Have you recovered yet from the election? I think I may be beginning to. It was quite the traumatic day, from turning up to vote bright and early at the local P.S. and having the official who gave me my ballot papers tell me "a one above the line will suffice on that one, thanks", and having a pierced-lipped baggy-arsed teenager try to hand me a Family First how to vote card, to finally stumbling confusedly and miserably into bed just before T. Abbott came out to make his "I don't know whether I've won or lost but I'm still going to be as big a knobbish troglodyte as possible" speech. It was really the shock of watching those numbers painfully inching their way forward up to 70 -- back to 69 -- back to 72 -- the other side is on 74 -- no, it's down to 71 again -- and knowing that of the four or five possible outcomes, almost all would see Abbott governing within days. That was a pretty foul feeling.
We had a largish party here on Sunday for Dorian's birthday. As guests came in they said things like "it could still be worse" and "it still hasn't happened, and it may never happen", which was true then and is true now.
On the other hand, many good things came of the election. Wilson Tuckey had his face rubbed in a pile of cat vomit! That counts as about six good things, surely. I'm happy for the Green candidate who now represents Melbourne, although I still think he looks like he should be a contestant on Big Brother. I think Wyatt Roy, the 20 year old robot elected in Longman, may go on to provide us with a second Barnaby Joyce in the future if he's managed properly by his elders and betters in the LNP.
It's funny how long and complicated the mental adjustment to this strange state of affairs is turning out to be. So many unknowns. Dorian came to collect me from work last night - we go to a dance class on Monday evenings - and he said he was enjoying the election. Enjoying it, though! I'm sort of starting to know what he meant. It's not the same as that pro-democracy optimism some people seem to have about the prospect of a government which is not identical with a party, and which I suspect is making some observers develop wishful notions about the goodness of the three independents. Bob Katter is never going to be any different than what he's always been, I'm afraid. But there is a sense that the reality of what a government is has suddenly leapt back into the equation. We know that the vicious cycle of parties/spin/branding/image was ruining politics, and especially it was ruining good politicians. (I still think Julia Gillard could be a first-rate leader. Maybe we need to demand she shows us the 'real' Real Julia.) So perhaps it's a good thing that there are makers or breakers in the parliament now who have built their political careers on thumbing the nose at party politics. Maybe they'll break the circuit and force everyone else to rethink how they do government.
When I read about Paul Oakeshott's suggestion of a 'unity cabinet' my first thought was awww bless. Just a bit too cute, just a bit too like the idea of one who's still high on adrenaline. It would be good if it was actually a supersonic whistle that only Malcolm Turnbull's ears can hear. I would like to see Malcolm collect his things and relocate them to the other side of the chamber.
Well, I had better go and find out whether Antony Green has decided yet who will be in charge.