Tuesday, September 07, 2010

Gillard pulls it off in Australia

There you go, after two plus weeks of negotiations with the independent members of parliament, Gillard's Labor party is now in a minority government position, having obtained 76 seats to the Coalition's 74. She was able to bring 4 of the 5 independents over to the Labor side. Not bad. She's gotten better over the past weeks, from a shaky election night speech to her impressive last few appearances, the confidence and the fighting spirit have re-emerged. Needless to say, I like her and think she's fascinating to watch. Now we'll be able to do that for quite a while, or, at least as long as this minority government situation holds up. If the last few weeks are an indication, she's proving to be pretty good at the negotiation thing so it just might hold up for a stretch. The message of seeking common ground, in recognition of her precarious minority governing situation is wise.

And once again, it's just plain old welcome relief to see a leading western parliamentary democracy work out its governing situation in a calm and decent manner, just as Britain did this summer. These nations don't mirror our own distinct features and challenges but the conduct of the parties, in particular, has been instructive.