Although the result still won’t be known for days or weeks, Australia’s extra-long festival of democracy has wound down. Most of are saying “good riddance”, but for those of who can’t get enough polling, seat-by-seat analysis and campaigning, here are some elections to watch out for over the next six months — some that will decide who gets access to the red button, and others that will decide who is responsible for fixing potholes in roads.
This is the big one. On November 8, Americans will decide who will take over the White House for the next four years, with the Democrats’ Hillary Clinton set to take on Donald Trump representing the Republicans (barring something extraordinary happening at the Republican National Convention in a few weeks). Trump is campaigning on a position of banning Muslim immigration, building a wall to keep out the Mexicans and generally being offensive. This is Clinton’s second run for the Democratic nomination in her own right; of course, she has been in the White House before as First Lady.
Australian Capital Territory
From a big one to a tiny election. The people of Canberra will elect their territory government on October 15. The election will be, and already is, dominated by debate over whether or not to build a light rail service throughout the nation’s capital. Labor, led by Andrew Barr, is committed to the public transport infrastructure, while the Liberals, led by Jeremy Hanson, are definitely against it. Other issues that loom large in the minds of voters are housing affordability, maintenance of roads and green bins. Yes, green bins. In Australia’s territories, governments deal with issues that local councils look after in the bigger states. The ACT government only decided this year to distribute garden waste bins to houses, a policy that the Liberal Party brought to the last territory election.
The people of the Northern Territory will go to the polls on August 27, but after years of controversy including two leadership challenges since the 2012 election, this is likely to be interesting. Adam Giles’ Country Liberal Party will be hoping to get re-elected for a second term, but the poor performance of the federal Liberal Party, and Natasha Griggs’ almost certain defeat in the large NT seat of Solomon, they will probably struggle. The CLP has already lost four members during this term — and one sports minister, Nathan Barrett, was forced to resign after sending sexually explicit videos to a female constituent.
The tiny island nation that holds many of Australia’s asylum seekers is due to go to the polls on Saturday, with a general election to elect 19 MPs for a three year term. The government has been forced to back down from a plan to raise the cost of nominating for election from $100 to $2000, now it will be set at $500. The small country has also introduced changes that require public servants to resign from their roles three months ahead of the election. This election is particularly one to watch given the new “open detention centre” arrangements.
United Nations secretary general
Is this Kevin Rudd’s big moment? It’s no secret that the former prime minister wants the top job at the United Nations, but he is yet to officially declare his hand. So far the official candidates include Irina Bokova from Bulgaria, ex-New Zealand prime minister Helen Clark and Natalia Gherman from Moldova. This one isn’t decided by a popular vote, but the Security Council decides on a single candidate to recommend to the General Assembly. Current Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s term ends on December 31.
Will they or won’t they? Since the UK voted to leave the European Union, Prime Minister David Cameron has said he will resign as leader of the Conservative Party and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn is holding onto the leadership of his party, despite losing a no-confidence vote. Cameron has said that the country needs a “Brexit prime minister” and it has been speculated that whoever takes the reins of the Tories will want to go to the polls late this year to cement their mandate. If this comes to pass, it would mean that the Brits have gone to the polls three times in less than two years, including last year’s general election and the EU referendum. The Scots have already gone to the polls three times since September 2014, when the referendum on Scottish independence failed. What will happen here? Who will even be running? We’ll have to wait and see.