Australia finally has a government: Labor with the support of 4 (!) others. It will be interesting but I have come around to John Quiggin’s view that it may actually work well. For every issue where one of the independents has a particular interest there is one where they also have an interest in things that appear to have large support but there was a previous lack of political will. I think here of same-sex marriage and climate change policy in particular. Australia was not going to move forward on these issues with a major party majority government but will now.
The Coalition lost because of broadband. Specifically, they had a policy of not doing anything on broadband when it turned out that regional Australia really wanted something done. This is ironic because the Coalition’s objection to broadband was the expenditure of public funds. Yet this was only done as a superior alternative to doing nothing and doing something half-baked as Labor had proposed at the 2007 election. For years, I had advocated using market design to get a National Broadband Network in a cost effective and flexible manner. But rather than think hard about the economics the Coalition abdicated consideration of the issue. They deserved to lose precisely because they refused to govern. Hopefully, they will take a long hard look at their appeal to mediocrity and think about whether that it is really working for them.