Congratulations Mr Tony Abbott. Penny Wong said your name so often over the last six years everyone in Australia was familiar with you.
Enjoy this moment, not one of your team has yet been caught using their commonwealth car to run their hardware business or for their partner to go joy riding in, none of the team have yet been caught spending other people’s money on prostitutes. All is clean and rosy … it won’t last.
A major victory can lead to doctrinal excess, which leads to a backlash at the next election à la Workchoices. Evolution beats revolution. Big but coming, but you were elected to provide a more conservative government. Your true believers would like to see a bigger economy, less government interference, less red/green tape, lower taxes, freedom of speech and the right to sack those few workers who wouldn’t work in an iron lung. Don’t forget us. My shopping list includes repeal of section 18c and a slashing of the ABC budget.
As for Labor, you probably got off more lightly than you deserve. Nonetheless a healthy opposition is a real handy thing to have in a democracy, you need to sort yourselves out. You may be familiar with the joke about New York and Washington. One in ten people in New York is a beggar, one in ten people in Washington is a lawyer do you know why? … New York got first choice. Old Labor had a fundamental flaw, it answered to the party congress not the people. At its best, stronger politicians like Hawke and Keating thumbed their noses at that and governed more broadly. New Labor is choked full of lawyers and union organisers, its money comes from the unions. Julia was simply a union puppet. Nothing wrong in a more progressive view of social organisation, but there is everything wrong in only serving the interests of a narrow section of our citizens. People tend to forget that the white Australia policy was a Labor policy, the 457 Visa furore should have reminded them. Take that mirror you were fond of offering Mr Abbott and have a good look at yourselves. If you can come up with a party that takes up the cause of a broad swathe of Australia, puts the electorate first and finds a way to keep its snouts out of the trough you will be doing us all a service. Good luck.
As for the Senate, what a bloody mess, faced with a voting paper a metre and a half long who can blame people for voting for the Nutters and Noodles Party. Reform is badly needed. Why should mainstream Australia find themselves held to ransom by narrow interest parties that couldn’t run a chook raffle? Perhaps the problem lies in the notion that groups utterly or largely devoid of elected politicians are political parties entitled to a column all of their own on the ballot paper. A simple test would be to set the lower limit for a party as five elected members in the House of Reps. Anything less than that entitles you to nothing more than your name somewhere on the ballot paper, just like any other independent which is exactly what they are.