Australia's voting system are likely to lead to a very peculiar mix in the Senate of our Federal Parliament.
Let me explain first that our founding fathers intended the Senate to be quite a different place from the one it has become. The Senate was supposed to represent the interests of the states. If you are a Senator you are a Senator for the state in which you have been elected. You are not supposed to be a Senator for a particular political party.
Of course what has happened is that the Senate has become party based and not state based.
The last government was working with a finely balanced Senate. It could get most legislation through with the support of a minor party, the Greens. What this meant in fact was that a minor party actually wielded a great deal of power, power which was not proportionate to the number of votes they received. Naturally they do not see it this way.
The Greens also had one member in the House of Representatives and he has, against the odds, managed to retain his seat. Overall however the Greens have had a drop in their primary vote. Despite this they are claiming that their success in getting one member elected to the lower house is a mandate for all sorts of things. They will retain their position in the Senate as well, although at least some of their positions will be due to compulsory preference flows and a lack of understanding by voters of how the system works. They will almost certainly get a Senator in this state although at least three parties will have had more first preference votes.
Again the Greens say that this gives them the right to block legislation they do not like.
Add to the likely mix of Senators one from a "Motoring Enthusiasts" party and a "Sports" party and perhaps two from the new party run by one of the country's few billionaires and there is a problem. It would be a problem for whichever party managed to win government. It means that minorities have control and they believe they have the right to dictate how the country is run.
Do they? My answer is no. It is simply wrong that any group which is supported by a small minority should have that amount of power.
The system needs to change and this time there may be calls for change.
We need a system that can respect the past but not veto the future.