Election wrap-up

So, to summarise… Abbott govt in. But not the Labor bloodbath some expected, which is good — whoever’s in power, a good Opposition is needed to keep them in check.

Somewhat to my surprise, the only Greens lower-house member Adam Bandt is back in, as are some other independents, but the Coalition will have a lower house majority.

Senate still up in the air, but Coalition won’t control it. While I don’t subscribe to the view that the electorate collectively and strategically decides together what we’re all going to do, and votes accordingly, I do suspect a large number of people wanted Labor out but weren’t too keen on the Coalition’s policies.

In Victoria, the Greens senate candidate Janet Rice got in (having known her for years, I can tell you she’s a Good Egg), and it appears the Motoring Enthusiasts party may get a spot as well. It’ll be a few days until we know for sure.

I guess once the Feds throw their $1.5b at East-West, the State will push ahead and build it. Indeed, Premier Napthine is already claiming that somehow the vote is a mandate to build it (even though in Victoria, fewer seats went to the Coalition than to Labor).

And of course the rail tunnel (and other urban rail) is unlikely to progress anytime soon with the $75 million for planning work being withdrawn.

Anyhow, here are some pics from the last few days.

The two PM candidates:
Election 2013: Nerd vs Jock

Snickers gets into the spirit of it:
"Don't vote hungry" - sorry Snickers, a sausage is my preferred voting food.

Campaign. Ridicule policies. Hand out leaflets. Letterbox. But don’t smash windows and pretend it helps.
Smashed window at Andrew Robb's office in Bentleigh

The Libs in Melbourne, adding to the traffic:
The Libs: adding to the traffic in Melbourne #AusVotes

Long queues on Friday for pre-polling in the Bourke Street Mall:
Long queue to vote, Bourke St Mall. #AusVotes

Also spotted in the Mall:
In the Bourke St Mall: "Please don't vote for Tony Abbott." #AusVotes

One reason not to pre-poll: voting day snag… and I discovered I can count accurately from 1 to 97.
Vote [1] Sausage. (I discovered I can count accurately from 1 to 97.)

Was I the only one chuckling at the ABC’s half-baked virtual reality chamber?
I think I pressed the wrong button on the Wii.

The local Telstra Shop may need to revise their answers on the NBN
New answers required

I guess now the bright yellow Clive Palmer billboard at Caulfield will be coming down
Clive Palmer billboard, Caulfield

More party political propaganda disguised as “voting information” #AusVotes

Look, if you’re going to send around party political propaganda, you should at least have the guts to not disguise it as something else. This arrived in the mail yesterday:
Liberal party mail disguised as "Voting information"

…and inside was this:
Liberal party election material

I note that in their brochure, they’re still using the rail icon, despite repeatedly proclaiming that they will not fund urban rail.
Federal Libs still using rail icon, despite refusing to fund rail

This sort of thing is not quite as bad as their data gathering exercise with postal ballots, but still deceptive.

Seems the State Coalition are up to similar tricks, with The Age reporting today that they’re sending out letters in support of the East West road link, paid for by the Liberal Party but without any party markings.

Are the other parties doing it to? I’ve heard Federal Labor had been sending out the postal ballot letters, but haven’t seen any myself.

The @PTUA rating of the three biggest parties on transport #AusVotes

Abbott’s outright refusal to fund urban public transport (while throwing billions into motorways) hasn’t won him any friends here. Make sure your vote counts.

PTUA 2013 Federal Election brochure

Tony Abbott’s transport policy (in 30 seconds)

If you missed it in the Sunday debate, or yesterday on social media, here’s the 30 second summary of Tony Abbott’s transport policy.

If east-west traffic is so critical, why does the M1 only provide 2 through lanes each way?

The government argues that cross-city traffic is so critical that the they want to (without a mandate) spend $8 billion building just the first phase of the East-West tunnel.

If that’s the case, then why does the newly remodelled (2008-2010) M1 corridor only provide two lanes in each direction for those cross-city trips?

Eastbound (coming off the Westgate bridge, towards the Burnley tunnel):
M1 Eastbound signage - only 2 lanes through to east

Westbound (coming out of the Domain tunnel, towards the Westgate Bridge):
M1 Westbound signage - only two lanes through to west

…and another westbound view from a bit further on, where the lanes merge down to two:
M1 Westbound - only two lanes through to west

These pictures are all from Google Streetview, and actually show the freeway towards the end of the modifications… I’ve checked, and this is how it is today.

Road designers aren’t idiots. When they do massive remodelling like this to re-organise the lanes, they look at traffic flows. The Westgate bridge is now 5 lanes in each direction, and the Citylink tunnels are 3 each, but there are only 2 through lanes each way.

That leaves the conclusion that the traffic going from the east to the west and vice-versa is only a small proportion of the total traffic, particularly compared to numbers going over the Westgate.

Update Tuesday: I’ve had some feedback on this post (not via comments) to the effect that some thing this is twisting the truth, because various lanes leave and join the motorway along its length, so the total number of lanes at any one point is always more than 2. That’s true, but my point is that (particularly in congested conditions), the capacity of the M1 for east to west cross-city traffic is heavily influenced by the number of lanes that go all the way through… and this is only two lanes each way.

One person also pointed out an additional lane is available westbound via the Todd Road exit and the service station… but I would think it’s unlikely many drivers going from the east to the west would use this — plus I think it involves a merge with traffic from Kingsway and another from the Bolte Bridge southbound.