I'm sure most of our visitors here at Change2 came out of the 2007 Federal election with a sense of optimism. Kevin Rudd was going to put a price on carbon, get indigenous reconciliation back on the agenda and take a moral and compassionate stance on asylum seekers. We were also going to see a visionary piece of national infrastructure built; the National Broadband Network.
I'm also sure most of you shared my sense of disappointment at the way the climate debate (how can there even be a debate?) was hijacked, reconciliation seemed to consist of no more than the national apology (as important as that was) and the ALP seemed to adopt the Howard government stance on asylum seekers.
I know most of the country shared in a sense of cynicism over the recent policy-free campaign. But who could have guessed how it would turn out?
Oakshot and Windsor, two former Nationals from the bush, have put the ALP back in power. And while predictably they have put rural issues back on the political agenda (fair enough), they have also made it clear that indigenous issues, climate change and the NBN were key planks in their decision making process.
Could this be the start of a new era? Could we see the end of party dogma and concepts of right and left be pushed aside in favour of a government that shows leadership and truly serves the best long term interests of the country?
It's probably too much to ask. We still need to see a reframing of the asylum seekers discussion. But with the Greens controlling the Senate and reform of the political system on the agenda, perhaps anything is possible. Maybe I'll even let myself start to feel a little bit optimistic again...
What are you feeling about today's result?