What the media doesn’t want to talk about in Western Australia
17 March, 2017
Not surprisingly the generally left-leaning media aren’t yet discussing this issue. They are too busy basking in Labor’s electoral win in WA to realize it may count for nothing if Marc McGowan cannot get his policies and budget passed by parliament.
Labor will struggle to pass major legislation in WA despite their impressive majority of MP’s that gives them complete control in the Lower House. In the Upper House, the Legislative Council, the numbers look problematic for Labor.
Labor have to provide a Speaker, so that will reduce their number of votes by one, unless they can convince a minor party to act as speaker — and I can’t see that happening.
Here is the ABC’s latest election predictor. Based on their projections I see the Upper House, which must sign off on all legislation, lining up on major policy issues as follows:
- Labor (16 – 1) =15 plus greens 2 for a total of 17 pretty certain votes.
- Liberals 10, plus Nationals 4, plus One Nation 2, Plus Liberal Democrats 1, for 17 reasonably certain votes.
Note the Lib Dems are a party which “espouses smaller government, and supports policies that are based on classical liberal and right libertarian principles”. So unless they want to go back on their basic policies, they will side with the Conservatives.
One Nation will be all over the place, and there is no love lost between them and the Liberals — responsible for Hanson doing jail time — or Nationals, whose seats they have taken in Queensland. But on big issues, they are still going to sit on the side of smaller Government, fewer regulatory controls, and looking after farmers and regional Australia.
The party which ends up with the natural ‘balance of power’ seems likely to be the Fishers, Shooters and Farmers, who on most things are probably more likely to side with the Conservatives rather than Labor and The Greens. They hate The Greens! But they do have a good smattering of traditional Labor supporters in their ranks who like to shoot, fish and go out in their 4WD’s, which provides a counter balance to their right wing elements. “The party’s current motto is “Reclaim Freedom”. It actively supports recreational fishers, four-wheel drivers and other outdoor users including hunters, as well as rural activities of farming, mining & forestry. The Party opposes what it calls “extreme Green policies” and the “left leaning social reconstructive agenda” of the Greens.”
Mark McGowan is going to have trouble getting his agenda through parliament and could be made to look like a lame duck Premier. The ‘balance of power’ will naturally reside with the Shooters, Fishers, and Farmers party, but depending on the specific policy issues, it will be taken or shared by One Nation and the Liberal Democrats.
Labor will have to do some smooth talking with those four minor and micro parties.
One thing we have learned is that when a Government relies on doing deals with the cross-bench, it is impossible for them to implement spending or taxation measures. Ergo, the budget blowout in WA will continue.
Expect a warning from the rating’s agencies pretty soon!
Note: It seems the ABC’s prediction on Election night that the Fluoride Free WA party would win an upper house seat was erroneous. Other Micro parties such as the Julie Matheson for WA, Daylight Saving, Flux the System and the Micro Business party all easily out-polled the Fluoride Free WA party. The ABC’s election predictor needs some work.