Green Victory I
The most striking thing about the Greens victory in the seat of Melbourne is not that it is their first lower house seat at a federal election.
More significant is that more than 11% of the vote for the Greens results in less than 1% of the seats. In theory, a party could receive 20% or 30% of the vote and get no seats whatsoever.
It is time that Australia moved to a more democratic proportional representation system where parties are represented in proportion to their level of support among the people.
Green Victory II
Congratulations to Adam Bandt — the second Green to take a seat in the Australian House of Representatives and the first to win at a general election.
There are obvious analogies between his win in 2010 and my own in the Cunningham by-election of 2002, when the retirement of long standing ALP members (Lindsay Tanner and Stephen Martin) came at a time when the electorate was highly disillusioned with the policies and performance of the major parties.
In 2002 the ALP was especially on the nose in the Illawarra over development issues (e.g. Sandon Point), corruption and a general lack of connection with the local community.
I am sure that Adam will bring to the Lower House compassion and intelligent debate on Greens policy and all those issues of concern which the ALP and LNP fail to address.
Greens Federal Member for Cunningham 2002-2004
Stability or change?
The quest for "stability" and a "workable parliamentary majority" now seems to take precedence over the urgent need for reform and change. Looking at what the four Independents and the new Greens MP want has actually more to do with change rather than stability.
Furthermore, we should realise that the fiasco of the two-party tyranny is caused by Australia's electoral system: preferential voting and compulsory voting. For Independents and a Green to achieve this amazing entry to the House of Representatives has been, for a very long time, exceptionally difficult.
Now that it has happened let's start talking about how the two-party tyranny can be dismantled. To have more of the same next time we need to avoid the kind of stability that would reproduce this situation.