THE STATE OF THE COMMONWEALTH
I didn't believe predictions of a hung parliament. We haven't had one for at least approximately 60 years - and the number of electorates has grown a bit since then. I was wrong. This election has been full of surprises and contradictions and, it is said, the results may not be finally settled for as long as a fortnight hence.
It is said that we get the government we deserve - and I think this election proves the wisdom of that saying. One section of the population is going the way it always has, irrespective. At the other end, people are trying to embark on a a different path and, as well as re-ordering their personal lifestyles, are re-ordering their political lives as well. In between are the....well, in-betweens. They are progressive but hesitate to depart from their old lifestyles and allegiances.
IMHO, this is what has been reflected on the first count of the Australian Federal elections.
My view is that we are on the cusp of change.
The world order is changing - financially, economically, socially and with respect to empire.
Australia is well and truly a multicultural society. While a significant proportion of citizens is clinging to issues such as justice and fairness in the workplace, the social change in progress or about to come to us may be saying something different to us. There is economic and financial change abroad across the globe. This, undoubtedly, will be closely followed by social change. Such social change as is demanded by portions of the electorate i.e. gay marriage will, increasingly, become significant issues.
The outcome of the election will be determined by many recounts of ballot papers and by negotiations with independents and minority parties. We have to hope and pray that, when the final result is clear, the wishes of the majority of people are wise and are given expression. We have to hope and pray that our needs (even if they are minority needs) are understood and recognized.
If Australians want a better and different result from that which has been expressed to-day, then they will need to have a big think.....a big think about what they really want, what they really want their governments to do, and a big think about how to engage meaningfully with government to achieve what the community actually demands and requires.
Perhaps, a week or so before clarity is achieved in relation to who is who in the zoo may be used for recollection of what it means to have and be members of a democratic society.
Australians are, it seems, ever-ready to do obeisance to those from further shores to whom they attribute superior knowledge. The results of this election require that we think about our situation; think about the sort of representation we are receiving; and how we can convince politicians and bureaucrats to attend to the wishes of a wider public.
This could not only be a time for change - but a time for maturity, a time when we grow in wisdom to go forward to the next, best thing.