Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tasmania gets a government

last month, Tasmania went to the polls in state elections. The result, thanks to STV, was a hung Parliament, with the Greens holding the balance of power between Labour and the Liberals. Initially, it seemed like Labour would surrender government to the Liberals, who gained a higher proportion of first-preference votes. But with a statutory requirement that a government be in place a week after the results are finalised, and an announcement by the Greens that they will support Labour on confidence and supply, a Labour Cabinet has been sworn in and will test its support on the floor of the House. I guess DPF got it wrong then.

Interestingly, the Cabinet so far is the minimum three members (Prime Minister, Treasurer and Attorney-General) - the rest won't be selected until next week. And with such a small legislature, there's a real chance that the Greens will end up around the Cabinet table. If that happens, it will be a first for Australia, and a valuable demonstration of how proportional representation and coalition government works. And hopefully other Australian states will follow Tasmania's lead and implement both.