Over the past fortnight, many members of the public and media have expressed their frustration at the time it took for the various independents to declare their hand and decide the election. In doing so, they trivialized the importance of the decision. They also displayed their ignorance towards the difficulty of forming a stable government in pluralist parliaments past.
The first interregnum, traditionally speaking, followed the death of Romulus, the founding king of ancient Rome. Each five days, a senior member of the patrician Senate was chosen to serve as interrex, and oversee the operation of the state while civic leaders attempted to choose a new king. The interrex (between-king) developed in the later (and more accurately historically reported) Republic as a kind of stand-in consul, again serving for five day periods until a new set of consuls could be elected in the new year.
You can draw many parallels between this and our system, with the interregnum a kind of caretaker government, and senior bureaucrats playing the role of between-king. Regardless of how you interpret it, interregnum was, and remains, a period of absence of a leader, but not the absence of a government. The state continues to operate, and in a sense it is highly irresponsible to portray it as otherwise.
The second lesson we can draw from the Romans is the recognition that the choice of government is an extremely important one, and one that should not be hurried. The system of recurring interrex was a mechanism to ensure those entrusted with choosing king or consul were given adequate time to make the correct choice, in the knowledge that executive government remained intact. We are lucky enough to have, in the form of the caretaker conventions, an even more sophisticated stop-gap, capable of governing the country for months if necessary. Those deciding our leaders for the next three years took just over two weeks to come to a decision: this is not a problem, and should not be reported as one.
Other parliamentary systems across the globe and history have and do take far longer to make the same decision. In the USA, the President is elected in November and takes office in January. In 1977, the Netherlands took 208 days to form a government, and in 2007 Belgium took 196. Both countries still exist today. The sky did not fall in. Australia took 17 days. Puts it in perspective.