What's the Latest Development?
Although it will take a few more weeks before the results of this weekend's Australia's election are finalized, it's possible that the upper Senate will receive a number of new legislators representing several unusual "micro-parties" from across the country. These include the Palmer United Party, whose multi-millionaire founder hopes to build a replica of the Titanic, and the Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party, whose platform focuses largely on drivers' rights and seeks to allow them access to areas that are currently off-limits to cars. Australian Greens leader Christine Milne says things are about to get interesting: "Who knows where they stand on anything? For most of them, there is no policy platform."
What's the Big Idea?
Two parties, left-wing Labor and right-wing Coalition, still dominate Australia's parliament. The new influx of micro-party candidates happened because of an alliance set up by Glenn Druery, a long-time supporter and advocate. This time around, he helped them take advantage of a complicated preferential voting system so that more votes would come their way. With Coalition's Tony Abbott taking the prime minister's seat, predictions are that many of the new senators will side with his agenda once they take their seats next summer.
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