Attila the Pun
Monday, October 18, 2004
My two cents
I am sure this point has been raised by those more astute than I, but I would like to make a suggestion as to why we are looking at Howard potentially controlling both Houses.
There wasn't anybody else to vote for.
Those who tend to vote Conservative, are as the name suggests, conservative. Coupled with an inherent mistrust of government, and you have a group which is highly unlikely to give complete legislative control to a party, even a party which they are sympathetic to.
Howard won the lower house by popular mandate, and the upper house by default. Picture this, you are an undecided voter, (if such a thing truly exists), who is sympathetic to Howard, doesnt trust Latham, finds the Greens too feral, isnt a Christian, and doesnt align with the other fringe parties.
You believe Howard should be returned as PM, but would like some sort of check put on the Libs having complete power.
Who do you vote for in the Senate? Labor, no, as you found Latham too volatile. Greens? No, you realise that they are no longer a single issue party (if they ever were) and don't agree with their social policies. Family First? You aren't big on fundamentalist christianity, and believe that what people get up to the in privacy of their own homes is their own business. Democrats?
Sorry, lost it for a second there. The Dems used to be the recipient of these kind of people's votes. Touchy-feely enough to take the rougher edges off the government, but not so ideologically extreme that they will automatically block anything the government proposes, purely because the government is the Coalition.
Of course, the Democrats have now lurched to the left of their founding place, and have no natural constituency. Who would vote for them? Wet Liberals? No, the Dems are too lefty. Hard core lefties? nope, they arent left enough. Workers? What do the Dems offer to them, or anybody?
There was no party available which people who were generally centre to centre right could vote for in the Senate. They had to vote for the Liberals, and we are seeing the results.
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