Queensland’s new reality… Indeed!
Courteney Hocking resides in Melbourne but as a comedian and writer she’s always got one eye on our cousins up north….
The defining moment in Saturday night’s Queensland election coverage was watching Antony Green sit on the end of the ABC panel, face twitching with his usual Rain Man-esque excitement, repeating over and over: “They’re gone, they’re gone; they’re all gone as well”. He was like a commentator live at the side of the Titanic, watching the seats slip from Labor’s icy grasp into the deep, dark ocean of the LNP.
It was obvious from the outset that things weren’t going to go well for the ALP. But just how historically bad things went, who (aside from an adrenalised Tony Abbott fresh from the bike convoy of no conscience, pumped up on scare mongering and Gatorade) could have guessed just how bad it would end up? Queenslanders were cross with Anna Bligh for selling off the family heirlooms without asking and her party was fighting an “It’s Time…To Turn Back Time” groundswell from the LNP after almost 20 years in power. Worst of all, Bob Katter had come out all guns blazing with his Australia Party and we all know that the closer you get to the equator, the more madness from old dudes in hats seems to make rational sense.
Now the dust has almost settled on the worst election result for Labor in living memory (well, aside from when we voted Kevin Rudd in but that was a different sort of mistake). As of Tuesday morning, with 25% of the votes still to be counted, the LNP hold 72 seats, while the ALP with a swing against them of over 15%, now hold… six. Six seats. A cursory Google informs me that the only game requiring six players is Resident Evil 6, which ironically happens to be the very one Queensland ALP now has to play. The LNP have been seriously rejuvenated by their new leader Newman (which must always be said with a Seinfeldian fist shake) and without a bicameral system to keep their ambitions in check, will no doubt take to the task of running the state with great vigour and cries of “unprecedented mandate”.
Queensland can now look forward to using the Great Barrier Reef as the Great Restaurant Fish Tank, several months of people like Joe Bloody Hockey drawing breathless comparisons between Queensland and Juliar’s fate, and all the other states getting together to see if it’s legally possible to force Queensland to secede. But really, it’s just a matter of time: elections and huge eye-bleedingly painful losses to new leaders come and go in a relatively predictable cycle, which I’m sure will serve as some comfort to the 45 (45!) ALP members who lost their seats. No doubt it will be a useful stop to anyone contending that this election is proof that Labor has lost it’s way, which couldn’t possibly have happened (mostly because it’s not actually going anywhere in the first place).
The last word of the night must go to a newly elected LNP candidate that I cannot remember the name of because by the time he came on I was drunk, who said, “This election result is exciting because the people who got elected have different views of reality”. Different views of reality, indeed… Stay tuned for the part where it bites.