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And I thought only President Bartlett was the classy kinda guy who would give up power willingly:

The decision was made this afternoon at a meeting of the ALP caucus in Hobart.

Labor caretaker premier David Bartlett is now expected to recommend to Governor Peter Underwood that he commission Mr Hodgman to form government.

Mr Bartlett saw off a revolt by some MPs who wanted to try to hold on to government after the two major parties tied on 10 seats.

However, Mr Bartlett argued the Liberals deserved first chance to govern after receiving 2.1% more of the statewide vote than Labor.

Last night, the final carve-up of preferences from the March 20 poll delivered an emphatically hung parliament of 10 Labor, 10 Liberal and five Green MPs.

Source: “Bartlett’s Labor gives up power in Tasmania to Will Hodgman’s Liberals“, the Australian

The Liberals apparently had another card up their hand – a no confidence motion, which they claim the Greens would back. Which is strange because just a few hours earlier, the Greens said they believed the Governor would reject any claim by Bartlett to appoint the Liberal leader Hodgman. For the life of me, I can’t see how that makes much constitutional sense. After all, if Bartlett (who holds 10 seats) tells the Governor to let Hodgman (who holds 10 seats) form government, then that’s 20 seats (out of 30) with confidence in Hodgman. So any arguments along the lines of waiting for a coalition to form doesn’t quite make sense because you have a de facto coalition right there – even if the minority party will form the Opposition and not a minor government party. So I don’t give much weight to Hodgman’s assertion that he could just pass a no confidence motion to settle the matter, and the only remaining explanation is pure simple classiness.

Also the Greens apparently claim to want to form coalition, but Bartlett refuses “out of personal distrust” of Greens leader Nick McKim. So perhaps the ALP wants anything but for the Greens to gain power (as I earlier argued).

Here’s an article which briefly discusses other constitutional viewpoints on the Governor and his reserve powers (I also linked it above).


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