Tuesday, 14 September 2010

Who really won the "popular vote"?

The "Born-to-Rule" mob in Australian Politics (The Liberal and National Parties) came close to winning this recent election.

Closer than they deserved - for the offered few real policies - just repeated mantras of carping criticism, born out of prejudice and hatred of the Labor Party, of women in power, and of anyone with a Greenish tinge to their political views.

They came closer than any self-respecting democratically inclined voter could feel happy with.

Since the results became clear - that Labor would be able to negotiate an alliance, a co-alition, with the non-conservative Members (and Senators), the "born-to-rule" mob have been claiming (falsely) that they ought be the Government as they got 500,00 more votes than Labor.

Lets look at the facts.

This was buried in side Crikey today - in the "Cock-ups and Corrections" bit.

The Australian's election coverage:

Michael R. James writes: Re. "Mungo: hey innumerates, look at the scoreboard" (yesterday, item 14). Mungo MacCallum, regarding the Coalition losing the election, wrote: "just look at the scoreboard, read about it in the newspapers". The problem is that 70% of the print media is News Ltd and political editor Dennis Shanahan wrote that Labor "failed to win the popular vote, the primary vote or more seats than the Coalition".

Though this result is still not final it was predicted last week by Peter Brent on his Mumble blog at News Ltd:

Primary Votes: AEC DATA 13 September
2010 1:46:46pm
ALP 4,711,406 37.8%
ALP + Greens 6,170,553 49.8%
ALP+Greens+3xInd 6,280,724 50.6%
LP 3,777,317 30.5%
Lib + LNQ + NP 5,370,228 43.3%
Lib+LNQ+NP+2xInd 5,431,944 43.8%

So, whichever way one cuts it, the ruling government alliance represents a majority of voters; 50.1% of 2PP or 50.6% of primary votes, compared to the potential alliance that could have put Abbott into power: 49.92% 2PP or only 43.8% of primary vote.

According to Abbott, Pyne, Brandis and their media proxies, especially Shanahan, this 43.8% of the primary vote would have had legitimacy but the governing alliance's 50.6% would be illegitimate.

Depending on how your count it, the governing alliance has 910,000 more primary votes than the Coalition or 848,000 more votes than the LNP potential (now defunct) alliance with two independents.

With both Tony Crook* and Bob Katter* now on the "unaligned" cross benches, the seat count is Labor and Coalition dead heat on 72 seats each; on votes of no confidence and money bills it is Labor alliance 76 or 77 (incl. Katter*) and Coalition 72; and one unaligned (Crook). (*Michelle Grattan wrote "Despite his support for the Coalition, Mr Katter indicated he would be reluctant to use his vote to bring down the government. 'I most certainly would see a moral responsibility to look at the issue of stability' he said.'' Phil Coorey in The Sydney Morning Herald wrote "Tony Crook, who on Monday pledged to help Mr Abbott form a minority government, withdrew that pledge after the result was known yesterday and will sit on the crossbench, unaligned.")

Clive Palmer and Warren Truss were at it again on ABC's Q&A last night, irresponsibly implying that the government is illegitimate.

LNP Senator George Brandis is a QC and so he should either bring a court challenge or shut up.

"End of Michael R James Comment" in Crikey.

Thank you, Mr James.


Denis Wilson


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