August 22, 2010

CERTAINLY NOT A VOTE FOR STAYING THE COURSE:

A grab for the mantle of moral authority (Peter Hartcher, August 23, 2010, Sydney Morning Herald)

[E]ach is using a different definition of what it takes to own "legitimacy". Neither wants to be seen as illegitimate in the struggle for public recognition, for the consent of the governed, for the support of the independents.

Abbott struck first. In his speech on election night and again yesterday, he claimed that the Gillard government had lost its legitimacy the moment it lost its majority.

But this cuts both ways. Because the Coalition doesn't have a majority either. So with neither party likely to command a majority in its own right, Abbott is, in effect, arguing that no one will have legitimacy to govern.

So Abbott went a step further. "The one unambiguous fact to emerge from yesterday's election is that there are about half a million more votes for the Coalition than for the Labor Party," he told reporters yesterday.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at August 22, 2010 9:20 AM
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