Saturday, November 24, 2007
Different Name - Same Difference
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?