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.