Are you sick to death of seeing, hearing and reading that Labor lost because of disunity? Watching the TV interviews on the election night had me switching from one t’other (with a bit of footy in between!) trying to find any substantive discussion of policy differences.
As I have suggested below, provided Abbott holds his side together Labor is stuck in a union rut which is likely to keep it there for some years. If unionist Shorten is elected as Labor’s new leader that could only extend its time adrift.
From the perspective of making government accountable that would not be desirable. But if (as appears very likely) Labor and the Greens will not have a Senate majority, it should in due course allow some economic reforms that would not otherwise have been possible politically.
In that regard the very welcome likely election of former Secretary/Board member of the HR Nicholls Society, Bob Day, will help. But one or two of the other 7 independents elected sound “sensible chaps” who could be persuaded to accept much needed reform in workplace relations that reduce union power and other needed reforms such on environmental regulation. Notice in particular that one report suggests that an “alliance” of some independents was directed at ensuring that preferences went to them and not to Labor or the Greens. In short, it may be that far from this Senate result causing problems for Abbott (an ABC line), it may help him.
The same applies to abolishing the carbon tax, which Palmer’s Senate reps would likely support as well as some of the others. Not that this would be the major change required in terms of responding to the absurd dangerous warming thesis. I will be critiquing this in a presentation at the Australian Club next Thursday.
Des Moore is a member of the HR Nicholls Society Board of Management