As most of my Australia-based readers know, Western Australia had its state election last Saturday. After about two hours since the closing of the polls, initial results were already available with neither of the major parties having a hold of the government. It was a ‘hung parliament’ thus, the situation made a kingmaker of National Party Leader Brendon Grylls. There were about seven seats yet to be confirmed as of this writing and regardless of the results, the decision of the Nationals will make or break either of the Party (Liberals and Labor; Labor is the current administration).
As an international student/temporary resident, I found so many interesting contrasts in the political exercise here and back home in the Philippines. Campaigns are mostly done via the Internet, TV, radio and post boxes. Most of the debates revolve on issues and not on personalities (well, not much). It was very peaceful, not a drop of blood was shed but just ‘diplomatic mudslinging’ but a far cry from how politics is played back home. And then the most surprising of all for me is the sincerity of most of the politicians here. Back home, when one independent or party aligned politician is being courted by another, they are promised hefty amount of money or a juicy position in the government, in short, it is all personal benefit. However, here in WA, probably in the whole of Australia, the common reply of most of the indepent politicians being courted by both parties were ‘I will align with the party who offers the best interest for my constituents.’ You would never/seldom hear that from a politician back home, but then I hope that time comes.