So, Australia has a government!|
1) Thank God. Specifically, thank God we have a Labor government - setting aside my fundamental ideological conflicts with the Liberal Party and the Coalition, the current Coalition is a monumental clusterfuck of incompetence, bad judgement and dubious sanity.
One should not spend as much time saying: "Wait - he did what?" as I have in the last couple of weeks about people who aspire to run your country.
Granted, if I were British or American, I would have been doing so for quite some time, but I'm Australian - I'm used to a more low-key politics, where an argument about a ute qualifies as a massive scandal.
2) Shut up, Tony Abbott and all his supporters, about "they got more votes so they should get to be the government" or "they got more seats so they should get to be the government". Because this is patently not true. Labor won the two-party-preferred and the Liberal Party have never won more seats - they're part of a Coalition, and the Coalition did not beat the Labor/Greens alliance, and more importantly, the Labor/Greens/Independents alliance won enough seats to form the bloody Government. You know how we can tell?
Because they're forming Government. The independents are still independent, but they've pledged to vote with the Government on supply bills and any motions of no confidence, which means that the government will hold.
The fact that the government will need to get any other legislation past the gauntlet of the Greens and two rural independents is potentially the best thing to happen to Australia in decades.
3) Dear Julia Gillard,
Congratulations on becoming Australia's first woman Prime Minister for real. I am, genuinely, glad that you are not to be an odd footnote of history, because that would have been very sad, for more reasons than just that it would mean the Mad Monk being our Prime Minister.
Now, please tell the faceless party men who keep feeding you soundbites to shut the hell up, because when you are yourself - caught unprepared, by creepy ex-Leaders of your party or the Chaser, for example - you are magnificent. Composed and classy as all get out - you are someone I can be proud to see as the leader of my country.
By comparison, when you're making scripted remarks, or being the "new Julia", or any of that PR flack crap, I cringe with sympathetic embarrassment at how terrible you seem at, well, everything.
Be yourself, please, because I have a sneaking suspicion you're actually kind of awesome.
Also, change the photo on your profile on the Parliamentary website. You're a beautiful woman, but God knows if I'd only looked at that photo I'd never know it. A picture tells a thousand words, but those words should not be a short work of fiction detailing how you'll get pretty Dorothy - and her little dog, too.
4) Dear people who got frustrated by the hung parliament situation and wanted to "go back to the polls",
You're morons. We have a preferential voting system. If we'd held another election we would have got ourselves another hung Parliament, and if knowing that a hung Parliament was likely would change how you voted, you clearly voted like a moron the first time, and I don't feel this qualifies you for a second go.
If you voted informal, and now realise that had the informal votes been formal, they would have made the difference in just about every electorate in the country: suck it up, you have only yourself to blame, and maybe next time you will give proper consideration to the importance of the democratic franchise, hmm? (Also, your actions mildly disgust me.)
5) Oakeshott is looking pretty awesome. I read his quasi-White Paper on parliamentary reform (yes, all of it), and it's kind of brilliant.
6) No, Wilkie didn't set a honey trap. He just gave due consideration to the fact that the Liberals' response was patently ill-considered, and they were clearly just trying to buy his support.