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Can the new Australian government last?

06:49 UK time, Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Julia Gillard will remain as Australia's prime minister after winning the backing of two key independent MPs. Can the new government last?

Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott held the balance of power in Australia's lower house after a fellow independent MP backed opposition leader Tony Abbott.

The dramatic announcement ended more than two weeks of political deadlock following an inconclusive election outcome. Ms Gillard's Labor Party now has just a one-seat majority over the Liberal-led coalition.

The BBC's Nick Bryant in Sydney says that with such narrow margins involved, it is going to be quite difficult for her to govern as she wanted to do.

What is your reaction to the outcome? Do you think the new government can survive with such a slim majority? What should be the new government's main priorities?

This debate has now closed. Thank you for your comments.

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    Australian politics seems to be quite robust, so no worries eh?

  • Comment number 2.

    Good to see a secularist will still be in charge.

  • Comment number 3.

    Over two weeks of inertia and conjecture with the so called Independents vowing to act in unison and then, surprise,surprise 2 go one way and one the other. The Labor Party has lost its legitimacy to govern and the Coalition didn't get one....am I the only one who thinks lets go to the Polls again?

  • Comment number 4.

    If this is what proportional representation leads to, we want none of it.

  • Comment number 5.

    Julia Gillard with her Welsh roots will make a great PM over the next 3 years I'm sure. Three years of Tony Abbot would have been very scary for the Aussie people.

  • Comment number 6.

    Here come Labour and their pals the Greens.
    Open the gates to socialism, unions and free loaders!
    What joy the future of business has in Australia!

  • Comment number 7.

    "How come The Austrailian people have proper elections'?????

  • Comment number 8.

    I'm perplexed. The Coalition has the majority first preference vote and the two party preference vote and one of the Independants has stated that he has sided with the Labor party because if there was another election, the Coalition would win. What's happened to the democratic process if it all comes down to the opinion of one man.

  • Comment number 9.

    Congratulations! Australia has an articulate, intelligent and female prime minister who is well-deserving of the post.

  • Comment number 10.

    Another hys on the Australian election. As I said before its really of no consiquence except to the australian electorate. Its not unfair to say that the australian pm does not carry much international clout. That's all really....

  • Comment number 11.

    Aussies don't want a foreign born Gov Gen but they want a foreign born P M
    Go figger. Jim

  • Comment number 12.

    9 Effulgent

    But does Australia deserve her?

  • Comment number 13.

    9. At 08:05am on 07 Sep 2010, Effulgent wrote:
    Congratulations! Australia has an articulate, intelligent and female prime minister who is well-deserving of the post.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------

    Who also took the opportunity to stab her party leader in the back demonstrating a complete lack of loyalty.

    Nevertheless concensus politics seems to work quite well in Oz, so it will be interesting to see if she can steer the country with so little majority in votes.

  • Comment number 14.

    4. At 07:50am on 07 Sep 2010, bill wrote:
    If this is what proportional representation leads to, we want none of it.


    ... Yeah, because things were much more straightforward and clear cut in the recent UK election.

  • Comment number 15.

    No way will it last - the politicians are so void of any credibility that the moment there is a sign of Gilliard winning an outright majority she will "go for it".

    Given some of the personalities, such as the "mad monk" and the barmy policies "ultra fast broadband" the lucky country needs some new politicians who can bring credibility and transparency to the offices of state.

  • Comment number 16.

    I think this has been a good outcome. Already the Independents have the agreement of both major parties for welcome reforms regarding the conduct of parliamentary business. Rural and regional Australia will get a better deal.
    Three priorities for the Government:-
    1. Housing affordability-ignored by both Libs and Labor in the election campaign. Australia has some of the most expensive housing in the world. The Government needs to slowly deflate the housing bubble for both social and economic reasons.
    2.Afghanistan. At last, due to pressure from the Greens we will get a parliamentary debate on our involvement. Both Libs and Labor have made meaningless comments about 'the war on terror' 'protecting Australia' etc. whereas the only valid reason for our being there is in support of the US alliance. Meanwhile young Australians and many Afghan civilians continue to die or suffer horrendous injuries.
    3.Population/immigration. Forget 2040 or 2050 and concentrate on the next few years. The massive immigration intakes of the past five years need to be severely cut back to give housing and infrastructure a chance to catch up. This would also help with housing affordability.
    We live in interesting times!

  • Comment number 17.

    Juliet Gilliard is behaving as though she has a clear mandate to govern. The Independants can abstain or vote against labor at any time. One or more sitting Labor member may die or resign over some scandal. A majority of 1 is too fragile to last. There will be another election within six months.

  • Comment number 18.

    Reminds me of the show Auf wiedersehen pet.

    The guys all had to vote what colour they wanted to paint the hut. They ended up with yellow - which nobody wanted (yellow was the second choice of 2 of the guys!!)

    Thats what proportional representation gives you!!!

    sooner Australia and the UK get to the polls again the better

  • Comment number 19.

    14 John Smith

    Actually, they were.

    It is suggested that coalition governments lead to true democracy, but we shall see - I don't think the duopoly in either Australia or the UK is broken yet.

  • Comment number 20.

    This arrangement will not last one year...on 7 September 2011 Gillard will not be PM..that's a sure bet

  • Comment number 21.

    It proves that politics throughout the world should look at new ways to promote ideas to the people who vote for them by working together.The world is in turmoil politically and the old ways are fighting for their lives. The peoples of the world can no longer be conned.Politicians everywhere need to get with the program and start listening to the voters and ditch party political dogma or we will be reliving world tension that started WW2.

  • Comment number 22.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 23.

    Of course it won't last! Julia Gillard is sneaky and underhand. Australians don't like that - they prefer honesty and openness. The fact that she barely got a majority after what she did to Kevin Rudd proves this. Politics needs to change. The political spectrum has become to wide and the gulf between politicians' integrity and the values of their parties too vast. Electoral reform is useless; what we need is new politics. How we'll achieve that, I'm not too sure yet. Ask me when I'm an expert political scientist. Voters are fed up: they want change but are deadlocked into the same-old, same-old. All the parties begin to look the same after a while and then it just comes down to personalities and who is willing to tread on as many toes to achieve power.

    David Cameron actually seems to be a great Prime Minister so far, though. I do like the Tories. Not so hot on Labor - Tony Abbott should've won in Australia: he seems honest and level-headed, while she seems a power-hungry nutter. Oh well.

  • Comment number 24.

    This experience has proved that proportional representation does not work. We have been lucky in the UK with the coalition between the Tories and Lib Dems. Both have substantial support with UK voters. But, what if a new government had to survive with the support of UKIP, or the Communist Party, or Sinn Fein, or worse still the BNP.

    I realyy hope this minority government in Australia can prevail.

  • Comment number 25.

    I like Julia and I hope she delivers, but sorry we are in the middle of football finals here so can I discuss political priorities later please? No worries!

  • Comment number 26.

    This is an extremely disappointing result for the majority of Australian voters who voted against Labor and Julia Gillard at the recent General Election. Julia Gillard has never received the backing of the Australian people and does not, even now, have a mandate to govern. She got into the position of PM by back-stabbing her own colleague, and she lost the primary vote in the election quite conclusively. She has had to sacrifice any principles she may have had in order to win the backing of the Greens and key Independents. It's hard to see how democracy can come out the winner when the Labor Party is controlled by a few behind-the-scenes power brokers, and the Government is controlled by a few Greens and Independents. Where does that leave the majority of voters who voted for the Liberal/Nationals Coalition?

  • Comment number 27.

    The Australian House of Representatives does NOT use a proportional representation voting system. They use a system of "preferential voting", not the same thing.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instant_runoff_voting

  • Comment number 28.

    Loose an election but stay in power - in Africa that's called 'The Mugabe Effect'.

  • Comment number 29.

    Both these 'Independents' will rue their choice as most of the people they represent did NOT want a Labour Government, with the result there are many who have said that that is the last time they vote for these two. Fortunately, one of them is retiring at the next election but the other is only 40. In his case, the comment is that he acted for his self interest i.e. a job and an income!
    Whatever, it is a condemnation of this stupid voting system here in Australia where, through Preferences for ALL the candidates in the electorate that have to be voted for, so you can end up with the second, third or fourth candidate of your choice being elected - as has happened here. Let's hope that the UK Parliament NEVER adopt such a system. First past the post has its faults, but it is still the best system around, although the compulsory vote does have its merits.

  • Comment number 30.

    @ Jim - um I don't think there's ever been an issue in Australia over foreign born govenor generals - just foreign born monarchs :)
    @ johnp - the Greens and Labor were already broadly aligned and there was no great leap in the Greens supporting a Labor minority.

    I think the results here in Aus and in the UK is indicative of a public thoroughly sick of politicians and major parties so close in policy they may as well be Siamese twins. Maybe it's time for some actual policies, rather than trying to win popularity contests.

    BTW Bob Katter, one of the key independents, went with the Coalition because Kevin Rudd was a mate of his. Is being upset about a friend being shafted a good enough reason to affect the political future of a whole country?

  • Comment number 31.

    At 07:50am on 07 Sep 2010, bill wrote:
    If this is what proportional representation leads to, we want none of it.

    Actually Bill - Australia does not have Proportional Representation, they use an AV system.
    Also, think about this; more people voted for the Labor/Greens & presumably the 2 independednts than voted for the Liberals (& 1 ind MP).
    There is a majority for Ms Gillard after all!

  • Comment number 32.

    Just to clear up some confusion amongst some of the commenters, Australia does *not* have a proportional representation system for the House of Representatives, PR is only used for the Senate. Australia does use preferential voting for almost all its elections though, the effect of which is actually to ensure that almost all the seats in the House of Representatives end up going to one of the two major blocs (Labor or the Liberal/National Coalition), to a much greater extent than happens in the UK with its first past the post system. Note than in this election there were only 4 independent and 1 Green MPs elected, all the rest went to Labor or the Coalition. The hung parliament arose because Labor and the Coalition ran such uninspiring election campaigns that they managed to draw with 72 seats each, handing an enormous amount of power to the handful of independents who had the casting vote in the first hung parliament in Australia for 70 years.

    I'm a Brit who's been living in Australia for the past 5 years and personally I have to say the end result is a bit of a relief. I'm an immigrant, a scientist and a public servant, and in general the Coalition do not look kindly on any of those things! I'm not just thinking about myself though, I do feel that a Labor government will be better for the country as a whole.

    As far as the viability of the government is concerned, I think it can work. Labor will need to tread a fine line to keep the Conservatively inclined independents on board to get legislation through the House of Representatives while not offending the Greens who now hold the balance of power in the Senate, but as she's just demonstrated delicate negotiations are one of Gillard's strong points. The alternative would have been a Coalition government unable to get anything significant through the Senate because of the Labor/Green majority there, the inevitable deadlock would have resulted in fresh elections within months.

  • Comment number 33.

    Very good news. The previous Labor government left Australia in a pretty decent state, and Tony Abbott had very little to offer in this election. So instead of offering something better, he started a scare campaign about non-issues, which unfortunately convinced far too many gullible souls.

    So very pleased to hear that Gillard gets another chance after all! Congratulations Julia!

  • Comment number 34.

    So, the two independent MPs became the king makers.Their support to Julia Guillard ended the political stalemate in Australian Parliament and enabled her to form the Government.This is a good news for the Austarlians.The country needs a stable Government to recostruct the recession-hit economy.With just one-seat majority it is quite natural to doubt the whether the Government can serve its term.Two factors, however, seem to favour Prime Minister Julia Guillard. As the incumbent Prime Minister, Julia Guillard has some advantage over Tony Abbot whose leadership in the Opposition is not so solid as his is a liberal-led coalition, and coalition in itself has some fault lines.He would think twice before bringing no-confidence against the Prime Minister. Besides in a mature democracy like Australia, political horse-trading is not expected. Floor crossings by MPs to destabilse the goernment are not anticipated either.The Prime Minister seems to be adept in political tight-roping and with the passage of time she may grow stronger.However, politics, being as it is,some risk of her Government being reduced to musical chairs remains.
    The new Government's priorities should be the formulation of a just and fair immigration policy,promotion of investment for production and job creation and stable economic recovery.
    Good luck to Madame Julia Guillard.

  • Comment number 35.

    Coalition won more seats, more of the primary vote and the two party preferred vote. These two idiots, Oakeshott and Windsor, represent two of the most conservative electorates in the country, they were voted in because their constituencies perceived that the National Party wasn't conservative enough. And now they've backed the second most left wing government in Australia's history. They'll go down in history for what they are. A pair of power hungry fools.

    The nouvo-leftoid coalition of Australia now has the likes of Bandt, a communist, on one wing and Windsor, a pro-guns, pro-death penalty rural socialist on the other wing. Good luck to Gillard trying to fly a plane with a wingspan of about 35 miles.

  • Comment number 36.

    What a complete travesty of justice. To think that 2 Independents, who have betrayed both their own roots, and their electorate, can sway a National Government to hold power in what was once a thriving democracy. This is a very sad day for Australia, who once had the mighty John Howard to represent them as a great Statesmen, worldwide. Just what has Australian politics sunk to now! We have just, fortunately, booted out 12 years of labour corruption here, and the electorate has, at long last, seen the devious nand corrupt nature of such an administration. We can only feel pity for the Australian people, who have now inherited this appalling new "government", and can only hope that such an electoral system, which has made this possible, never becomes a reality here!

  • Comment number 37.

    Whit this new pseudo, new governement, the waste goes on, and the refugees will flock in more and more, thanks labor........

  • Comment number 38.

    No it can't last, and the sooner the leftist, union dominated Labour Party is ousted for good, the better. They have the writing on the wall to get the house in order, but it is doubtful they can change their stripes or disbelieve their own fraught policies. The brain washing the people have received has been so long and ongoing it is hard on people to change their allegiance. When voters are persuaded by petty dishing out of excessive welfare and crack pot enticements we find the people all voting for the wrong reasons. The big question is: do the people of Australia (like the UK and other Western style countries) want to keep what they have, or have it changed by a flood of newcomers for all time, losing all they have fought and strived for.

  • Comment number 39.

    Nice to know the Welsh are steadily taking over the world.

  • Comment number 40.

    australian politicos full of hot air

    F o l l o w t h e m o n e y

  • Comment number 41.

    This Government may not last the high taxes she proposes to put on the coal and iron ore industry will cost a lot of jobs not create them. if she had half a brain she would realise that business will shed jobs to recoup what they have to pay out in excess taxes

  • Comment number 42.

    johnp

    I think your conservative bias is showing through!

    In actual fact most people in Oz do not want Tony Abbott and his party. Me, I am pleased to say, included.

    For weeks we have been hearing anguished Lib/Nationals claiming they have a "mandate", what ever that is.

    I heard Mr Abbott on this theme again. First press conference today, first set of fibs to justify his position.

    The numbers reality is that the Labor and Greens got just on 50% of the total vote. Liberals, in their own right, could not form government in a fit(on the basis of numbers) with 32% of the vote and meanwhile, the huge discrepancy of the 6 or 7% of the vote garnered by the Nationals returning a disproportionate number of seats, vis a vis the outcome for the Greens say, make a joke of the word "mandate" by the likes of yourself. That's the way it is in OZ - take it or leave it.

    There is also the continued reference to "winning the most votes" and I take it this refers to the 2PP. If johnp cared to read a bit more widely, he would know that it is highly likely that Labor will finish up with the higher 2PP as currently, the AEC have left out 8 seats in the computations - to be added in some time later.

    To add salt to the wounds, the current Newspoll has Labor 51-49 ahead, and this is from the Liberal party's own newspaper "The Australian", AND Tony Abbott has NEVER been ahead of Julia Gillard as preferred PM.

    Just got to wear it - like we did for years under Howard!!

  • Comment number 43.

    So having basically stole the PMship from Kevin Rudd in what was a coup with the help of facless party people who are not democratically accountable, having led her party to what was a defeat - she has less seats and less votes she has managed to worm her way to staying PM having. An utter disgrace!

    Shame on the independents that back her! Do they not realise that her word can't trusted.

    I hope she fails and I hope those independents that support her lose out.

    She says she will give Kevin Rudd a high profile ministry - I wait to see if this happens.

  • Comment number 44.

    Julia Gillard, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott. Nice to know Australia is governed by not just one but three Judass. One betrayed her leader the other two betrayed their electorates.

  • Comment number 45.

    Those complaining about the two-party preferred vote as if the Liberals won by a landslide and have been deprived of a victory by some despotic independents should re-check the statistics on the Australian Electoral Commission web site - the primary vote is currently 51.01-49.99% Liberal to Labor, and the lead, such as it is, has been flip-flopping for several days. Australia is split right down the middle and so the outcome of the election is no surprise.

    Both parties fought lacklustre campaigns in which they were so frightened of offending minority interests that most of us ended up with not a clue as to what they stood for.

    The Liberals should have dumped Abbott - known colloquially here as 'The Mad Monk' because of some of his more extreme religious views - long ago, and gone with the National Broadband Network instead of their own half-baked proposal that would have left Australia continuing to flounder in the technological backwater. They clearly misread the Australian public and paid for it.

    Gillard disappointed me when she would not stand up for equal rights for gay and lesbian couples, but I'll reserve judgement on her government for a few months yet.

  • Comment number 46.

    Julia's political move was superb. Australia is fortunate to have a better policy maker.

  • Comment number 47.

    What's wrong with a slim majority? There's a much better chance of some real democracy.

  • Comment number 48.

    Australia is the land of convicts sent there by the british in the late 1700s.Ms Gillard has done many nasty things,and we all know that it does not last.Ever since Australia agreed to invade iraq with america that action did it for me with this country.

  • Comment number 49.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 50.

    It will last as long as it will last !

  • Comment number 51.

    Articulate? Anyone who thinks the Bogan Princess is "Articulate" needs their head checked. "Backstabbing Spinning Driveller", more like it.

  • Comment number 52.

    Either you're lucky or perhaps just nasty when you not only elbow out your own leader and PM but subsequently also elbow out the new PM. Surely it can't be democracy when you call an election in just weeks and force vote under duress to over 20 million people - and then when you actually don't win, be it one seat, you still form a government. I thought elections were all about "that" one vote so why not about that one seat? If you're the ruling government, surely losing by one seat is a catastrophic loss when you compare the swing since the previous election? Elections should never be called with only a few weeks notice for a country to vote because people struggle to make an informed decision - look at this total mess Australia now has to deal with. As a woman, I thought I would be ecstatic to have a female PM but there has been no grace or decency from Gillard as I don't feel she has been rightfully elected first and second time around. My, how graceful does Gordon B look right now!

  • Comment number 53.

    I stand corrected; AV not PR.

    But if this is the result we don't want it.

    There is no likelihood that any coalition or AV system will break the duopoly that plagues our democratic systems; and we will have to look further afield and modify FTP with primaries.

  • Comment number 54.

    "The Liberals should have dumped Abbott"
    Why? Because he's a threat to leftoids? He's re-energised the natural Coalition constituency.

    "known colloquially here as 'The Mad Monk'"
    Only by leftoid parrots...

    "because of some of his more extreme religious views"
    Which are? What? Not killing babies? Sooo exteeeme.

    "long ago, and gone with the National Broadband Network instead of their own half-baked proposal that would have left Australia continuing to flounder in the technological backwater."

    Er no. Wireless is the future. Instead we're going to be burdened with having to maintain millions of miles of fibre cable at 7 times the cost of wireless.

  • Comment number 55.

    bill wrote:

    "If this is what proportional representation leads to, we want none of it."

    Australia doesn't have PR, but it does allow you to express a second preference. In fact, PR would probably have led to a very similar result, if quicker, because the Greens would have had more seats forcing a Labour/Green alliance. However, I agree with your sentiments, since PR would give the UK more of the Lib-Dems at each election. After seeing them in action, I think one self-serving Tory Party is bad enough. It's ironic that the "success" of the Lib_Dems in being part of government will almost certainly put paid to any prospect of PR for decades!

  • Comment number 56.

    What we witness here is a profound lesson in Leadership.
    A forthrightness, honesty and substantive talk regrettably
    absent from today's U.S. political scene...
    Bravo Julia Gillard.

  • Comment number 57.

    While I really dont care about Australian politics there is one positive to take from this travesty of democracy: - It would appear we are not the only country to have politicians with the scrupples of snakes!

    ps apologies to any snakes who may be reading

  • Comment number 58.

    There seem to be some rather naive people around here... Continuously accusing Julia Gillard of back-stabbing Kevin Rudd, being disloyal…. Wake up and smell the coffee people, it’s politics, Labor decided they would like to stay in government, Rudd was losing popularity faster than Tony Blair did (can you believe it possible??) so they replaced him. Ms Gillard actually appeared ill at ease as it was done, but that’s what the party had to do, she was the best option, it would have been someone else otherwise. What did Liberals do with Malcolm Turnbull or Brendan Nelson within last 3 years? What happened to them when their PM (Howard) overstayed his welcome? They lost the election!
    As for other types of comments (she did not win majority etc) – read what Steve posted – he’s put it nicely:

    At 10:24am on 07 Sep 2010, Steve wrote:

    “… In actual fact most people in Oz do not want Tony Abbott and his party. Me, I am pleased to say, included.

    For weeks we have been hearing anguished Lib/Nationals claiming they have a "mandate", what ever that is.

    I heard Mr Abbott on this theme again. First press conference today, first set of fibs to justify his position.

    The numbers reality is that the Labor and Greens got just on 50% of the total vote. Liberals, in their own right, could not form government in a fit(on the basis of numbers) with 32% of the vote and meanwhile, the huge discrepancy of the 6 or 7% of the vote garnered by the Nationals returning a disproportionate number of seats, vis a vis the outcome for the Greens say, make a joke of the word "mandate" by the likes of yourself. That's the way it is in OZ - take it or leave it.

    There is also the continued reference to "winning the most votes" and I take it this refers to the 2PP. If johnp cared to read a bit more widely, he would know that it is highly likely that Labor will finish up with the higher 2PP as currently, the AEC have left out 8 seats in the computations - to be added in some time later.

    To add salt to the wounds, the current Newspoll has Labor 51-49 ahead, and this is from the Liberal party's own newspaper "The Australian", AND Tony Abbott has NEVER been ahead of Julia Gillard as preferred PM.

    Just got to wear it - like we did for years under Howard!!”

    When will all the Aus Liberals get it – Tony Abbot is not good enough to be PM! It is nice for someone to have strong principles and stick to them, but when those principles are sooo 19th century…. I mean Labor campaign was bad but what was Liberal’s like – “the boats are coming, the boats are coming, OMG the boats are coming, oh and we are good at that financial stuff, yeah, we’re better than Labor at that financial stuff, no we will not tell you how or how much it will cost, but we’re better at it, oh and the boats are coming…”

  • Comment number 59.

    56. At 12:31pm on 07 Sep 2010, albertfNY wrote:

    What we witness here is a profound lesson in Leadership.
    A forthrightness, honesty and substantive talk regrettably
    absent from today's U.S. political scene...
    Bravo Julia Gillard.
    ========================

    Kevin Rudd would have something to say about that.

    You obviously haven't heard Gillard speak then.

  • Comment number 60.

    murph, wireless is hopeless at scaling, and has poor latency (useless for online games). The Coalition's broadband policy was garbage and wouldn't have improved infrastructure for millions. Please do some research.

    Your other 'arguments' seem to rely more on insults and strange assertions ('killing babies'?).

  • Comment number 61.

    Figure this one out...

    Coalition got the most primary votes, > 700,000 more people out of 20 milllion voted for the Coalition than Labor

    Coalition got the most 2 party preferred votes: i.e. even with over 85% of Green preferences going to Labor, Coalition were still ahead.

    In all 3 of the 3 Amigos ( Country ex National Independents) electorates the voters overwhelmingly gave their 1st preference to the Independent. In Oakshott's seat - central coast NSW, the vote was over 66% primary for the Independent. This was repeated in Bob Katter's seat in Qld and in Tony Windsor's seat in the Armidale/ New England area.

    3 Amigos said "Stable Govt" for the country was their primary concern and voted for the Party that they thought could deliver this best ! Yet....

    ** Labor executed a sitting PM
    ** Labor has run up a deficit of over 90BILLION from a healthy surplus of 20MIILLION left by Howard /Costello
    ** Labor has botched up 3 major national projects squandering millions and millions of tax dollars and causing the deaths by electrocution of many tradespeople along the way
    ** Labor is going to bring in a big mining tax...this divided the country and caused the final downfall of Rudd, yet they are still running with this policy!
    ** Labor offered a National Broad Band worth over $43 BILLION ...an impossible promise to keep when in so much debt. But worse, there is no business or financial plan to back it! This NBB is what "strongly swayed " the 2 amigos to go with Labor.

  • Comment number 62.

    I feel good that the deadlock has been broken and a new government for Australia is in the offing.

    In a democracy there is always room for negotiation and compromise when voters dictate so by not delivering clear majorities to any single party.
    The ball has been and will continue to be well inside the court of politicians who've finally reached that magic 76 backing Labour.
    It is of course the slimmest of margins, indeed a combination that could have just as easily swayed the Coalition's way had the Independents opted differently.

    Going forward Julia Gillard's political skills will be fully tested.
    Unless rocked by internal dissent I do not see why her government should not last the full term.
    If Labour closes ranks uniting behind the leadership likely to be under permanent scrutiny then the current arrangement will be made to work.

    The new government's main priorities relate to a fair tax on mining companies' profits - a national wealth that should benefit all Australians - a coherent, workable climate policy with increased input from the underrepresented Greens and reform of the electoral system.
    The financing arrangements at Federal and State level concerning health and education is likely a policy priority too.

  • Comment number 63.

    The whole election process and the consequences there off were the direct result of one person's(Ms Julia Gillard) ego to score a point on Kevin Rudd and in the process she has not only destabilized the politcal establishment in the country but also put the labour party's future in doubt.

    One cannot expect this wafer thin minority govt to last more than a year heading into an another election.

  • Comment number 64.

    Don't care.

  • Comment number 65.

    With only three politicians holding the balance of power I cannot see how this can last more than a few months at most unless the opposition are happy for it to do so.

    Interesting to watch a situation unfold that could so easily have happened here.

  • Comment number 66.

    A Government based on the backing of 2 independent MPs for Labour and one for Tony Abbott. Hmmmm, doesn't seem very stable to me. In fact, it seems downright unstable.
    Ms Gillard's Labour Party now has just a one-seat majority. It’s like watching her perch on a chair with only one leg.
    I reckon the campaign got what it deserved – bickering, backstabbing…
    Julia Gillard, might have been able to last, but her party is divided, labouring under lingering anger (over how she deposed Kevin Rudd in June).
    The opposition Coalition was just as bad, having to overcome divisions after the defeat of Malcolm Turnbull.
    What a hodgepodge of disunity. Aren't there real political issues that keenly divide Australians? I can't believe the vote was this close!
    In fact, Mr. Abbott is now so close to Julia Gillard that he could easily, accidentally knock her chair over – probably with some of his far-right conservative Roman Catholic zealotry, slipping her right into his climate change “crap.”
    The honour role goes to: When called upon by Gillard to help with the campaign, I hear that Kevin Rudd responded: “Life’s too short to carry around a great bucketload of anger and resentment and bitterness and hatred.” And valiantly, he returned (post surgery) to the national forum.
    You know what?
    When you read Labout vs. Liberal: There just aren’t many real policy difference between the parties.
    I don’t trust Julia Gillard. I feel Tony Abbott is a bit Conservative (My understatement for the day.)
    I think you Aussies need some new blood with new ideas. If you must have old blood, take another look at Kevin Rudd.

  • Comment number 67.

    "wireless is hopeless at scaling, and has poor latency"

    Nonsense. By the time this is rolled out, wireless will be at least as fast as the proposed broadband speed and at a fraction of this cost.

    "(useless for online games)."
    Why should I (and Australian taxpayers) have to pay for people in the outback to play on-line games and watch streaming "entertainment".

    "The Coalition's broadband policy was garbage and wouldn't have improved infrastructure for millions."

    Wrong. See above and below.

    "Please do some research."

    I'm an IT specialist. Is that good enough? What are you aside from a leftoid shill?

  • Comment number 68.

    gIVEN THE SLIM MAJORITY I WOULD SAY IT HASN'T A SNOWBALL IN HELLS CHANCE.

  • Comment number 69.

    A tight-rope balancing act will really test all the PM's political and intellectual skills. She is a powerful negotiator and does not take 'no' for an answer! If she is able to pull this one, she would be able to come through fire and brimstone. She has always shown her tough mettle and Australians are lucky to have a brave leader like her.

  • Comment number 70.

    The Australians are a forward robust nation and as there approximately only 20 million in Australia of various cultures they do not sit back and take every knock that life hits them with but they retaliate back and take the lead. Their coalition based government will instill their policies between each other and like our own present coalition government I truly believe that they will lead Australia into a more direct and prosperous nation. God be with them

  • Comment number 71.

    With the slimmest of margins she won't last. Someone will do a Rudd to her. Apart from awful immigration policies, just having to listen to that voice for the next three years (if she does last) is enough to make one move to NZ

  • Comment number 72.

    I would like to congratulate ms julia gillard as Australian prime minster again and the Australians for their success.

    Its success for australians and success for the nation of women who suffer in other part of the continent.

    Again congratulation from Afghanistan . Also support Australian troops in Afghanistan for their effort..

  • Comment number 73.

    It will no doubt be very difficult for the Labour Party because the media down under is controlled by Rupert Murdoch so he will be using everything at his disposal to bring the government down. It's sad that even in western countries the media plays the biggest part in who is elected and who is rejected. It's time we introduced more stringent laws to stop the media telling lies and to ensure more balanced reporting.

  • Comment number 74.

    Icebloo

    Take off your aluminum foil hat. The media in Australia is not controlled by Murdoch. He owns several popular metropolitan dailies, three out of the five of which endorsed The Bogan Princess - The Mercury, The Herald and The Advertiser. The rest of the print media is soft left Fairfax - The Age and SMH. The broadcast media headed by the ABC, Channel 7 and Channel 9 is almost entirely soft left with the exception of a couple of stations like 2UE, 4BC and MTR. Anyone who claims the Australian media is in bed with Tony Abbott is either blind and deaf or a liar.

  • Comment number 75.

    Good, at least more equlibrium, more accountability , better parliament. I couldn't imagine the Liberals running the country. Still fresh in my mind the Howard era, his shameful support to Bush and Co. and the destruction and pain they created.

  • Comment number 76.

    What does this mean? It means that MOST Australians are not happy with the elected government. The democratic majority did not get their government, either by majority votes or majority seats.Instead 3 egomaniac, attention deprived and glory seeking independants decided for us, for a small fee. It is hypocrisy that the independants pushing for parliamentary reform have ignored the DEMOCRATIC majority's preference for a coalition government, instead getting two votes - one personal and one absolute. Millions of votes exchanged for two - what a joke!

  • Comment number 77.

    Governments the Earth's land masses are full of them. How well they support and serve their people that is to be seen. My government the US was here before I came into this world. I wish it was what it says it is, forces the people say it is and to live by.

    I hope that the new government in place in Australia serves to help the poorer areas of Australia and not shift a undo burden in the process of doing so. What I dearly hope is the sanctity, respect for the freedom to continue to support and allow the free will of ones lifetime of choices.

    I wish no people on this Earth to be radio implanted from birth. That there not be a government like mine. A government free to experiment as they see fit. Nor be there any government with that ability to call what they are doing something other and acceptable. I pray that no government be allowed to exist that deny a victims voice against any governments choice and governance of any society of humankind.

  • Comment number 78.

    It was always going to be if either Labour or Liberal/Nationals managed to form a government, it would be rather rocky. Labour are well hated here due to their complete incompetence, but Tony Abbott and other right-wingers have killed off the Liberal/Nationals vote. People were scared to vote for a Liberal in case Tony Abbott became prime minister. If the Liberal Party was still headed by Brendan Nelson or Malcolm Turnbull, then we would be looking at a Liberal/National government with its own majority.

  • Comment number 79.

    one seat majority is just like walking on the rope.

  • Comment number 80.

    It will only take one heart attack and we have to vote again..I live in WA and I can tell you we are not happy...

  • Comment number 81.

    Living in Melbourne, I am not mad keen on Labour but am very glad we dont have a leader like Tony Abbott in place, he would have been Australia's George Bush and we all know how much the world loved him and his ways.

    Labour is in, so let them get on with it and stop crying over how we got there.

  • Comment number 82.

    I'd like to correct an error that many commenters are making. Election in the Australian House of Representatives is NOT by proportional voting. Only the Senate uses proportional voting whereby each state elects a set number of senators. The voting system used in the lower house is a preferential system where voters' second and third preferences are also taken into account if the candidate doesn't win enough first preference votes. It's a much better and fairer system than the first past the post system used in the UK.

  • Comment number 83.

    Now i really belive, that i live in the BANANA REPUBLIC!!!

  • Comment number 84.

    "If the Liberal Party was still headed by Brendan Nelson or Malcolm Turnbull, then we would be looking at a Liberal/National government with its own majority."

    Really? Then why was the Coalition polling around 43% under Turnbull and why was Turnbull's approval rating at about 17%?

    The fact is that Abbott re-energised the conservative instincts of the Australian electorate. Abbott's performance against a first term government is the best of any opposition leader for more than 70 years.

    Seriously, it's like listening to a broken record around here. The only reason ALP/Green-oid types are so keen to see Abbott deposed is that they're genuinely scared of him.

  • Comment number 85.

    Does anyone outside Australia care? So far as I can see, most people inside Australia are bored witless by this and couldn't care less what government they have - so long as it doesn't cost them money or lose them their jobs. To me, this indicates a very healthy understanding of the worth of politicians and journalists.

  • Comment number 86.

    53. At 12:10pm on 07 Sep 2010, bill wrote:

    I stand corrected; AV not PR.

    But if this is the result we don't want it.

    BILL — stop telling 'us' what 'we want'. You're in no more of a position to tell me what I want than I am to tell you what you want; I don't need someone to speak on my behalf. As long as it is true that I want AV, you CANNOT CLAIM that 'we' don't want it. Maybe 61 999 999 of the 62 million of us don't want it, but that still isn't 'us'. YOU ARE NOT THE GENERAL MANAGER OF THE UK.

  • Comment number 87.

    Of course you can't govern effectively with a majority of one, forever beholden to the whims of a couple of political mavericks.
    Personally, I think the Australian Labour Party should get down on its collective bended knee, and beg Kevin Rudd's forgiveness.

  • Comment number 88.

    The real issue here is it is about time a woman got to run Australia.

    We had Margaret Thatcher who taught the UK discipline and ruled with a rod of iron. Julia will need to be twice as tough to steer this country onto the world stage.

  • Comment number 89.

    With world is moving to more and more deeper crisis with our minds contracting amasses to derive enjoyment on seeing inflicting of pain on innocent others, we cannot possibly see any durable Government in holding of Power anywhere excepting in Communist Countries where General Public is suppressed from venting their concern to outside others to lessen the burden of feeling of insecurity out of the unseen 'environmental impact' on us which is not only invisible but also directly influencing our minds amasses everywhere to behave wrongfully. But again being most of the collusion Governments are unstable having hanging on the desire of a few independent candidates, sitting in the Parliament,we are always unsure of the life of such Governments

    Therefore, it requires bearing of utmost value by such high figures on whose backing a Government is in place, not to ever driven the desire of such personalities by self interest other than thinking good of the Country. Once this particular condition is satisfied we suddenly see a transformation of us to acquire value onto ourselves from holding nothing no matter where such arrangements are in existence and to start seeing of an escape from remaining the bottom of wilderness.

    The Most Honorable PM of Kumar, David Cameron is young as well as inexperience apart from leading a collision Government in UK but carry a value of utmost honesty which might work as a catalyst for our doing of retract from what we are facing now everywhere from all across the Globe. Accordingly we wish Ms. Julia Gillard to achieve a similar success in each and every effort of her to unite us through securing due developments in all sectors that govern the entire to enable us to see some future of us likewise and together; duly averting the waiting Catastrophe to strike us very hard.


    (Dr.M.M.HAZARIKA, PhD)

  • Comment number 90.

    I have to honestly say that Gillard does face some battles on her way up to running a successful government. We're living in some pretty turbulent times now and although Australia's been able to escape the worse of the economic downturn, there are still plenty of problems that need resolving, and plenty of new legislation she needs to pass. Overall, I don't think she'll last the entire term, but I think for now, it will be alright.

  • Comment number 91.

    What on earth are you Aussies doing putting a 'Sheelah' in power? That would be bad enough but one with no substance. Aussies, get a grip.

  • Comment number 92.

    eh?

  • Comment number 93.

    I am wondering what comment #12 means . . ."Does Australia deserve her?"

    Of course Australia deserves a good leader/policy maker - Each and every country does. While it makes no difference to me personally, I think it was a good conclusion to something that kept people hanging for quite sometime.
    And oh, Australia joins the lovely 'confidence in "foreigners" bunch'. If you ask me, not many countries allow that. I bet every penny someone out there is saying she is not Australian-born and knows no Australian values.

  • Comment number 94.

    You really think that with an atheist PM, the Gov will last...........
    .....wishful thinking.

  • Comment number 95.

    When I heard that she was WELSH, I thought I was voting for..........RAQUEL.

  • Comment number 96.

    Sure she can govern. Just the way the "other parties" decide. That is all. Tread carefully; or you are ousted. Rules of politics.
    This is called a "coalition" government, and she is basically the figurehead. Nothing radical will happen(as each party in any countries government has a left and a right wing) so their own ideas of how the country should be run.
    Many countries have survived a full term with a coalition government.

  • Comment number 97.

    If it doesn't...
    it's really their problem...
    if it does...
    then good for democracy!

  • Comment number 98.

    Having stabbed her predecessor in the back to get his job then failing to get a mandate, is normally interpretted as a Vote of Non Confidence in most Democracies.
    Julia Gillard should be stepping down as a matter of principle.

    More Intoxicating than alcohol,
    Addictive than narcotics,
    Corrupt than vice,
    Seductive than sex, is the lust for POWER.

    In answer to What do you miss most? The Iron Maiden replied:- "Power".

  • Comment number 99.

    Judging by the vitriol pouring from the Liberal/Nationalist (Tory) camp, the Gillard Labor government will not only survive, but will be very successful. The Lib-Nats are seriously worried; facing what amounts to a coalition of Greens, Independents, and Labor. A woman is much better suited to making such a mixture work, and I am confident that Australia will not have to go to the polls for a Federal election for another three years - when Labor will win again.

  • Comment number 100.

    No government based on lies, deceit and back stabbing can or will survive.

 

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