Here is mail from Eve Plant, our branch secretary, that quotes the results to now.
"What a result! 9 senators & 1 in HoR, -- 50% increase from 8+% to average 12% nationwide! In Fairfax, Narelle achieved 18%. We are knocking on the door. We all thank her for her wonderful effort. Wow!
All that effort paid off & we are on first name terms with our very own senator. How good is that! Keep smiling. We are on a roll."
For the information of non Aussies, we have preferential voting. That simply means we can have a first choice of candidate/party and if that candidate does not poll over 50% primary vote, in our case Narelle, we can indicate our second or third choice and so on and control where our votes should be applied. Because of that system, new parties can be created and new dialogue initiated on issues not important to major parties.
Examples of such issues are climate change, not politically attractive to major parties because of their links to high polluting industries and their down line industries, voluntary euthanasia and gay marriage and many more. Both major parties have always been influenced by religious groups despite Australia's official guarantee of separation of church and state and therefore loath to remove politics from other people's bedrooms.
However, it does make counting votes a time consuming business. So in a close poll, a final result can be weeks away. As I write, it appears our Labor Party will form a minority government with support from at least half the four independent members. However, it is the Senate vote that is exciting for the Greens. That allows us to push for more aggressive carbon reduction timetable and have the numbers to approve such programs once it has passed through the lower house.
I disagree with the 'on a roll' statement. Green support was taken mainly from Labor, so if and when Labor gets its climate change act together, that support may decrease.
But, having said that, Labor will have problems standing up to special interest groups and may not be able to satisfy public demands for more action.
Well, that's that for now. Thank goodness we can get back to more importantly stuff like poetry and fun! :-)