The Rise of Family First
In the Age today, Peter Harris from family first is quoted as saying "Our vote says we have a message that resonates with the Australian community". Family firsts result has absolutely nothing to do with "resonating with the Australian community", and has a hell of a lot more to do with some "shady" (yet politically astute) back room preference deals that were fostered because of the major parties fears that the Greens are becoming a real political force, and also (at least on behalf of the Labor party) the belief that Family First weren't a real contender, and that they would simply be able to pick up their preferences over the Greens to win another Senate seat. In an article in the Age it shows how the Family First candidate Steve Fielding is likely to win the Victorian senate seat even though only a little over 45000 people actually voted directly for him, where as the Greens candidate David Risstrom received over 205000 primary votes. It all comes down to Labors and the democrats preference deals backing Family First ahead of the Greens. There are a lot of dissatisfied voters who voted Labor expecting to get a Labor senator and realising that instead they will have a Family First senator, I will go out on a limb here, but I would bet that most Labor voters would have preferred a Greens senator over a Family first Senator.
Peter Harris, you cannot claim a mandate from the nation when your win is based solely on preference deals from the major parties, deals that your average Labor or Democrat voter was most likely unaware of at the time they placed a "1" in the top section of the senate ballot paper.