Messages from Queensland

In the past few weeks I have not touched at all on the Queensland state election, deferring instead in authority (and proximity!) to folks like Mark Bahnisch and Possum over at Crikey. Since the election result, however, I have found myself wondering a little bit about what it all might mean. On the one hand, at least from where I am sitting well south of the border (with NSW let alone Queensland), Lawrence Springborg seemed a more credible Opposition Leader than Ted Bailileu and certainly a candidate more likely to lead his party to victory than Peter Debnam, the last failed Opposition Leader in New South Wales. Anna Bligh’s government did seem a little vulnerable, and Bligh did not at all times seem comfortable and in control as Premier since Peter Beattie’s resignation.

In any case, here I think are the key outcomes worth pondering:

  • Anna Bligh’s victory represents a victory also for Peter Beattie and the matter in which he handled his transition out of state politics. In transitioning to Bligh, I do believe that Beattie has proven himself to have done a better job at managing the transition than Bob Carr in New South Wales.┬áPersonally, I thought Beattie still had some juice in the tank when he resigned. One wonders whether he will now turn his eye to federal politics now that his exit from Queensland politics has been vindicated by the voters?
  • Phillip Coorey suggests a bit cheekily for SMH that even Nathan Rees should hold out some hope for victory in 2011 after Anna Bligh’s result. Unfortunately it’s only a throwaway line. Queensland and New South Wales are not necessarily on the similar trajectories they might seem to be after the departures of Messrs Beattie and Carr. Rees is currently not commanding the authority he needs to as leader in order to be a real chance at the next poll.
  • Was there a “Rudd effect” at play? How many votes is Kevin09 worth at a state level?
  • Is the shambling hybrid Liberal National Party, having lost a supposedly unlosable election, ready to fall back apart into its rotting constituent pieces once again?
  • Pauline Hanson’s defeat yet again – this time in the seat of Beaudesert – will hopefully signal the end of her political career. In a democratic sense I do think that there might be a need out there for someone with an approximation of her views to be represented, but I don’t think she is the right person, in more ways than one. Her treatment at the hands of the media over the past few weeks should nevertheless serve to further galvanise support for people with anti-elitist, anti-city political views.
  • Ronan Lee’s defeat in the seat of Indooroopilly calls into question the value of his defection to the Greens and whether this was tactically the right thing to do for him, based upon his views. Could he have done more for his supporters as a member of the Queensland Labor party room lead by a Premier with a fresh mandate?
  • Now that Anna Bligh has stepped out from under Peter Beattie’s shadow, what kind of leader will she be? Will she do better than Morris Iemma did after his post-handover election victory?

Your thoughts?