Australia had a federal election on Saturday. It was always going to be a close call, but it's so very, very close that we still don't know who won.
No, actually we know that nobody did. And so whichever major party manages to cobble enough of the independents to support them in the lower house, the opposition will keep bleating for the next three years (if the government lasts that long) about how they have no mandate for anything and Australians didn't really vote for them anyway, entirely missing the point that by the same logic they would have no right to govern, either. There will also always be a conscience voter here or there voting with the 'wrong' side, or otherwise showing their spite, particularly if a indie gets to be a minister.
The count is still going on, but for the moment three rural/regional independent members are being courted left, right and centre. Or, given how the campaigns had been going, right and slightly-more-right. Being by and large conservative types they might lean towards the Liberal/National coalition, but they do also recognise that they'd be buddying up with some world-class nutsos, such as Barnaby Joyce. At least Steve Fielding (who argued providing paid parental leave would just encourage women to have late-term abortions to claim payments...) is no more. They do all seem to prefer Labor's National Broadband Network plan, and the Libs are unlikely to come up with a credible alternative, what with them seeming to think the way people use the internet now is the peak of what it ever will be and the internet is all about the emails, right? Or youngsters downloading porn. I'd like to see Tony Abbott try to implement a working eHealth program without decent national broadband coverage...
But the interesting thing is this: whoever wins will have to somehow consolidate the nastier side of campaign promises, such as "stopping the boats" and other right-wing pandering, with the Greenslide due next year, when an unprecedented nine Greens senators hold the balance of power. I can hardly wait to see how fast education and health funding is cut or how quickly we get a new "Pacific solution" if the Liberals win. They'll only have a few silly months to get some higgledy-piggledy vision of the nation implemented before they have to start pretending the gays, foreigners, Indigenous population and women of childbearing age aren't just a big fat nuisance.
Something good did come out of Saturday, though: Sebastian started dipping his bread in olive oil after watching us nibbling away for a while. Next milestone: dukkah!