PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull may have won the election, but he's emerged looking like a loser.
Calling a double dissolution election in the name of saving the construction industry from unions now looks like a dumb idea.
Strangely the reason the double dissolution was held, stated above, was hardly a feature in the campaign.
That's because in reality it was held to try and stamp some authority on the Parliament and kill off a difficult Senate.
But it's ended up doing the reverse.
It was a miscalculated idea that put too much faith in the initial buzz of popularity for Malcolm Turnbull, and not enough with what counts - the government's track record or lack thereof.
That was what the electorate judged the Coalition on, not their promises of the future.
Now it's emerging as one of the dumbest political decisions in history, and could compound the instability of the past seven years.
The Coalition lost three Senators, and now faces the dreadful prospect of getting two diametrically opposed minor parties - One Nation and the Nick Xenophon Team - to agree if its legislation is opposed by Labor and the Greens.
The Coalition now has just 30 Senators and needs 39 to gain a majority.
Together, Labor and the Greens have 34.
That means united, if Labor and the Greens want to block the Coalition on any controversial legislation - which they surely will - they only have to nab five independents.
There are 11 independents, four One Nation, three NXT, plus Bob Day from Family First, the LDP's David Leyonhjelm, plus Jacqui Lambie, and Derryn Hinch.
The Greens and Labor could count on NXT Senators for some of their agenda, plus Hinch and Lambie. That makes a pretty straightforward 39 for them.
It's much harder for the Coalition.
This weakens Turnbull, and casts a pall over his leadership.
The wash up of it is the government could be hamstrung, unable to introduce any major reforms, and show decisive leadership.
It will be harder for Turnbull to turn his leadership around with conviction, because anything bold will involve delicate negotiations and compromise with the Senate.
No one wants to see a government with unchecked power - but we do want our leaders to be able to lead.
Bill Shorten must be laughing - it was easier for him to lose the election by a whisker.
It absolves him of the pressure of government, but he can jump in to the limelight whenever the government puts a foot wrong.
All in all, instead of seeing progress and stability over the next three years, we are likely to further procrastination, indecision, and more of the leadership merry go round.
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