Our friend Des Walsh from Australia sent me a great email, that I just had to share with all of you.
You might not have known but we had a Federal election here on Saturday. The outcome hangs in the balance (although I don’t think there are any hanging chads), with the likelihood of a hung Parliament – current Labor gov 73 seats, current opposition conservative coalition 73, give or take one or two, and the balance of power in the hands of three independents from rural or regional (ie not big city) electorates. One of them at least is from Central Casting as the rural eccentric, cowboy hat and all – Bob Katter. But crazy like a fox. (video)
A single-minded representative. A couple of pundits have said that Bob (member for the electorate of Kennedy) has 3 issues – Kennedy, Kennedy, and Kennedy.
The electorate of Kennedy is one third of the land mass of the State of Queensland and covers some 357,784 square miles.
The three independents have suddenly acquired a whole bunch of powerful friends who wouldn’t have given them the time of day last week.
In the election campaign the gov said they’d spend $43 billion on the new National Broadband Network (fiber all over this big country) and the Opposition said they’d do a $6 billion job and leave it to the private sector to sort out the details – wireless, satellite, yada yada yada. Lots of ignorance and fibs on both sides.
So guess what one of the key issues and thus bargaining chips is for the three blokes from the bush? Broadband!
Should be interesting.
Read more of the story in The Australian.
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Becky McCray says
The New York Times has picked up on this story:
Rural Lawmakers Hold Key in Australian Election
I’m sure they read about it here first. ;)