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Tuesday, January 17, 2006



Multi-Party Government Preferred Option if Balance-of-Power Parliament Returned

The Tasmanian Greens today said they are prepared to work co-operatively with either the Labor or Liberal party and that their preference is for a coalition arrangement to ensure stability, if the next election delivers a balance of power Parliament in which no single party has the majority of seats.

Greens Opposition Leader Peg Putt MHA outlined that in a democracy politicians are elected to implement the will of the people, and that if the people deliver a balance of power situation the politicians are duty bound to find a way to make that work, which means being prepared to set aside political point-scoring in favour of co-operation, and that refusing to do so is the political equivalent of declaring that the voters have it wrong and that that political party will take its bat and ball and go home.

Ms Putt believes that the optimum arrangement would see the Greens with ministerial posts and their Leader as Deputy Premier, as has been the norm with coalition arrangements in Australian politics such as the Liberal-National coalition in Canberra, but pointed out that former Liberal Minister Nick Evers has been espousing a Labor-Liberal coalition.[1]

“The Greens have been looking at all the possibilities in the high likelihood of a balance of power Parliament being voted in at the upcoming Tasmanian election, and we make an undertaking to the people that we will work co-operatively with other political parties to deliver good government to Tasmania,” Ms Putt said.

We will not have a temper tantrum and throw the peoples’ vote back in their faces by pledging to take our bat and ball and go home, which is what self-serving pronouncements about ‘governing in majority or not at all’ amount to.”

“Political maturity is required and this should not be beyond Tasmania’s politicians, after all multi-party government is the norm in Europe and can redress the arrogance and secrecy of a single party holding absolute power.”

“The Greens are in politics to implement our policies and move Tasmania forward, and we hope to increase our representation to six Members of Parliament and to be in a position to negotiate a part in government.”

“We are looking for Ministerial positions and understand that in this situation we would not get everything our own way and would need to compromise as would our coalition partner.”

“The bottom line is that Tasmanians are tired of political point-scoring and want politicians to be prepared to work together, and we Greens are saying that if a balance of power Parliament is delivered then we will talk to the other parties about just that, working together to deliver the will of the people.”

“The other possible arrangement would be a Labor-Liberal coalition due to their commonality of policies, with the Greens becoming the major opposition party,” Ms Putt said.

European Examples of Balance of Power Parliaments

As at May 2005 the following European Parliaments had multi-party governments, over half of which have more than two parties forming governments – consisting of alliances, coalitions & minority governments - in multi-party Parliaments:
Austria: 2 Parties
Belgium: 5 Parties
Bosnia & Herzegovina: 5 Parties
Croatia: 3 Parties
Czech Republic: 3 Parties
Denmark: 2 Parties
Finland: 3 Parties
Germany: 2 Parties
Hungary: 2 Parties
Iceland: 2 Parties
Ireland: 2 Parties
Latvia: 5 Parties
Lithuania: 4 Parties
Macedonia: 3 Parties
Montenegro: 2 Parties
Netherlands: 3 Parties
Norway: 3 Parties
Poland: 2 Parties
Romania: 4 Parties
San Marino: 2 Parties
Scotland: 2 Parties
Serbia: 4 Parties
Slovakia: 4 Parties
Slovenia; 4 Parties
Switzerland: 4 Parties
Ukraine: 3 Parties

And closer to home, New Zealand’s last election returned a balance of power situation.

[1] Evers, Nick. “2006 hopes and aspirations,” http://www.tasmaniantimes.com/ January 2006.


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