with the election?" someone asked me yesterday.
I had ventured out cautiously. The weather was wild and windy - although not quite as bad as this morning's weather is proving to be so far.
The question was almost enough for me to want to turn tail and pound the pedals back to the house. My views on the topic would not be the sort of thing my questioner would want to hear. He wouldn't agree.
The current Prime Minister - yes Upover, as of yesterday we have a government again - always wanted the top job. He was removed by the previous Prime Minister in Opposition. The previous Prime Minister did the right thing when he tapped him on the shoulder. It got them into power with a large majority. It should have stayed that way for at least two terms. It hasn't. The present Prime Minister is to blame.
The present Prime Minister is probably on the wrong side of politics. He simply isn't conservative enough. He's never been conservative enough. His entry into politics was opportunistic rather than idealistic or committed. Some of his views have encouraged the rise of the far right - simply because some people with views to the right of centre believe they are not being represented.
The present Prime Minister supports a number of policies which are not supported by his party - emissions trading, same sex marriage, more flexible border protection and refugee policies, and a republic are among them. This is not to say that his side of politics is vehemently opposed to these things. They are not - but they do see other ways of going about achieving similar results or that these are not issues of importance compared with the major issues of the economy, health, education and employment.
If we did have a plebiscite on the issue of same sex marriage (now less likely than before) and people voted against allowing it would that be an end to the matter? No, of course not. Those supporting it would simply continue to agitate in the way the Republican movement continues to agitate for something a majority of people have little or no interest in. If we opened our borders to all comers would that satisfy the refugee advocates? Of course not. They would still find ways to protest our treatment of those who came in.
One of the things that went wrong with the election is that some people need to protest. Some people get an adrenalin fix out of protesting. There are a few who manage to get media attention, others who avidly follow what they have to say and agree without thinking. "So and so says so it must be true...."
So we now have a rather odd collection of minor parties and "independents" who will, despite only capturing a minority of the vote, have an excessive amount of power. The new government has the slimmest of majorities - and really does need to work with the "independents". They will have power in excess of the number of votes they received because the new government won't want to upset them - they might need those votes at some time.
I wonder if those who believe their protest vote was a good thing realise what the consequences are likely to be?