As I listened to the two independents I felt a sense of relief. Partly, this was due to the fact that a decision had been made. Partly, too, to the decision itself.
When I write professionally on this blog, I try to be objective. However, those who read the things that I write on will know that I feel that current structures mean that some of the things I think to be important have just been ignored. it's nice to have them forced back onto the national agenda.
But why a sense of relief at the support for Labor? Well, as Mr Oakeshott said, this is a bit of a judgement call. In my case, I have been very critical of the Rudd/Gillard approach to public policy. However, at the end of the day, the things that swung me in a personal sense were:
- Boat people. I became increasingly concerned with what I saw as the Howard Government's increasing inhumanity and breach of process in its treatment of refugees. I saw Mr Abbott going down the same path.
- Broadband. There may well be significant problems in the NBN proposal. However, I became concerned that the opposition's proposals were going to disadvantage the areas that I was especially interested in.
- Climate change. While I have mixed views on the climate change debate, I think that action does need to be taken. I thought that Labor was most likely to do this.
- New ideas. I didn't think that the opposition had had sufficient time to develop really new thoughts.
Note that I wasn't influenced by policies towards regional Australia. Neither Labor or the coalition started with any really new ideas here. We haven't seen the offers from both sides, but I expect that they are in fact much of a muchness. The real debate is still to come here.
Now that a decision seems to have been made, I can go back to analysing policy as it emerges.