On April 26, 2010 not long after the Tasmanian election of a hung parliament and a novel “Labor Green Protocol government” I submitted the following two paragraphs to The Advocate (The local paper)
“There is a great, and as yet un-noticed irony in the minority Government now sworn it. It will be just as stable as it is unpopular. If either party show a strengthening of electoral support then the will to compromise will rapidly wane. Bartlett may once again think McKim is “a wolf in sheeps clothing” and McKim that Bartlett is a “corrupt” “liar”.
However if the Tasmanian electorate tire of this Labor Green Protocol government then the government member’s collective commitment to its continuance will be absolute. Tasmania will have a government only as stable as our desire to not have it.”
In the closing months of this government (Tasmania has fixed 4 year terms) there have been “private members bills” for euthanasia, and also abortion reform, and same sex marriage. All three have been very easy to criticise (and widely criticised) as poorly drafted leglislation, with little consultation, little demonstrated need, and poor checks and balances. All, I would also suggest, are indicative of a government that believes it will not get another chance at governing during the term of the current senior figures’ political careers.
It should perhaps come as no surprise that the polling for both the ALP and The Greens in Tasmania has been consistently woeful since their election, and coming up towards the March 2014 election both parties look like losing around 40% of their parliamentary representation.
The Labor/Green government has been rock solid stable, and consistently less popular than the election day result.
Deputy Premier, Bryan Green says “From our perspective the Government is actually performing very well”. I would repeat the Labor/Green government has proven exactly as stable as the electorate’s desire not to continue with it.