Kerry Nettle's defeat in the New South Wales senate race is one of the disappointments of this federal election. She was squeezed out by the major parties who between them seem certain to claim all six NSW senate seats. It represents remarkable good luck for Ursula Stephens, who was booted down to number three on the Labor ticket. Her return represents a nett gain of one NSW senator for the ALP at the Greens' expense.
Not easy to interpret senate figures so early in the piece, but a couple of observations so far:
The Democrats are history. They have performed dismally in Queensland (0.09 quotas on first preference at the moment). They're on 0.11 quotas in Victoria which makes it damn hard for Lyn Allison. In New South Wales, they've been outpolled by the DLP, which has been spent force in Australian politics from the time Vince Gair was despatched to Dublin.
Three more items today's collection of Federal Election Youtubes.
The Democrats may well be on the brink of oblivion at this election. Of their four remaining senators, two (Lyn Allison and Andrew Bartlett) are standing for re-election, while the other two (Natasha Stott-Despoja and Andrew Murray) are retiring. It would be a huge shame if Senator Bartlett is lost to federal politics. Meanwhile, the current leader of the party, Lyn Allison, is getting on with the job of issuing policies and making videos, even if no one is paying attention. Here she is campaigning for better support for carers.
Family First's Senator Steve Fielding is not up for re-election this time, but having fluked his way into the senate in 2004 on preferences, he is now trying to get more of his stablemates up. In this video, showing the temerity to seek a second senator in Victoria, he attempts to take on both the Nationals and the Greens on home turf.
And finally, John Howard shows, on Monday night's A Current Affair, how he keeps interest rates so low - he gets them wrong!
If the 1994 mid-term election represented the start of the right-wing chill in the US, we can only hope that the 2006 election represents its end. The Democrats have taken control of the House of Reps. Maybe, just maybe, they may yet grab control of the Senate.
Bush 43's response at a Wednesday afternoon presser will be interesting. Is Rumsfeld's sword ready to be fallen upon?
Special mention to the squirrel in Oklahoma that ate through some cables and blacked out polling booths for a couple of hours. Honourable mention also to those thousands of fine, upstanding, computer-illiterate volunteers who muddled through manning the booths in the World's Greatest Democracy.