Suddenly the Hare Clark system looks far better than single seat constituencies for delivering majority government, with the Liberal Party receiving similar overall votes in Tasmania and South Australia, but incoming Tassie premier Will Hodgman managed a thumping majority while Steven Marshall sweats on the decision of South Australian independent MPs Bob Such and Geoff Brock, the two men who will determine who forms government in South Australia. The SA Liberal Party once again failed to secure the swing in the right seats, with what in usual conditions would be a thumping winning TPP vote of 53% likely to score them no better than the same number of seats as the ALP, and possibly fewer.
Assistant Treasurer Arthur Sinodinos’ former directorship of Australian Water Holdings (a company currently under investigation by the NSW ICAC) led to opposition calls for him to step down while the investigation is underway. Following the controversy over conflict of interest among the staff of Assistant Health Minister Fiona Nash, this looks to be another significant test of where the standards will be set for ministerial propriety within the Abbott government.
Attorney-General George Brandis was the other main mover this week, following the controversy over the Sydney Biennale cancelling its sponsorship arrangement with Transfield because of its shareholding in the company that runs the Manus Island Detention Centre. Immigration Minister Scott Morrison almost slipped out of the list entirely.
Crikey Political Index: March 13-19