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ABC News 24 Australia Votes -

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(generated from captions) Julia Gillard three years ago, putting her minority into power. 'Australian Story' airs tonight at 8 o'clock on ABC1.Now to what has been trending across the social web:

Now for comments on the role of families in the election campaigns of Glen says "Families ought to play a minimal role. Nothing stops family members from entering politics". Michael says "Politicians have to deal with families being away." "They should be entitled to participate but not at the public's expense". Ricky said "They should be Xeno cationly but not heard ever. We are not electing a family.". that is NX Votes. We are online. I'm Matt Cargill. It's over to Lyndal Curtis in Canberra now.

Welcome back to Parliament House. Out of the campaign spotlight focused on the leaders of the major parties, other prominent members of 43rd Parliament are working to keep 43rd Parliament keep their jobs as MPs. Two Independents, Tony Windsor and Rob Oakeshott Independents, Tony Rob Oakeshott aren't standing
again Independents, Tony Windsor and again but others are, including the Independent MP for Denison, as a result
Andrew Wilkie. He faces dangers as a result of the way major parties are directing their preferences. I spoke to him earlier this afternoon. Welcome to Capital Hill, Andrew Wilkie.My pleasure.If I can ask you, with less than two weeks to go into the election campaign, how do you think you are going?I think I'm travelling reasonably well. There was some polling done in the last few days which showed me travel well, but with 12 days to go, anything can happen. We also have had bizarre situation in my own seat where Labor is doing so badly accord to the polling, because they are preferencing Liberal, there is a small chance that Labor preferences could help the Liberal candidate creep over the line.Is the Liberal Party preferencing you?Iff done no deal with the Liberal Party but they have decided to preference me just as they did in 2010. They have said rather unflatteringly, I'm the best of a bad bunch. What is more interesting in Denison, the Labor Party, which has been critical of me, have decided to preference the Liberals ahead of me and in fact the Greens, they are preferencing Labor ahead of me, even though Labor is the author of the PNG solution.What is the issue running in your electorate?I don't think there is issue, I don't think it's even a short list. issue, I a short list. There is a common a short theme and that's a broad dissatisfaction at the moment with politics and politicians and the behaviour of the political parties. I think many people are finding the election campaign so far a bit underwhelming. In fact it was rather telling over the weekend, I asked a number of people, I said "What's the big policy announcement from Labor Liberal in recent days or recent weeks that you remember?" Very few people could remember anything much at all. Some people remembered the paid parental leave scheme and tax treatment for the NT. But many people looked at me dumbfounded and couldn't remember much.What do you believe the electorate is not hearing about?I think a lot of people in the electorate have turned off. They have decided who they are going to vote for - hopefully that's me. There are lots of people who talking to me about what's important to them. A lot of people are concerned that the good reforms of the 43rd Parliament are protected, such as DisabilityCare and Gonski and a price on carbon. That we also put in place the enablers of economic develop in meant Tasmania such as bringing the cost of Bass Strait freight down. And reversing the cuts to the single parents payment, upping Newstart, helping aged pensioners and so on.If you do get back into Parliament, are you likely to get back into a Parliament that has a majority Government in the Lower House?Lyndal, who knows? I think the most recent hung Parliament before this was 1942. If only based on the history of it, you would think another hung Parliament is very unlikely. For my part, I have made it absolutely clear that if there is another hung Parliament, I will not enter into any agreement to support any party to form Government. They will have to work it out for themselves next time.If you do enter into a majority Parliament, you have less power, don't you?Of course you have less power than a power-sharing Parliament. History shows well-regarded Independents have a higher profile and more influence, even in a conventional Parliament, than would certainly a backbencher in Opposition or a backbencher in Government. You I think if you are well regarded, the Government of the day wants your imprimatur. The media find you are more interesting if you are clever with the way you use the media. History shows people like Windsor, Oakeshott, Katter, they punched above their weight, even when one party had a clear majority.It is the case, isn't it, it's not power in terms of your vote on the floor of Parliament counting, it's more you operating effectively as a ginger group to get your issues up, if you want to?That's right. It's a soft power. But still it's a darn site power than a backbencher in power than Opposition or even Opposition or backbencher in Government. They backbencher in have very have very quiet voice in the Caucus where I can have a relatively loud advice Caucus where I can have relatively loud advice in front
of a camera Caucus where I can have a relatively loud of a camera and speaking in the of a parliament. I make of a camera and speaking in again, even a Government with a clear majority would like the imprimatur of a well-regarded Independent. That helps them Independent. That helps tremendously politically. When you look at the history books, there is a bizarre situation whereof even Independent-held seats enjoy a fair bit of Government investment because the Government wants to win the seat back off them. All it does is the opposite, it cements the Independent's place in that seat.When you look at it with less than two weeks to go, which major party do you think has a better chance at the moment of forming Government?I know the polls are running clearly in favour of the Liberal national Coalition but with two weeks ago, a Labor upset isn't out of the question. I'm not going to express a view on who I would like to win. I mean I'm unaligned but I think it's too sign to write-off the Labor Party with two weeks to go.There are some Liberals who think they have good prospects in Tasmania, at least, of picking up one seat, the seat of Bass, maybe the seat of Braddon. Are you getting any feeling for that?People I know elsewhere in the State, the anecdotal evidence is that Bass and Braddon, if there was an election today or tomorrow, those two seats would likely fall to the Opposition. But, Lyndal, who knows? Two weeks to go, any number of things can happen, including in my own but
seat. It sounds like a cliche but I know I have to work hard up until 6pm on Saturday, 7th September.Do you think the 43rd Parliament has been given a bad wrap?It has in quarters. When I reflect, I see something that has defied all of the pundits. It's been remarkably stable, and reformist. It's been highly controversial but reformist. controversial but that is all to do with the people that controversial but that is populate the Parliament rather than the fact that we have a power-sharing Parliament. When you look at this Parliament from a power-sharing point of view, it's been a rich environment. There have been dud ideas that have been stopped by the crossbench. The Government wanted to sell the Australian Stock Exchange to the Singaporeans. The then Treasurer didn't progress that because he knew he had no support on the crossbench. There have been other ideas that have only seen the light of day because it's a power-sharing Government. The good work Tony Windsor and gas
others have done on coal seam gas and water, the pokies reforms as limited as they are, have only seen the light of day because of a power-sharing Parliament.Do you think looking back at the last Parliament and the period in politics, there needs to be a change in the way Australia's democracy works or is it simply a matter of politicians behaving differently, dealing with things differently?Well I think both of those, Lyndal. Politicians do need to behave better. The standard of political discourse in this country currently and for the last three years has been absolutely rock bottom. Politicians need to behave better, they need to show more respect for high office. We need to try, and I don't know how, but we need to shy away from this confrontation al political culture we have in this country. There are areas of practical reform that could be considered. For example, I think that every vote on the floor of the Parliament should be a free vote for all of the members of all of the parties, perhaps with the only exception being for the budget and on matters of confidence. This nonsense where members of the follow
parties are not allowed to follow their conscience, are not allowed to represent their constituency by having to sit with their party every time, that bee trace the communities. It might be in the political self interest but certainly not in the public interest.Andrew Wilkie, thanks for your time.Thank you.That's Australia Votes for today. Stay tuned on ABC News 24 for The Drum. But from me, good evening. Captions by CSI Australia

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