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At last, a progressive Australian government?

by eurogreen Sat May 21st, 2022 at 06:15:09 PM EST

Scott Morrison has conceded, Anthony Albanese has claimed victory.

At the time of writing, it's not clear whether the Australian Labor Party has an outright majority in the lower house of Parliament, but they will certainly find one by enrolling Greens and independents.. In the Senate, there is a clear ALP/Green majority. Overall, the two-party system is clearly weakened, with Greens and, "teals" (blue/green independents) making big gains.

He will be judged on results, but new Prime Minister Anthony Albanese seems set to be the most progressive Prime Minister since... Gough Whitlam in 1972.

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger

Climate change is, obviously, a huge issue in Australia; and Scott Morrisson's cynical minimalism on the necessary political response has led to a surge in support for the Greens (12% nationally, but only 3 or 4 seats out of 150), and also led to the defeat of five Liberal Party MPs (all, ironically, from the party's "liberal" wing) by "teal" candidates (independents campaigning specifically on climate issues and corruption; all of them women). It is expected that the Liberals will lurch even further right as a result of losing leading centre-right figures.

Counting stopped at midnight Australian time, and will be resumed in a few hours. "Cross-bench" MPs will probably number 16 in the new parliament, a historic high, and an increase of 10 from the last election. The "Irish" preferential voting system is at last starting to achieve its potential in Australia.

I don't follow Australian politics at all closely; mostly because it's so disheartening. But I am writing this on the strength of having met Albanese forty thirty-nine years ago[it was just after the election of Bob Hawke, surely the most right-wing ALP Prime Minister].
At the time, I was president of the rather evanescent youth section of the New Zealand Labour Party, and was on a political trip to Australia. I spent a few days hanging out in Sydney with a bunch of ALP youth section activists; they were of the left faction, mostly orthodox Marxist-Leninists, and Anthony's nickname among them was "the bourgeois moralist". He had just been elected to the student executive of the University of New South Wales Sydney as "immigrant officer",(to promote the integration of immigrant students who were mostly from southeastern Europe at the time) on the strength of his Italian heritage I suppose. His comrades made fun of him because he didn't even speak Italian; I didn't realise until today how unjust that was. I learned from Wikipedia that his mother raised him by herself, in social housing in south Sydney. He had been told that his father had been killed in a car crash; he finally tracked him down and met him in 2009.

Albanese has been consistently faithful to the left faction within Labour; he also has an impressive record as minister (in the Rudd and Gillard governments) and as a legislator. His election program was depressingly tepid (in order, I imagine, to limit the attack surface for the Murdoch-dominated Australian media), but I expect him to surpass expectations. He started his victory speech by endorsing the Uluru statement on indigenous rights, which is a good start.

Well, I'm hoping. Cheers, Albo.

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat May 21st, 2022 at 08:32:48 PM EST
How do you say Schadenfreude in French?

by Bernard (bernard) on Sat May 21st, 2022 at 08:37:56 PM EST
Anthony Albanese and his mother
Alex Bukarika, who wrote the article, was the one who looked after me in Sydney : found me a place to stay and showed me around. I wish I had stayed in touch with him.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun May 22nd, 2022 at 10:51:18 AM EST
The crushing dominance of News Corp in Australian print media, which once enabled Murdoch to rule the roost, seems to have become irrelevant, at least among urban Australians.
News outlets back candidates for many reasons, the most salient being because they genuinely believe, after an honest evaluation, they would do the job properly, or better than the alternative.

It's not unusual for a newspaper to stand by its principled assessment. In fact, that is an important purpose of their work.

But promoting an evaluation which isn't genuine and balanced is a betrayal of that purpose.

In that vein, the brutal and relentless savaging of independent candidates by News Corp was telling. The attacks knew few boundaries.

"The most destructive, harmful and dangerous vote anyone can make in the forthcoming election is for a teal independent or the Greens," wrote the Australian's Greg Sheridan on 3 May. "They are both a direct threat to our national security."

Well, that didn't work. The Greens picked up another three seats.

Independents on Saturday stomped home in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, and television coverage of their triumphs rivalled that given to the outgoing prime minister, Scott Morrison, and his Labor successor, Anthony Albanese.

The News Corp campaign was directed at preserving a two-party political structure - Labor v the Liberal/Nationals coalition - no matter what voters wanted.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun May 22nd, 2022 at 12:02:44 PM EST
The mystery is, what does Murdoch actually want?
by asdf on Sun May 22nd, 2022 at 03:12:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Business-friendly" governments all over the world.
Prime Ministers who ask his advice, and obey it.

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Sun May 22nd, 2022 at 04:19:09 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun May 22nd, 2022 at 08:14:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
I endorse this message

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Fri May 27th, 2022 at 03:11:34 PM EST
These seem like quite reasonable demands.
by IdiotSavant on Sat May 28th, 2022 at 11:48:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where is "start negotiations with Ruddy Olde England so we can all move back home when the climate becomes unlivable in a decade or two"?
by asdf on Thu Jun 2nd, 2022 at 02:46:37 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A week later, the Albanese government has a majority in Parliament.
(In the Senate, with proportional representation, they will depend on the Greens for a majority).

South Melbourne seat called

Labor under Anthony Albanese will govern in majority with at least 76 seats in the House of Representatives despite a record non-major party vote and crossbench.

The ABC's election analyst Antony Green on Monday night called the south Melbourne seat of Macnamara for Labor, with the returning MP, Josh Burns, guaranteeing an ALP majority in the 151-member lower house.

On Sunday, the prime minister told Sky News he would seek to form a "constructive relationship" with the expanded crossbench, despite not having to rely on their votes to pass legislation.

Albanese has previously said a slim majority was "a very good thing for stability".

Two seats are still in contention: Gilmore, where Labor MP Fiona Phillips has taken a slim lead of less than 200 votes against Liberal Andrew Constance; and Deakin, where the former assistant treasurer Michael Sukkar has a buffer of almost 1,000 votes on his Labor opponent.

I'm mildly disappointed; needing Green support in both houses would have put more backbone in their climate policy. The Greens now have four seats in the lower house; only one previously, in Melbourne. The other three are all in Brisbane.

The south Melbourne Macnamara seat had a three-way split between Liberal, Labor and Green, all around 30%, and so it was certain to go to either Green or Labor (the leading candidate of the two benefiting from the preferences of the other), so it was 62/38 Labor over Liberal.
[Personal interest : my elder daughter is moving to Melbourne in October]

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II

by eurogreen on Mon May 30th, 2022 at 10:54:03 AM EST
In other news, both of the right-wing parties changed leadership. The Liberals elected Lord Voldemort, a.k.a Peter Dutton, leader of the right-wing faction of the party (Morrison, believe it or not, was from the moderate wing)

It is rightly acknowledged that people of faith have no monopoly of virtue - Queen Elizabeth II
by eurogreen on Mon May 30th, 2022 at 10:59:34 AM EST

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