peter van Onselen in The Oz. “That means it will be inherently unstable, no matter how much the independents like to spruik stability as a key criterion in their decision-making.”

We’re dealing with precious political ground, says Samantha Maiden in The Oz: “A single by-election. A no-confidence motion. All could kill this fragile government.”

You think the last fortnight was tough? “…as this Labor – Green – Wilkie – Oakeshott – Windsor alliance is lowered gingerly into place in the House of Representatives, the path ahead makes what has gone before look like child’s play,” argues Annabel Crabb at The Drum.

It’ll test Gillard’s leadership skills. “If Julia Gillard can make a go of governing Australia over the next three years, her next job should be to succeed Ban Ki-Moon as UN general secretary,” jokes David Penberthy in the Daily Telegraph.

No leaks, scandals and rats in the ranks — the Labor party must be on its best behaviour. “With the demise of just one MP and a subsequent byelection enough to cause another election or a change of government, Labor sources said last night that discipline within the ALP would have to be rock solid if Ms Gillard were to govern for the next three years as she has promised,” reports Phillip Coorey in the Sydney Morning Herald.

Dennis Atkins offers up specific steps that Gillard should take to strengthen her leadership in the Courier-Mail, including dealing with the Kevin Rudd problem by giving him the foreign ministry, not awarding the ‘faceless men’ with ministerial positions and order a full review of Labor’s performance.

Gillard’s coalition is a mismatched merry band of adventurers, notes Tony Wright at The Age:

“Gillard, Prime Minister to a rainbow collective, could have been excused for breaking into a song from that old musical Hair: ”When the moon is in the Seventh House/And Jupiter aligns with Mars/Then peace will guide the planets/And love will steer the stars.’ She didn’t, of course.”

But despite the formidable challenges, this can be a reforming government. “If the good intentions expressed yesterday count for anything, the new minority government will be more reforming than was the Rudd government or than a majority-Gillard government was likely to be,” writes Mike Steketee in The Oz.

This is a historic moment — even if it does come with a price tag. “Julia Gillard finally became the nation’s first popularly elected female Prime Minister yesterday,” writes Simon Benson in the Daily Tele. “And it only cost $10 billion — and a ministry for one of the two country independents who delivered Labor into the first national minority government in 70 years.”

Lenore Taylor offers a fascinating explanation in the SMH of how the two independents Windsor and Oakeshott weighed up the promises and policies from the two main parties. “Australia’s next prime minister was chosen just before 2pm yesterday by two blokes on a green couch in small office in a far flung corner of Parliament House,” says Taylor.

It wasn’t so much that Labor won, but that the Coalition lost. “The Coalition lost the race for the two independents’ loyalty because of the hairy-chested warnings of another election, and soon, from some Liberal sections. This was what Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott called background noise,” says Malcolm Farr in the Daily Tele.

It was the end of an exhausting campaign, at least for the media. “…the machinery of democracy was proving excruciating by day 17 of wheeling and dealing. The media was fed up with waiting, tired of having nothing to say to their cameras, sick of dealing with people who don’t leak, don’t issue transcripts and make key announcements at 10 o’clock at night. The independents never learnt to play by the gallery’s rules,” notes David Marr in The Age.

Janet Albrechtsen gets cynical in The Oz over the independents taking their time to decide:

“The transformation from irrelevant backbenchers to media tarts playing kingmakers was too quick. Now we know that their singular focus on stability has been a singular focus on making sure they remain in the spotlight for as long as possible.”

Rob Oakeshott really milked that speech for everything he could. “No one asked Rob Oakeshott whether he’d tuned in to new TV reality show The X Factor. But he appeared to bow to the theatrics of reality show judges in presenting a decision without historical precedent,” points out Patrick Carlyon in the Herald Sun.

Not that a Gillard government is in any way illegitimate. Peter Brent at The Oz explains how and why Labor has also won the two-party preferred vote. “If declaration votes had behaved like their 2007 counterparts, the Coalition would have won the 2pp. So for a while it looked at least possible that the Coalition had won the national vote. But they didn’t. Labor did.”

“The rapid ascendancy of Gillard would give even the most ambitious, career “goal-hanger” a few moments of self-doubt. So how do leaders become equipped for their next role?” asks Pia Lee in The Australian, as she offers up advice and CEO strategies for coping with the top job.

Sure, second place is just the first loser, but let’s not forget Tony Abbott just yet.”He missed out by the narrowest of margins on claiming the nation’s top job but Tony Abbott was applauded as a hero by colleagues when he stepped forward to accept election defeat last night,” writes Malcolm Farr in the Daily Tele.

“If it’s possible to have a triumph in losing, Tony Abbott has a triumph,” declares Dennis Shanahan at The Oz.

It’s unlikely that Abbott would be feeling overly triumphant this morning. And many are tipping that the aggressive attack-dog Abbott will return. “Despite calls for consensus politics, for the next three years Australians should expect a Liberal-led opposition to behave like an animal that’s tasted blood and is hunting down its limping prey,” says Tim Wilson in The Age.

Australian finally has a government, but it’s going to be a nail-biting three years.

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40 thoughts on “Gillard’s wild ride has just begun

  1. Outstanding Outcome For Australia

    Gillard better organise a roving medical team and ensure all her MP’s and Independants have their vitimin C each day. They could be wheeling in hospital beds and drips to ensure they dont loose the numbers.

  2. skink

    I heard Abbott say that the Coalition had won more seats and received more votes than the ALP. He was wrong on both counts

    just as I was beginning to wonder whether he was delusional he trumped it by saying that he did not want to be remembered as the best Leader of the Opposition never to become PM.

    Not much danger of that, Tony. By my reckoning he is currently battling for the wooden spoon with Mark Latham and Bill Snedden.

    He’s not even the best Leader of the Opposition in the last year, and I can’t help wondering whether Abbott’s comment was made whilst looking over his shoulder

  3. skink

    Oh, I just read the Shanahan piece

    Abbott has a triumph in losing?

    please let it be remembered in posterity that Abbott had the opportunity to form government if he could have got three country conservatives, all who should have been natural members of the blue team, to join him.

    Windsor was very clear last night that he had been put off by the Coalition’s broadband policy, its poor Treasury costings, and by conversations with Coalition backbenchers who suggested that either they did not want government this time, or if they got it would destabilise Parliament to force another election in the hope of getting a majority.

    The fact that country conservatives chose to join what the Libs are calling ‘the most left-wing government on history’ is a terrible indictment of Abbott’s management

  4. Nearlythere

    All the talk in the MSM of ‘unstable’, timid, govt and an election in 12-18 months time is puerile. If anything the knife-edge of this situation will produce greater discipline and focus (something lacking in the Rudd govt).

    The vast majority of legislation (80-85%) will continue to pass through the HofR and Senate with the support of both major parties – as it has always done. The independents and greens are, numerically, irrelevant in this situation.

    For contentious bills, the situation in the HofR is simply now similar to the situation in the current Senate, where the Govt will have to work hard to get the numbers. If it fails, and it will from time to time, it will have to just accept it, and move on. Ironically, the situation in the Senate will become MORE ‘stable’ (if by that, you mean predictable) from July next year – so the hardest time, from an ALP point of view, will be the next 9 months or so.

    Barring a major failling out with the Independents and Green in the HofR (which I can’t see happening soon, given that they have staked their immediate futures to a Gillard government), the biggest risk is from a by-election. Even then, I would expect that a change in the numbers on the floor of the HofR, should in the first instance simply produce a change in Government, rather than an immediate election. I really can’t see us going back to the polls for at least 2.5 years.

    So the advice to all ALP Members should be to take your Beroccas, have your heart checked, and don’t use a work computer to access P*rn….

  5. Acidic Muse

    I suspect finding a workable consensus over the next three years isn’t going to be anywhere near as difficult for Julia Gillard as our rather myopic commentariate would have us believe.

    She’ll spend the next few months putting Labour’s internal house in order. Then she will begin pursuing the legislative agenda that she took to the election with exactly the kind of measured, steely vigour that has become a hallmark of her leadership style.

    Yes, there will be compromises here and there, but surely it’s in the interest of everyone currently participating in this colourful coalition to make it work. If , after all, a failure on the part of the independents to compromise enough to allow Julia Gillard to govern effectively drives us back to the polls early, it is they more than anyone who will have the most to lose.

    All those Labour voters who supported Adam Brown and Andrew Wilkie on this occasion will surely not reward them for constantly taking positions designed to throw a spanner in the works of a centre-left progressive government. Looking at the demographics of their electorates, ”spoiler” is surely not the brand identity of choice they wish to take to the next election

    Oakeshott and Windsor will be under even more pressure to ensure this governments last long enough to deliver real benefits to rural Australia.

    Only then can their choice to support Gillard be truly vindicated in the eyes of their own electorates. They need outcomes, not merely unfulfilled promises in order to stave off the viciously venomous attacks upon their credibility that will inevitably flow from the right at the next election

    Tony Abbott knows this better than anyone, which is why we can expect him to become increasingly more desperate to destabilise the government. Aside from providing endless amusement for the many emotional vampires in our media, this will ensure the “Toxic Tony” brand is even more clearly evident next time we go to the polls.

    If that is, Malcolm Turnbull hasn’t already expunged it completely

  6. Elan

    I can’t agree with you SKINK. Abbott did a remarkable job………or did Labor do a really poor one?

    Frankly I can’t stand the odious git, but this was a one horse race. What happened? That man very nearly snatched power!

    I’m a pragmatist. I know full well that he pandered to prejudice to do it. Both sides are only too familiar with grubby tactics;-but he came from way behind.

    Personally I’m damned relieved that he didn’t succeed, but it is scarily obvious that his way of thinking appealed to a lot of voters.

    That’s frightening.

    And it’s not over.

  7. skink

    when questioned about her environment policy by Kerry O’Brien last night, Gillard said:

    “what I would like to see from that committee is that we can genuinely include, across the Parliament, people who believe climate change is real and who believe we will only reduce carbon pollution and meet our 2020 targets if we price carbon. And then with all of those people in the room, we’d work through to look for the points of agreement. I’m not going to prejudge, Kerry, how quickly that can be done, but I believe that there’s a determination to approach this in a different spirit than the way the carbon pollution reduction scheme ultimately ended up being approached, where consensus was shattered and it was a matter of high partisanship between the major political parties. ”

    I interpreted that as her passing a knife under the table to Malcolm Turnbull

  8. Damo

    The Coalition is always a Liberal Minority government + The Nationals.

  9. skink

    @Elan

    I think it was a case of Labor doing a poor job

    the ALP lost seats in Qld and NSW, both states with unpopular ALP state governments, and the electorate there wanted to give the ALP a spank. Queenslanders were also miffed about Rudd and the farce of the Mining Tax.

    all the polls after the election showed that people wanted a minority Gillard government, by a larger margin than pre-election polls, which suggests they wanted to punish her and shackle her, but not remove her.

    The only good thing Abbott did during the campaign was say nothing stupid and not lose his temper for three weeks.

    someone astutely noted on these pages that if Gillard survives the next three years, then by that time the Qld and NSW governments will have recieved a damn good kicking and the voters will have got it out of their system and be more amenable to Gillard.

  10. Fran Barlow

    [ can’t agree with you SKINK. Abbott did a remarkable job………or did Labor do a really poor one?]

    Very much the latter. They repeatedly shot themselves in the foot.

  11. Jenny Morris

    Surely Oakeshott and Windsor are bound by their own bold statements about the importance of stability, integrity in government and so on, and won’t be able to pull capricious moves over the term of this goverment. And Abbott, having agreed to the Indies’ calls for integrity and a new form of politics, will look pretty stupid if he spends the next three years trying to undermine the stability of the government.

    If Labour plays it right, they could do this.

  12. freecountry

    It’s up to the press gallery now, and whether they can shift focus from the political horse race to the national interest.

    If journalists use every disagreement in the House as an excuse to talk about instability, then that’s what they will create.

    If journalists start looking at the bills and debates in terms of what they mean for Australia, rather than what they mean for House stability and the parties, then it might be productive — causing only the higher quality bills to make it through the tighter-than-usual filtration process.

  13. Outstanding Outcome For Australia

    Bob Brown has just said that Death Taxes are still Greens policy and that the Tax Review to he held in 2011 should have it on the agenda.

    God help productivity in Australia

  14. Johnfromplanetearth

    Gillard has won because of broadband, she is going to need a lot more than that to retain power for the full 3 years and beyond. She needs to change the locks to her office so Bob Brown can’t get in for a start, because it will be Brown not Abbott that will lose her power at the forthcoming next election! Abbott’s mistake was calling broadband a white elephant, similar to the gaff made by his hero Sir Robert Menzies snowy moutnain hydro electrio gaff of 1949! Oakeshott will be thrown out by his own electorate at next year’s poll and never heard of again, i guess he got his 15 minutes! The big winner is Katter!
    Brown might be Green, but i know what colour really stinks!

  15. Socratease

    The righteous Bob Brown is perfectly free to bequeath a significant percentage of his estate to the Commonwealth of his own volition.

  16. clangus

    I’m quite disgusted with The Australian’s overt doom & gloom and blatant pro-Coalition bias over the past couple of weeks. It’s been nothing but complaints about the ‘radical’ Green influence, the alleged failure of the Independents to appease their electorates, and now that Labor has got back in, unanimous whinging about how such a minority government is inherently unstable and implying Australia will be worse-off as a result.

    First, if country voters wanted the Coalition they would have voted FOR the Coalition, not independents. The fact that the independents were voted in at all is testament to the failed regional policies of the major parties, and to suggest that regional voters wanted their independents to sign up for more of the same completely ignores what the independents have been explaining these last 17 days.

    I’m going to skip any rebuttal to the ‘extreme’ Greens claims, aside from the observation that much of this commentary seem to border on the smear tactics used in 2004 and that it might be best to hold judgement until actual legislation is passed through the Lower House (and the Senate post-June 2011).

    But as for the Chicken Little fears about minority government, would News Ltd’s columnists be as pessimistic if the Coalition had been elected?

    My guess is no – they would be far too busy praising the ‘miracle’ victory that Abbott would have orchestrated. There simply wouldn’t be any room left in the papers after all the jubilation to mention that a Coalition minority government would be no less stable than a Labor one.

    Frankly, regardless of who ends up in power in future, I’d like to see improved media coverage of politics in this country. But I don’t know how that will be achieved when commercial interests drive the MSM’s political allegiances.

  17. Outstanding Outcome For Australia

    @ Johnfromplanetearth

    You are right. Abbott’s broadband plans was lacking and Labors will be a costly white elephant that will be outdated before its half rolled out.

    The non town voters in Windsor’s electorate wont even see fibre, they will always be on wireless.

    @ Socratease

    He does not have an estate. But he grab yours and mine. The lawyers and accounts will be rubbing their hands together setting up special trusts to park assets. Kids will get assets before they know how to manage them.

    Terrible backward outcome.

  18. Socratease

    The non town voters in Windsor’s electorate wont even see fibre

    … Except for their All-Bran?

  19. Outstanding Outcome For Australia

    Yes and Bob Brown’s fibre when he raked their properties off their children to pay the death taxes.

  20. shepherdmarilyn

    I don’t think I have ever seen our media write so much frigging drivel.

    I know they are bored but they need to report news instead of their own bullshit passed off as news.

  21. JimmyF

    @Outstanding Outcome For Australia, “Labors will be a costly white elephant that will be outdated before its half rolled out”.

    I’m confident you are wrong about this. Fibre will be as ubiquitous as the copper network. Most Australian’s telephone, data and TV/movies/entertainment will be delivered through it. Unless you change the laws of physics, there is no way that a small spectrum of wireless – or any other medium for that matter – will be able to deliver anywhere near the speed of pulses of light. Even to get to the Coalition’s claimed wireless speeds of 100Mbs in suburban areas would require a tower on every block. The energy needs alone in this scenario are astronomical. There’s a 2.5Tbs fibre cable being laid now between Oz and the US. That’s 25 000 times as fast as the NBN.

    Television alone will be a major driver of the NBN. Who will be happy with the crappy, haphazard programming of the television networks when cheap, on-demand services are available? Who will go the video store when cheap HD movies are available instantaneously from Netflix? It’s not unlikely that the television will be the main internet device in the house. The fibre cable will run directly into it and a built-in wireless router will deliver it throughout the house to computers/tablets/smartphones/VOIP phones.

    Of course, that’s just the entertainment aspect. We’ll see a lot more telecommuting rather than actual commuting too. Plus the obvious educational and medical applications. Wireless will definitely improve and be a complementary technology used by most Australians. But most will have fibre running into their houses too.

  22. Outstanding Outcome For Australia

    @ JimmyF

    There is no way the NBN will be able to afford fibre running into houses, nor will the vast majority of householders.

    Then you will have the environmental issues cause current plans are to hang the fibre from pole where their is already Optus PayTV cable, so we have a second ugly cable. This will cause some issues.

    My local Telstra tech says that the pits and ducts in the streets are so conjested that the people laying the cables will have a lot of trouble and the cost will blow out. You can pull out the copper in the process as you need both systems until the street is all connected.

  23. JimmyF

    @ JimmyF

    >> There is no way the NBN will be able to afford fibre running into houses

    That *is* the NBN, ie. FTTH.

    >> nor will the vast majority of householders.

    Most of those that have PSTN + ADSL will find NBN + VOIP to be cheaper. Average Australia-wide VOIP phone call is 5-10c untimed. Of course, no line rental either. The prices for the NBN in Tasmania seem quite reasonable.

    >>Then you will have the environmental issues cause current plans are to hang >>the fibre from pole where their is already Optus PayTV cable, so we have a >>second ugly cable. This will cause some issues.

    To me, running a second cable where a cable currently exists is very, very minor. Of course, a street with existing power poles, power lines and pay TV cable is currently a picture of beauty.

    >>My local Telstra tech says that the pits and ducts in the streets are so conjested >>that the people laying the cables will have a lot of trouble and the cost will blow >>out. You can pull out the copper in the process as you need both systems until >>the street is all connected.

    This may be the case in some streets but as a deal has been made with Telstra to use these pits, the government must surely be aware of this issue, as were McKinsey-KPMG when they produced their implementation study. It hasn’t been an issue in Tasmania where the NBN rollout has come in at 10% under budget. Assuming similar success can be achieved in rolling out in other areas of Australia, that does provide some leeway for more difficult areas.

  24. 2b

    I live in the country having properties both in SA and Vic, the wireless internet does not work when the weather interfere. The land line internet sometimes does not work eventhough I signed up for premium speed package. I do not use satellite although it is subsidised by the government,; I heard it’s pretty slow, I don’t know if it can get alot better if you pay a lot for some kind of premium service.

    If we wait for the market to decide where to put broadband driven by incentive of profit then it may take another 50 years. It is a good idea to prioritise to roll out NBN in regional area first but they need to do it simultaneously with some urban area where they can capture a large market share to bring in revenue to offset the low return in rural area.

    I think they don’t need to try to cover all metropolitan areas though because optus has already have their own plan to roll out their cable.

    It’s so predictable that the attacks already begun. But it may drive the Independents, the Green and Labor to bond together to work hard to achieve more. I expect a lot of wedge politics and smears to drive them apart.

  25. W@rlock

    @shepherdmarilyn

    You are absolutely right.

    Albrechtsen’s article this morning was a scatalogical masterpiece. She has absolutely no shame … or talent.

  26. Socratease

    Robb to Monks’ Bishop?

    From ABC Online news:

    Opposition finance spokesman Andrew Robb is considering a challenge to deputy Liberal leader Julie Bishop.

    She’s the cockroach of Federal politics, so my guess is she’ll survive yet again.

  27. Socratease

    … And she has. Robb has withdrawn.

  28. harrybelbarry

    John and outstanding Liar , caught out again with the NBN and now the Estate Tax. Try going to the Greens Web site, the Estate Tax is not for the Family Home or Family Farm or Small Business under $5 MILLION .
    The NBN in Tassie is cheap , Fast and NO line rental , just pay for calls. And on time and UNDER budget .

  29. Outstanding Outcome For Australia

    @ Harry

    Its $90 pm in Tassie and this is probably release type pricing, some have it for half that for 6 months.

    Family business in Australia range from $500k – well over $5m

    I think you are falling for the hype.

  30. 2b

    If the ‘death tax’ or whatever you guys are talking about is true we don’t really have to worry about it because they won’t have the number if the three independents don’t agree to it.

    Wilkie was a former Liberal member and also a former Green as well, Oakeshott and Windsor are former Nats. I would say they are progressive right centrist. They would certainly provide the check and balances on every proposals.

    The diversity will make better outcome for policy and good for democracy. I hope they dump the internet filter though, it’s plain silly. They could just develop some filter softwear program available for parents to download to intall on their computer for free; it’s up to them to monitor their children.

  31. 2b

    @outstanding
    ‘Its $90 pm in Tassie and this is probably release type pricing, some have it for half that for 6 months.’

    Telstra is always more expensive than other providers, and I find that Optus has good coverage for my rural areas whereas Telstra doesn’t.

    What worry me is that how much they have fixed up their system after Sol Trujilio left it in a mess; I know that some customers are still complaining; and one would hope they carry the roll out efficiently without rorts or whatever else that would turn it into a debacle.

  32. Outstanding Outcome For Australia

    @2B

    Wilkie a former Liberal member? really. where

    he ran against Howard in 2007

  33. 2b

    @OUTSTANDING

    Yeah mate, he said don’t take into account that he was a Liberal 30 years ago or he ran for the Green three years ago to assume that he would back either party; his concern is his constituents.

    He said in the first press interview when they knew for sure that he would win. It should be on record.

  34. harrybelbarry

    NBN Fibre Bundled plans -sept 2010
    NBN 1 – 10+ 10 = $29.95
    NBN 2 – 100 + 100 = $49.95
    NBN 3 – 200 + 200 = $69.95
    NBN 4 – 500 + 500 = $99.99
    All 100 Mbps. Outstanding Prices and thats only 1 company, just Google NBN Tassie plans .
    I am on a 1.5Mb – 20 Mb plan bundled with only 3 GB / 3 GB and with phone Line rent its about $90.00 . I am lucky to get 5- 8 000 speed and after school and mornings is like dial up speed.

  35. Johnfromplanetearth

    The look on Windsor’s face as i watched his interviews yesterday was priceless, he looked like a guy who had just walked into the cheese shop only to discover there wasn’t any cheese left. “Do you in fact have any cheese here at all” “yes sir” “really”?, “well not really sir” This was a man who has been duped and he knows it.

  36. JimmyF

    @Johnfromplanetearth, he has not been duped, nor can he be. He is under no obligation to support any piece of Labor legislation short of blocking supply. There’ll be plenty of cheese for him and his electorate. Did you notice that at the end of yesterday, he clarified that he meant the Argus review and not the tax summit? Another media beat-up.

  37. Tim L

    What are your thoughts on the Australian Federal Election?

    Sorry… This is the survey:
    http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/KVYF99W

  38. Johnfromplanetearth

    JIMMYF: Windsor has certainly duped his own electorate as they voted for him not the Labor Party? He had a mighty bewildered look on his face when he was interviewed and i think he knows who was holding the poker!

  39. W@rlock

    When do we see the results of this survey?

  40. JimmyF

    @Johnfromplanetearth, surely it is him who they have got? And much, much more so than previous parliaments when his vote meant nothing. They’ve got more independent representation than they could ever hope for. He now has a crucial vote on every piece of legislation. He has not joined the Labor party nor has he agreed to do anything for them beyond not blocking supply. He’s got them 21st century broadband and extra money for their hospitals. He made a decision about what would be best for both his electorate and the country as a whole. His electorate gave him this responsibility and they’ll be able to judge him for it in three years time. Although I’m sure he’s copping a lot of flack right now, I bet he’s confident that in three years time his electorate will be better off than it is now. Of course, it would be under either party considering his position.

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