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“Politics is the art of the possible” and that perfectly describes the recent elections of Australia. Federal Elections for Australian House of Representatives took place on Saturday, as the elections in Australia always take place on Saturdays. The voters had the choices between two mainstream parties: The Center-right Liberal-National Coalition and the Centre-left Australian Labor Party. In the General Election which takes place every three years, it was widely speculated that the Labor Party will win this time, first time in six years, and will comfortably form the government. But the opposite proved to be true as soon as the results began to pour in. Scott Morrison, the Prime Minister from the outgoing party, himself acknowledged the miracle when the poll defying results brought back his party into power.
In a House of 151 Representatives, where 76 are required to gain a majority, Morrison’s Liberal party gained majority seats. The current election which Liberal-led coalition have won, was clearly won on the stated issues as defined by Morrison between the outgoing government’s ‘proven’ economic management and the Labor’s extravagant plans to spend on education, health and climate change. However, the results with the public support to the Liberals in these elections reflect that for now they do not want any tinkering with the status-quo. The voter support for the government with not-so-ambitious plans is understandable given the financial crisis the country has been facing for a while. With this election result, the Conservative Liberal-National Coalition returns for a third consecutive term in power.
Apart from the unpredictability of the recent election, it can be argued that Australia is a unique political system in more than one way. Not only is its electoral system unique, but also is the legal compulsion under which every adult above 18 must vote. The compulsory voting clause has been questioned to justify its place in democracy. Some believe it stifles political freedom of individuals and their right to vote (or the other way around). But some others cite this compulsion is necessary to ensure the fair representation that could happen only if most of them turn out to vote.

Australia is a country with an exceptional way of choosing its House of Representatives. In order to elect the House of Representatives, the voters have to rank order their preferences on the ballot paper, with the most favorable candidate is marked 1 against his name, followed by the second, third and so on. Under this Alternative Vote (AV) or preferential voting system, the candidate must obtain a majority of at least 50 percent in order to get elected in that constituency. If no candidate obtains the prescribed majority, the candidate with the least number of votes is eliminated from the electoral list and his/ her votes are redistributed among the remaining candidates on the basis of the second preferences of the evicted candidate.

However, coming back to the recent election, it is worth-noting that the recurring majority of the Liberal-National Coalition under Morrison has stunned the Continent, if not the world. For the victory has defied (both) the odds and the opinion polls, which had been predicted otherwise. He gained formidable majority in a tumultuous lower house which has been witnessing the leadership battles and internal changes over the years. For internal party battles for leadership are common in Australian politics and since 2007, no PM has succeeded in serving a full term.
It was probably because of Mr. Morrison’s charisma whose rigorous campaigning titled odds in his party’s favor. For he could be able to reduce the competition between the two mainstream parties by successfully turning it into a one-to-one competition for leadership between his leadership and Bill Shorten.