Friday, 27 August 2010

Government-in-waiting…or more like waiting-for-Government

Australia's federal election went off without a glitch…except that the result is a little ambiguous.

It has been nearly a week now and neither of the major parties has managed to form a government. The final call will come to the four independent and one Green (and if you count the renegade Western Australian National, one National) members of parliament. Some people think this is a good thing while others think it is not so good or neither good nor bad – guess it all depends on who is talking.

Since the general consensus has been that the Australian Labor Party and the Liberal/National Coalition do not seem to differ on many policy fronts, I guess we all had this result coming. The Australian Greens, as always, had been super quick to support Labor (no surprises there) and three of the four independents are former Nationals, though it is not clear where their support will go. It will be interesting (albeit painful) to see how everything turns out. I am sure every day will bring silly news like these, so perhaps it would be best to simply wait and ignore the "look-at-me" announcements from everyone.

While counting is still ongoing, it is clear that neither of the major parties will have the numbers. This brings us to the question of the Governor-General. As the Queen's representative, she is supposed to be unbiased and "above politics." Something that surprised me was that her son-in-law is Federal Labor MP Bill Shorten. She has been cleared of any ethical conflict, but who are we kidding here? Now, I know we are not at the point where Australia is on the brink of collapse or in the middle of a constitutional crisis, but if we were to have another Labor administration, there is always an off-chance that the Governor-General may have to act in the interests of the nation and sack the Government (granted the chances of this happening in Australia are as likely as swimming in a crocodile-infested river with chicken fillets strapped to your body and coming off unscathed) but Bill Shorten is her son-in-law – that means that whatever position he occupies impacts directly on the Governor-General's daughter. There may be no legal conflict of interest, but the possibility for there to be one is so plainly obvious. Sphere: Related Content

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