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Tasmanian election: what now? « Previous | |Next »
April 1, 2010

So it is over ---and, as expected, the Hare-Clark system has produced 10 Labor, 10 Liberal and 5 Greens. Andrew Wilkie almost won in the 5-seat electorate of Dennison. What was unexpected was The Greens winning a seat in Braddon on the West Coast.

Where now for the Greens? Will Premier Bartlett reject negotiating a power-sharing deal with the Greens and advise Governor Underwood to hand the reins of Government to Will Hodgman's Liberals in line with his pre-election pledge to resign his commission if the Liberals won more seats or a higher proportion of the state-wide primary vote. Will this be endorsed by the Labor caucus? Labor's strategy appears to be that it is better to retreat to opposition to rebuild than further antagonise the electorate by clinging to a minority government likely to end in acrimony with the Greens.

The political reality is that both the Liberal and Labor parties are both pro-development/pro business and part of the corporate state. However, there will not be a LIB/LAB government. My judgement is that the Liberal Party will form minority government --but with whom? Labor or the Greens?

Labor lets go of government. Liberals are to form a minority government. Or so it seems. However, both major parties continue to refuse to negotiate with the Greens. Does it make far more sense for the Liberals and Labor to negotiate, than for either to negotiate with the Greens?

Will Tasmania's Governor, Peter Underwood accept Bartlett's decision to give up power? Will the Governor alternatively commission a minority Hodgeman Liberal government? Or will the Governor commission the Labor Party and let Parliament decide the rest by forcing the issue to the floor of the parliament with a vote of confidence in Bartlett Labor? Will the Governor meet the Greens or only deal with Liberal or Labor? What kind of deal will the Liberals try to negotiate with the Greens to form a minority government?

One possibility being canvassed is for the Liberals to be forced to seize power from Labor on the floor of the parliament with support in some form from the Greens. Will the Greens go along with this to ensure stable government in Tasmania? Whatever the mechanism used by Governor Underwood to resolve the stalemate Bartlett or Hodgeman need to accept political reality and accommodate the Greens in some way.

That is what the Tasmanian electorate voted for, given that the two party Lib/Lab style of government has failed to deliver good governance to Tasmania for many years.

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 12:03 PM | | Comments (12)


Maybe neither major party will want to govern in such awkward circumstances. Is there any chance at all of a Green minority government, depending on negotiations with both parties to get legislation passed?

that option has never surfaced. Nick McKim, the Greens leader, has said publicly on Q+ A that he reckons it will be the Liberals who form a minority government that is supported by Labor with the Greens being excluded. The Greens become the de facto opposition in that scenario.

The political reality is that Labor has had been “kicked in the pants”--which Bartlett acknowledges.

Bartlett having handed things over must now take some responsibility for sustaining a Liberal government by allowing the budget through not putting up motions of no confidence.

some commentary suggests that it is all up to the Greens how this goes - but that does not seem to be right to me.

the dynamics of this situation seem quite different to that which obtained previously.

I noted a while back that the ALP and Libs were natual coalition partners a while back if they want to deliver the goods to their joint sponsors, and even without an official marriage, voting patterns will demonstrate the de facto relationship... but will it get the label "civil union"?

the combined Greens-Labor primary vote is close to 60 per cent. Tasmania is centre left.

good idea Nan!

I suggest your Greens/Labor coalition be called The Redneck Party. They may even get more votes....down thare.

The Tasmanian politicians have been placed in a position by the electorate where they need to learn to cooperate to build a better Tasmania.

That is quite different to the confrontational approach to politics.

So far McKim from the Greens has refused to provide a guarantee of confidence for either party unless it is part of a negotiated power-sharing deal: a condition neither major party leader has been willing to meet.

If Labor is commissioned to govern, it is likely to face an immediate no-confidence motion from the Liberals. Bartlett has said that Labor would not move or support a no-confidence motion against a minority Liberal government except in the case of maladministration.

So it looks like a de facto Lib Lab

The Greens’ preferred form of stability is a power-sharing deal with either the minority Labor or Liberals. Neither Liberal or Labor are willing to commit to such a power sharing deal. Governor Underwood is talking to Liberal and Labor but not the Greens.

In its absence, the Greens have decided to back the incumbent Labor government over the alternate Liberal opposition. They said that they would guarantee they would not move or support any Liberal no-confidence motion in a new Labor government in parliament.

They have judged that the incumbent Labor government offers a greater chance of stable government for the next four years than the Liberals.

In a minority government the third party are always potential king-makers. I find it amazing that neither of the two major parties has bothered to talk to the Greens.

Do they think that the Greens don't belong to Parliament, or that they will somehow disappear? I'm stunned by their arrogance.

Are the major parties inching to forming a Labor and Liberal coalition?

Governor Underwood's decision not to automatically commission Will Hodgman as premier -- despite the advice of Labor leader David Bartlett---keeps the options open and the situation fluid.

How can a minority Liberal government provide stability without negotiating to share power with the Greens? By cutting a deal with Labor is the only option.

The Liberals are sticking to their guns. No deals with the blackmailing Greens. Maybe the Liberals are talking to Labor and not letting on?