Australian Election 2007

I live the Federal electorate of Fraser. Bob McMullan is virtually guaranteed to retain this seat. I don’t have a problem with McMullan, and think he’s a reasonable performer. Although the ACT is under represented. Fraser had 116,527 people on the roll in 2004, and Solomon in the Northern Territory had only 53,873 people. You could split the two ACT seats into 3 and still have more people per seat than the Northern Territory. The ACT votes Labor and the current government is Liberal; coincidence?

What’s interesting is the Senate in the ACT. The Senate currently has a single seat majority in the government’s favour. Newly elected state Senators take their seats the following July, but Territory Senators take their seats immediately. This means the ACT and NT are in the unique position of being able to take back control of the Senate immediately. Both territories typically vote for one Liberal and one Labor Senator. In the Northern Territory, both Senators have higher margins, the Liberal Senator in particular. In the ACT, the Liberal Senator was only elected with just over the required 33% before going to preferences. It would take very little to go to preferences which would make it significantly more likely that the Liberal Senator will lose his seat.

ACT residents should seriously consider this when casting their vote. The Senate with a government majority has been neutered of its oversight role. No party should be allowed to have a Senate majority again.

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