Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor And Greens Win Down Under

The Labor-Green coalition got the support of the two true independents, so they win! Climate change denialist / homophobe Tony Abbott has been shut out of power for the time being. Julia Gillard wins a fragile 76-74 majority and remains prime minister.

The WSJ story has a major factor in the independents' decision being Labor's support for a AUS$43 billion national high-speed internet network. Given that the Australian population is 21 million people, we're talking about nearly $2000 per person, which is pretty serious money. One of my Australian colleagues down the hall pointed out that the independents came from rural districts with bad internet access, so this was a big deal for them.

He also said that this was the best possible outcome on internet censorship grounds. Labor wanted some internet censorship measures that the Liberal Party didn't want (apparently it's an issue of the Liberal Party being in the pocket of ISPs, who are on the right side of this for purely self-interested reasons). Apparently it's less likely that these censorship measures will go through now with the current state of coalition politics.

On another note, I take Australia to have retained the best-looking head of state in the world. Obviously I'm not the best evaluator of male politician attractiveness, so female readers are invited to offer their thoughts on that score.
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