New South Wales

Mar 26, 2012

Poll Bludger: the hole where Qld Labor used to be

Suddenly Kristina Keneally’s performance doesn’t look so bad. What happened to Labor in Queensland on Saturday is without any precedent in Australian history.

William Bowe — Editor of The Poll Bludger

William Bowe

Editor of The Poll Bludger

Suddenly Kristina Keneally’s performance doesn’t look so bad. What happened to Labor in Queensland on Saturday is without any precedent in Australian history — certainly not since the Second World War, before which the party system tended to be more fluid. Labor can be assured of only six seats, holds the lead in only seven, and on the best-case scenario will win only eight, for a total of 9% of the Legislative Assembly’s 89 seats. That compares with the “cricket team” of 11 members that Queensland Labor famously managed to return in 1974, at what was previously the gold standard for Australian election massacres — and at that time the Parliament only had 82 seats. As for Keneally, she managed to win 20 seats in a chamber of 93, albeit that she did so with 24% of the primary vote against a provisional 26.6% for Anna Bligh.

I don’t normally presume to tell the voting public its business, but this is an unhappy state of affairs. While it might be argued that a useful example has been set for future governments considering breaking election commitments, the result is an unmitigated disaster so far as the effective functioning of Parliament is concerned. Lacking anything that could meaningfully be described as an opposition, its sessions will henceforth resemble those of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR.

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1 comments

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One thought on “Poll Bludger: the hole where Qld Labor used to be

  1. Ralph Becker

    Indeed, what more can be said than already has been by William. Maybe this: It is high time that Australians recognise that democracy is a right that requires to be exercised – not by compulsory voting, but by engagement of each individual. Then again, it’s far easier to cast a vote and resort to that favourite Australian past-time: Criticising without contributing.

    The political system in this country, and in particular Queensland’s, is a direct reflection of our society.

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