The surprise election of two Democratic Labor Party candidates to the Victorian Legislative Council has bloggers appalled. ‘Proportionate my arse’ says Urban Creature. ‘For crying out loud, not again’ laments GrodsCorp. ‘Mr Lefty’ condemns the ‘unbelievable f***ing hypocrites in the ALP’, whose preference deals helped it happen.
But more than any of this, it is just hilarious. I burst out laughing when told the news last night. The Democrats should not give up! Kim Beazley should not give up! If the DLP can come back to political life, anyone can. And the irony of Labor preferences bringing back the people who kept them in Opposition for so long makes it all the more amusing.
People say that proportional representation is more democratic than single member electorates. But what it seems to do in Australia is elect candidates that have negligible primary vote support, but manage to stitch up preference deals with the major parties that the PR system was designed to balance.