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Australian Federal election


Evan Burton
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Evan, the ''kingmakers'' seem to wish for a stable government. While they come from the right to varying degrees, they also are progressive on some issues that could see them working with Labor. (the gov gen is just reported seeking advice, btw).

The problem with an early re election is that it would be tainted by the past few days events and I think most people want stability. I think a lot of donkeys would vote differently, particularly if a major party came out more strongly on rural and Indigenous concerns and the issue of asylum seekers and other issues. No, I don''t think we should go back to the polls even if it was ever on the agenda.

The results of the five seats in doubt, the certainty of a minimum of 72 + 1 green Labor plus the near certainty of Labor holding Denison - and an outside chance of taking Dunkin and Hasluck - could make (with the Labor-Green controlled Senate) a Labor victory more likely given it would provide the greater stability and therfore be more the choice of ''the 3'', particularly one of them.

There looks like a primary recount is on the card for one electorate and possibly more to come.

I'm sure you agree we're in for an interesting few days/weeks.

I'd say we''ll see a relatively early election unless Labor can get a solid workable deal.

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the ABC 7.30 report should give us a better idea of who ''the 3'' are. Perhaps even to the extent that one can comment with some certainty re the final result.

edit add : counting for the day is not*over.

edit *

Edited by John Dolva
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Interesting commentary :

http://abc.com.au/news/stories/2010/08/23/2991142.htm

''South Australia's independent senator, Nick Xenophon, says he hopes the hung Parliament will provide an opportunity to improve the practice of politics.

The nation's political fate could rest on three sitting independent MPs - Rob Oakeshott, Bob Katter and Tony Windsor.

Senator Xenophon told The World Today that it is important Lower House independents get the resources they need to do their job.

"They actually will need extra staff," he said.

"I could imagine they each would need a full-time media person just to deal with the avalanche of media enquiries because every piece of legislation, every vote, will be critical."

He also called for a boost to the resources of the parliamentary library.

"The parliamentary library does tremendous work in giving objective, unbiased advice to all sides of politics," he said.

"I think it's important that their resources are adequate as well to deal with what clearly will be more work coming from the three independents."

Senator Xenophon described the current situation as a "one-in-a-100-year opportunity to actually get it right, to make the Parliament work in the way it's meant to, to reinvigorate democracy".

"In terms of election funding, the way that political donations have a pretty corrosive impact on our democracy - I think there's a chance to sort that out," he said.

He also identified freedom of information laws, laws to protect whistleblowers and shield laws for journalists as issues that deserve reform, and says he hopes for more opportunities for conscience votes.

He says it is clear the views of Mr Oakeshott and Mr Windsor on reforming politics reflect the views of voters.

"I think it's pretty clear they reflect the views of voters, given that independents and minor parties have done exceptionally well at this election campaign and most disturbingly the informal vote is at a record level," he said.

"I think that shows a level of disenchantment and disillusionment with the major parties and I like to think these developments will be a breath of fresh air in our democracy." ''

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One of the worst possible outcomes is touted by a ''kingmaker'' Rob Oakshott : The inclusion of Malcolm Turnbull in a unity government.

This can be seen as a longrange ''coup'' by some of the most powerful right wing elements in parliament. There is pressure for the GG to excuse herself. Rob Oakshott may need to be neutralised from any desicive involvement.

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I'm a Liberal voter but also dislike Turnbull, and agree with you there John.

What about the GG? Should she recuse herself? I think she has to; even the appearance of bias - which will certainly be made by one side or the other - compells her to withdraw.

The question is then: who decides? The Queen on the advice of the PM?

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Om that one (GG) I disagree, Evan. It is an insult to her to suggest lack of integrity. Whatever she chooses will be rational. If it is Labour, she, in spite of any defamation she can be proud she has maintained her integrity even if the heavens may fall. Ultimately, unlike the cur, her legacy will triumph. So, no, I don't think she should excuse herself. In the end, it will all come out in the wash.

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Oh, I don't doubt her integrity but it's the code of conduct.

For instance, I hold shares in a company that makes military arms. If there were ANY situation involving this company in which I had any possible influence, I would have to declare it and recuse myself from any part in the decision making process.

Now i would not let my personal interests (small as they are) sway any decision i had to make but the APPEARANCE of bias has to be avoided.

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Well in that case many/all MP's could be argued that they should excuse themselves. They all act on interests.

Besides, the code of conduct of the GG, particularly since Kerr, is, (while not specifically written) is one of signing off on the PM's presented directions and that is not determined (unlike the cabal that dismissed Whitlam) by the GG.

edit add: Evan, where do you think Brisbane will go? There seems to be a drift to Labor at the moment.

Edited by John Dolva
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7:19 PM

''Mr Abbott was repeatedly pressed by journalists about whether or not he would allow Treasury to brief the independents on the Coalition's policy costings. The Opposition leader repeated a number of times that he felt his shadows and the accounting firm which audited the costings are in a better position to brief the trio of independents. Mr Abbott was pressed on how this stance was consistent with the charter of budget honesty, introduced by the Coalition when in government and which requires both sides of politics to submit costings to Treasury for auditing towards the end of an election campaign. In reply, Mr Abbott said he simply believed his team and the Coalition's accounting firm were more intimate with the Coalition's plans than Treasury ever could be.... '' - can''t help himself, can he :)

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'' Governor General Quentin Bryce has been given the all-clear after potential conflict of interest issues were raised over her ability to handle the current political impasse. @AndrewGreeneABC: Solicitor-General finds GG's relationship to Shorten "gives rise to no constitutional or other legal impediment" to her duties.

Labor MP Bill Shorten is married to Ms Bryce's daughter.''

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1 Abbott now thinks the Treasusy IS competent....blink.gif

_________________________

2 ''The Labor Party says up to 3,000 votes cast at a pre-polling booth in the Adelaide electorate of Boothby were tampered with on Saturday night.

Michael Brown, the ALP secretary in South Australia, says the matter was reported by a Labor scrutineer.

Mr Brown says he raised it with the Australian Electoral Commission (AEC) on Monday and the AEC told him one of its employees had handled the ballot papers improperly.

He wants the matter considered by the Court of Disputed Returns even if it holds up the federal election's final outcome.

"I'm informed this incident is unprecedented in Australia's political history," he said.

"It is not sufficient for the AEC to simply conduct an internal investigation into this matter.

"Only a truly independent and public inquiry will serve to restore trust and the integrity of our electoral system.

"The most appropriate body to conduct such an inquiry is the Court of Disputed Returns." ''

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John, was the costing business a bit of a fuphy? I am not certain, but I heard on radio that the Treasury costing was a service offered to the opposition but there was no requirement for them to do so.

I agree that to be open and honest they should have done so, but there was no requirement - unlike the government.

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Evan, yes, I understand there is no such requirement. However, imo, it shows the type of prime minister Abbott would be if in power, and hence the direction (hidden agendas, vacillation), of Australian Politics till the next election. iow Instability and unaccountability, telling of an agenda.

He categorically stated his private acounting is superior and will not be scrutinised because the treasury is not competent to do so,

this becomes a sticking point,

after a couple of days he totally reverses his position, now the Treasury is competent.

Guillard made no equivocations on any issues. imo She simply has displayed Leadership qualities worthy of trust superior to those of Abbott.

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I get the impression that no matter what happens, we'll have another election in about 3 months time.

Incredibly stupid of Fielding to threaten to block supply - the guy deserves to be voted out.

BTW, did you see the Press Club interviews with the independents? I always knew Bob Katter was a bit rough, but he came across as a raving nutter. I know he wants to get a fair deal for the country areas and I agree - but he came across as some type of loud idiot. I hope he isn't riding roughshod over the other indys.

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