Just a bit of amateur scrying from a non-pseph young’n… and an awkward segue into a prediction thread. Wishes, predictions, night terrors and ominous creakings – let’s hear ’em.
This is my first election in my adult life that has seen a change of government. I trekked to the Australian embassy in Osaka in 2004, held my nose and voted for Latham (after the Greens!) and then went to Tin’s Hall and mourned yet another Howard victory with a pub full of now-unemployed expats.
I didn’t make any public predictions for this election – I’m not a psephologist like many of my colleagues and have always been more of an issues based person than party political. However, the first prediction I made to friends was that Costello would never, ever be PM, and that in the event of Howard losing, he would also never be Leader of the Opposition. Admittedly, I thought he would be taken down by his colleagues, but still – Costello’s out.
So, wish number 1:
Turnbull takes over the Liberals. I’d like this to happen for a number of reasons – he’s a small-l Liberal, he supported the Republic, he’s new, he’s not a religious nutbag.
I’m hoping he takes over the Libs, turns it into a liberal party (finally) and tries to wedge Rudd by supporting gay marriage. Downer’s had his chance, and he’s awful. Abbott might have a chance (I don’t know anything about his support within the party) but I think this election has shown that the much-vaunted religious right vote in Australia is a complete joke and the Catholic vote isn’t a sure thing for the Libs either. On the other hand, Abbott would definitely mean the Libs in the wilderness for a very long time. Besides, Abbott’s got that Lawrence Springborg thing going on… Hard to vote for someone you couldn’t stand to talk to.
My other prediction – that this election would see the end of the Democrats – sadly also came true. I’m a huge fan of Andrew Bartlett, and felt genuinely torn over whether to vote for him or Larissa. If it was Drew Hutton running again, I would have had no problems making the decision – Drew Hutton has been the unsuccessful face of the Queensland Greens forever, and Larissa was and is a genuinely electable candidate. I’m hoping that Andrew Bartlett moves somewhere he can keep up his activism, and that he keeps blogging. If I had the power, I’d offer him a professorship here right now. (Peter, if you’re reading….)
It looks like the Greens will be blogging and using online engagement to further their aims though, so that’s a silver lining, at least.
Wish number 2:
The Greens become the third party of Australian politics, and use their power to push Australia to the left on issues like climate change, civil liberties, government transparency and the environment. And that they use this time to get their house in order – start running articulate, electable candidates, downplay the hippies, get some intellectuals on board (I suggest they start with John Quiggin). I was very impressed with the candidate for Moreton, Emma Hine – finally a science-oriented Green who can argue Green issues on the science.
Lastly, a list of reasons for joy:
Kyoto, better working conditions, greens possibly with the balance of power, Howard on his arse and possibly a small-l, pro-republican leader of the Libs. Also, revision of mandatory detention, no nuclear power, minimal uranium mining and wind-back of the Indigenous intervention. The end of the overriding social conservatism that’s dominated the Australian people for too damn long!
LPers, your thoughts?