Saturday, November 24, 2007

Different Name - Same Difference

Out with the old?

"I can't find my name on the ballot paper?"

Today, 24 November 2007 is Federal Election Day. There are two major parties - the ruling party is the Liberal/National Coalition. A right wing city based party married to an equally right wing country party. They've been in power for 11 years. The name 'liberal' is not literal, they are centre-right wing conservatives but through the resources boom have managed to bring Australia into a strong economic position by selling off our precious minerals and natural resources to industrialising nations such as China, subjugating our indigenous population, reducing corporate tax to just about zippity and over taxing the general population through income tax, fuel tax, superannuation tax, fuel tax, airport tax bla bla bla . . .the list goes on. They took us to war in Iraq, they also built detention centres for refugees and detained them for years whilst awaiting processing. But, thanks in no small part to restrictive Workplace Agreements, employment is at an all time high and to counter the rising interest rates over the past three years, we have been given an extra few dollars a month in tax cuts - DUH! That makes sense! Stop the economy running off the inflationary scale by encouraging people to spend . . .well done dickheads! The environment is barely on the Agenda, government spending is irresponsible and 'sweetner' is not a dirty word.

Then there's the "Labor" party who when voted out 11 years ago, had poor economic management, high income tax, record unemployment, high interest rates, a similar disregard for the environment and a violent liar of a leader who has since written a book about the corruption and dissention within his own party. They've had big leadership issues and finally elected a leader who looks like . . . um - who was a private school boy bearing an uncanny resemblence to Tin Tin. He has pretty much emulated all the existing government policies despite being branded as a left wing unionist - pish! He has an inexperienced cabinet, including a shadow Minister for the Environment who blurted out to a shock jock that Labor would change everything when they're in power anyway! That's what you get for putting a rock star in a position of power. Yep, Midnight Oil's own Peter Garret, the bald headed master of the faux pas and now new parliamentary puppet who hasn't got the balls to prevent a new pulp mill pumping dioxin into the pristine rivers and bays of Tasmania.

So, these are our choices. Of course, there's The Greens, the Democrats, Advance Australia, Carers Alliance, Cheaper Petrol Party, Alliance for Climate Change, Communist Party, No Aircraft Noise Party, Democratic Socialists, One Nation, Republican Party, Reconcile Australia Party, Nuclear Disarmament Party, Family First and a plethora of teensy weensy parties who will give their preferences to the major two. I think the Marijuhana Party forgot to register - too busy giggling and eating toasted cheese sandwiches.

So here I am, the polls are open. I will have to queue at the local high school for about 20 minutes and be inundated with the smell of fatty barbecuing sausages put on by the local soccer club. Then I'll be accosted by representatives of the various parties who have dessimated a small forest to produce their glossy brochures donning smiling "would you buy a car from this man" and "How to Vote" pamphlets before being ticked off the electoral roll by some frosty little unemployed shit who's taking advantage of the tax free earnings offered if you work at a polling booth on election day. They have a demeanour similar to that of Medical Secretaries with their snooty "I work for a doctor you know, therefore I am holier than you" looks.

The ballot paper is about two metres wide and there's a Senate Paper of similar size that will have to be completed in a cardboard booth the size of an aeroplane toilet. Both will be rolled into cylinders and placed in their respective ballot boxes before we unceremoniously hold our noses on departure to avoid the fatty sausage man spruiking his fundraising offal filled sandwiches to passers by.

But this isn't the difficult bit. Who the flying fuck am I going to vote for? I've only had about a year to think about this and I feel as guilty as someone who's forgotten a family birthday, like we didn't know it was coming!

The solution was handed to me on a platter yesterday via link to a "How Should I Vote" site. I think the site is pretty unbiased and poses a number of questions about your political position, issues that are important then when the 20 questions are completed (it does assume you have an opinion on such things as refugees, the economy, tax, the environment etc.) it generates a preference list so that you can vote for the most appropriate local candidate. Apparently, the current encumbents, the Liberal Party in their abject arrogance, has not embraced the site and hasn't posted many candidates - idiots, because half, yes half, the voting public have actually used it to help them make their decisions. This gives you an idea of the sheer arrogance of the current Government. The only thing that will save them is the public's unwillingness to embrace a new and largely untested opposition. Then Australians are notoriously apathetic and we don't like change.

So, armed with my little list of rather weird candidates varying from "Me too" Labor to the leftist Greens and even a rather conservative Family First dude, I will use a computer program to decide my vote. Why? Dunno really since I live in a blue ribbon Liberal seat full of the religious right, I'm really just cancelling one of their votes. Then again, to knock just one Hillsong God Squad voter off their high and mighty moral perch is worth it. Watch this space, it's going to be a close contest or a landslide victory - how's that for hedging my bets?

In with the new?

"You what? You think mouth looks like a cats arse? Sit on this Johnny!"


Anonymous said...

Hhahaaa, GREAT POST!

Depressing isn't it ... that's two days in a row now Baino :(

Very interesting year this year, last time I screamed RIGGED at the result!

Ryan said...

How do we sleep when our beds are burning?

*proceeds to dance around the room like a flipping idiot*

sorry, only a short and jocular comment today.

Baino said...

Anonmous: Chin up cherub. We'll know tomorrow I guess. I still think, a close call or a landslide.

Ryan: I can actually imagine you doing that then telling some journalist that you were having a jocular moment and you'd change the moves completely if your new band was successful. Hope you remembered to vote in your hungover haze?

JackMcMad said...

That sounds exactly like the situation we have here. No-one to vote for. Except the greens actually managed to get into government this time and proved to the whole country that they really are useless. Do ya like the new site?

Ian said...


You don't name your constituency! Sitting watching ABC on Saturday morning in Ireland, I can't follow whether you're pleased or not!

Brianf said...

I voted twice!
I voted for the "Have a drink while Bar-B-Queing out back" party.
Did they win?

Baino said...

Jack: Love the new site! I never quite understood the Bertie's Third Nipple thingy but assumed it was slightly political. We're hopeful that a change of guard will mean a slightly more progressive government - time will tell.

Ian: My leanings are left of centre. My constituency is Mitchell, still Blue Ribbon Liberal. Oh and, my comment re the God Squad is based on the fact that we have Australia's largest brainwashing factory and pentacostal 'church' (I use the term loosely) 500metres from my house "Hillsong". I don't approve of their techniques which flaut the principals of the conventional Church and they are highly influential in politics. But that's probably a subject for another post.

Basically, I'm pleased but the proof is in the pudding!

Brianf: If they'd existed here, they'd have got my vote!

Anonymous said...

You MUST make a post about 'Hillsong' Baino! Being so close you would have inside information ... like a secret spy ... :) You must NEED to wear headphones on Sundays!

Baino said...

Anon: Quite so, they can be very noisy but have good firework displays. We're well and truly within the Anglican and pentacostal Bible belt here. Fortunately, their political clout worked well with the state Government when we were being NIMBY's and fighting the installation of a railway . . . it traversed their land and they were having none of it!