Whether the results of this election turn out to be an absolute shemozzle or a productive parliament will be entirely in the hands of those elected. On past performance it will be a shemozzle, because politicians will default to form on party lines and see every one other than members of their own party as a competitor rather than a partner in the formation of good policy.
The policies to emerge from this parliament will need to stretch beyond partisanship to embrace the views of others and hopefully will be enacted for the best interests of the country. On all the major issues it should be the aim of parliament to achieve bipartisanship. Parliament is not the place for egos to play out at the expense of Australia’s best interest.
This long election campaign has seen little presented in terms of policy from the Coalition and as a result the campaign has quickly degenerated into which party can instil the most fear into the prospect of the other. ‘Growth and jobs’ has been a most inadequate platform when no clarity has accompanied the slogan as to how these jobs are to be created. I became very suspicious of the slogan from the time that the May budget was brought down when no connection was made between ‘innovation and jobs’ and the clean energy sector. Clearly this is one of the key areas in which substantial new jobs are going to emerge, not least in regional Australia. If ideology prevents the mention of the most obvious connection being made, then the mantra itself is not believable.
When a campaign is based on fear then those who use this tool should not be surprised when Australians decide to vote for a third party. The election of Pauline Hanson, Derryn Hinch et al is entirely the fault of the major parties themselves. Hopefully a lesson can be learned from this. Use fear to polarise and you will find people will make a different choice altogether.
When the dust settles and it is clear who has the capacity to form government with a majority or without, let us see cooperation as one of parliament’s chief features. Let us see an end to the question time spectacle when high office in the land presents as a game of bad behaviour of the worst variety in a children’s playground.