Sunday, August 22, 2010

Australian Labor loses its majority

Commiserations to comrades inAustralia after the General Election held there on Saturday (an election held under the Alternative Vote....).

It appears there will be a hung Parliament with a handful of independents holding the balance of power. Unless they are able to give very firm backing to either party it is likely there will have to be a fresh General Election.

It's interesting territory - and this hasn't been picked up by the media - because Australia has very similar rules and conventions for such situations to those of the UK. The role of Queen is played by the Governor General.

First initiative goes to the sitting Prime Minister to see if they can form a Government and they remain PM until they resign. If the Opposition has firm support from independents then it's kind of 'game over' until then we shall see.

Potentially more interesting is that this is the second country in the same year to have an inconclusive result and harks back to the inconclusive knife edge of Gore v Bush in 2000. This is suggestive that the modern age will give us more rather than less inconclusive results and that arrangements and coalitions, while perhaps not the norm, become an unremarkable feature of our politics.

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