Saturday, November 29, 2014

The State of Victoria Changes Government

In Australia the State of Victoria has just voted and is making history by changing government after only one term. The toxic federal Government is being partly blamed for the more than 3.5 - 4% swing to Labour but there have been lots of local issues as well - including the reignited and very polluting fire in a coal mine in Morwell where the people feel forgotten by their government and where there was a >13% swing against the government. Both major daily newspapers in Victoria told people to vote Liberal/National, but the people have obviously not listened. Many are probably like me and, facing increasing right wing stridency in the main stream media, have migrated to online news.

Not only has the government been changed (from Liberal/National to Labour) but the Greens are in the lower house of parliament for the first time. At the moment it looks as if they have won at least one and perhaps two inner Melbourne seats after a campaign based on climate, public transport and fairness. That is a significant win in a 'first past the post' system like ours.

Greens candidate  Ellen Sandell has just commented to cheering supporters: "You have told us you don’t want an $18 billion toll road ripping up our city, you want a 21st Century Public Transport network"
Kissing reluctant baby
The most commented photo of the election has to be this one that is being shared around twitter. It shows the Foreign Minister, Liberal Julie Bishop and Victorian Liberal State Premier kissing an unimpressed child. Ms Bishop is known for her pre-political career as an aggressive lawyer fighting against those seeking compensation for asbestos poisoning. One of the first things she did when becoming Foreign Minister, before even being sworn in, was to rescind  Steve Bracks position as consul General in New York. He had been Premier of Victoria for eight years and was eminently suited for the job. It was a portend of things to come.

No comments: