Talk:Australian federal election, 1901

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Two points: firstly, the ALP and Protectionists were not in coalition, any more than the ALP is currently in coalition with the independents. Secondly, I'm preparing to change the "results" section over: User:Lacrimosus/Australian federal election, 1901. Take a look! Slac speak up! 01:51, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

Good point, and changes look good to me. Orderinchaos 02:31, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Agree. --Roisterer (talk) 11:05, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

Whilst I do see where the above posts are coming from, and do not necessarily disagree with them, it is a factual view that the ALP formed a federal minority government in 2010 in an informal coalition with three independents and a Green. In this instance, Labour went in to an informal coalition with the Protectionists. Here however, Labour as a political party held 14 of 75 seats and the sole balance of power. Comparing 1901 and 2010 is like comparing apples and oranges. No, they weren't in "coalition". But they were in an "informal coalition" and are quite different. South Australian colonial election, 1893 is a Liberal/Labor informal coalition, South Australian state election, 1902 is a Liberal/Conservative informal coalition. But if it is preferred that "coalition" is taken out of the results box then perhaps ensure "informal coalition" is mentioned of the minority government in an election article text. Also, I don't agree with the new results table format mostly on the basis that it is inconsistent with the other federal elections, and could only be changed if *all* others were, and that is a much bigger discussion (but would not necessarily be opposed to). I'm also not sure if the table design will allow for the 1937-onward two-party-preferred vote? Timeshift (talk) 13:16, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

Re the very last point - Western Australian state election, 1980#Results is a good example of how this table accommodates 2PP. Orderinchaos 16:20, 7 April 2012 (UTC)
Two things I don't like about that table is that it doesn't add up the seat totals, and how much more height it seems to take up. A lot of federal elections, purely on numbers regardless of bolding, give a higher number for Labor compared to Liberal. I like the compactness and clarity of what the table like 1969 and many others provide. Timeshift (talk) 16:24, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

Another question is how this links in to the pendulum groupings for 1901 and 2010? Timeshift (talk) 16:21, 7 April 2012 (UTC)

I would hope that editors can appreciate the above points. There has been no response to them, very little time has elapsed, and three editors under these conditions does not make a consensus for change. The biggest issues are that this articles results format cannot be changed without all fed elections changing, and that the pendulum should not be removed with zero discussion. For article improvements sake, let's discuss this productively and without arbitrary edits. Thanks. Timeshift (talk) 01:32, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

On coalitions: I'm happy to ditch the comparison with 2010 if that makes people uncomfortable. But Labor's main electoral objective in 1903 wasn't to keep the Protectionists in office, or form a Labor government, since that wasn't viewed as a realistic possibility. It was to maximise the number of Labor seats, which, for the most part, meant direct competition against the Protectionists. When we're dealing with a parliamentary situation this fluid, the very concept of a pendulum becomes deeply problematic. The idea behind the pendulum - that as you creep up or down, a change of government becomes more or less likely - just isn't a scenario that fits the parliamentary facts in 1901. Reid and Barton/Deakin didn't rule over unified blocks; "their" MPs had minds of their own and can and did support the opposing party into government. Lumping Labor in with the Protectionists would have offended no small number of Labor supporters at that time, since the party as a whole didn't have a binding view on the tariff, sat on the crossbenches, and was deeply conflicted about backing the Protectionists. If you want to establish criteria for a Coalition, surely these should include either (a) support for legislative measures or (b) spots in cabinet for both parties, neither of which eventuated.
On tables: I'm open to suggestions. My biggest objections to the current table are: the headings are confusing (FPTP IRV Non-CV), and sit outside of the table when they should be part of it. The colour blocks are thicker than is normal for most articles on elections/politics, and not transcluding them into a template makes the text of the page longer. I'm not sure about the argument about compactness: frankly, I think the newer table is just as compact and information-rich. Finally, regardless of whether the pendulum is OK to use or not, it's simply wrong to portray the situation of 29/30 March 1901 as a "win" for a Labor/Protectionist coalition. Barton had no agreement with the Labor party going into the election about supply or government, since not only did nobody know what the eventual composition of the Parliament would be (would Labor win any seats?), there was no Labor party to negotiate with. The range of informal agreements with Barton for government took place much later than the election, so it's totally wrong to say that there was a combined Labor/Protectionist win from the election itself. The already existing minisrty simply continued as a minority government. Slac speak up! 01:53, 8 April 2012 (UTC)
I agree with your coalition statements, they are true, but that is not what the result infobox is for. With Labor giving confidence and supply support to the minority Protectionist Party government, they did constitute an informal coalition. A formal coalition, ie: a coalition, for example a coalition government, is what you're referring to. The pendulums are information rich, and at the minimum, need displaying in some format/flow one way or another - perhaps how 2010 is done? I've left a message for Frickeg to feel free to contribute to the discussion as he added the pendulums. The election tables need to stay consistent, they can't simply change for this page alone. The proposed table is certainly larger, that cannot be disputed. All of these issues warrant much wider discussion than just this page, and certainly the changes shouldn't be adopted without discussion by more than a few editors in 24 hours, it needs wider short to medium term community discussion. Perhaps a wider discussion could take place at Wikipedia talk:WikiProject Australian politics? Timeshift (talk) 02:52, 8 April 2012 (UTC)

Wow, so many points to respond to! Regarding the tables: the non-consistency of these across Australian election pages has been a bugbear of mine for a while, so before it's changed I really think a centralised discussion at WT:AUP is warranted. There are currently three or four different versions going around and I think it would really be much better to standardise the lot - it's all much the same electoral system, after all. I personally quite like the one the UK uses, tweaked for our purposes obviously. I agree that the current headings are confusing. I do, however, wholeheartedly approve of the notes that Slac proposes to add; this election was a special case and that needs to be noted.

I tend to agree that describing the Protectionists and Labour as in any kind of coalition is stretching the truth a little. As I understand it, Labour's support was tenuous and somewhat on a member-by-member basis anyway. The better place for this would seem to be a note stating the basis on which the Protectionists were able to govern. The reason the pendulums are like that (with Protectionist and Labour lumped together) is because apparently three columns posed problems with some of the larger resolutions; if there was a way to fix this I would absolutely support having three columns. In fact if that can be wrangled I would argue for all the pendulums to have three columns were there are crossbenchers, because linking them up with either of the main parties is far from ideal. The current 2010 pendulum, for example, would be an adequate way of depicting the way the parliament sits, but since neither the Greens nor the three pro-Labor independents entered the election with any sort of electoral agreement with the ALP their inclusion is problematic. Frickeg (talk) 01:19, 9 April 2012 (UTC)

Getting back to this - the template that I used to create the results table is Australia-specific and applies to a number of Australian election articles already. Mindful of the fact that inconsistent use of templates is the current situation, I envisioned we could start here and gradually regularise them across the federal sphere. You can see the work I've done at User:Lacrimosus for drafts of how subsequent federal election results tables would look. I've hit pause on doing these for now but if editors were to approve I could start work on them again and roll them across articles successively.
I've come to view the pendulum as a side issue to be honest: if people want to format them better, or put in a new method of displaying them, that would be fine, but mainly I want to polish/standardise how the results table looks and I think what I've done so far is a possible model for doing this. Slac speak up! 02:53, 16 April 2012 (UTC)
Again, bigger issue than for this article alone and needs to be brought up somewhere like WP:AUP as said above. My support for changing the result table format would be dependent on the length of rollout, which would need to be very short - I'd be far happier if it was drafted first, previewed by contributors, and then changed in article space in one fell swoop. Timeshift (talk) 07:16, 16 April 2012 (UTC)