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|Subject: The Liberal / National coalition|
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Date Posted: 01:40:11 12/24/04 Fri
In reply to: Dave (UK) 's message, "Isn't the Australian Government a coalition?" on 23:46:17 12/23/04 Thu
I said that our voting system always gives a clear result, and it does, because voters always know that the Liberals and Nationals will work together. It is never a matter of seeing how the numbers fall out then trying to form a coalition: the coalition is always there in advance. Even when the Libs have a majority in their own right, they form governemnt with the Nationals, just out of habit. Nothing could be more stable.
There have been three Prime Ministers from the National Party (or Country Party, as it then was), because the leader of the Nats is always deputy PM, so if the boss dies or quits, the Nat gets a month or so of glory before the Libs sort themselves out and choose a new leader.
In fact, it is not just the Libs and the Nats: there is also the Country Liberal Party, which only exists in the Northern Territory. They are always part of the coalition too.
In fact, given the stat-based nature of the Liberal Party, you could say that they are in fact separate parties for each state, so even if you had a purely "Liberal" government, it would still be a coalition of sorts in practice, because the Liberal Party of Victoria would be working together with the Liberal Party of New South Wales, the Liberal Party of Tasmania, and so on.
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