andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
This is the most depressing election campaign ever. It's 4:30am on election day, and I still don't know what I'm going to do when I get into the booth. I don't want anyone to win. It's awful.

However, if I was voting based solely on advertising campaigns, it would be the Australian Sex Party all the way:



I don't like how they're distributing their preferences, but I'll be putting their candidates high up on my Senate ballot.

Woohoo!

Sep. 7th, 2010 03:35 pm
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
Seventeen days after the election, the ALP has managed to form minority government. I don't agree with them on everything, but nobody in their party is Tony Abbott, so I'm definitely counting this as a win.

When it comes to Tony Abbott, I would prefer almost anything else, including John Howard. Or a turnip. Or a rabid wolverine.

*headdesk*

Aug. 22nd, 2010 12:06 am
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
It's after midnight and the Australian parliament is officially hung. The most likely outcome at this point is that the Coalition will form a minority government - I think the chances of Bob Katter and the other two conservative independents siding with the ALP are close to zero. (Although the national broadband network could yet turn out to be the deciding factor in this election. I grew up in the country, and unlike Tony Abbott people in rural Australia understand that we need internet that actually works outside the city.)

It's not that the ALP have been a particularly inspiriting government, but the opposition is lead by Tony Abbott. An anti-choice, anti-LGBT, anti-immigration misogynist jock who doesn't believe in anthropogenic climate change. The last time I hated a politician as much as I hate Abbott it was Peter Reith, so I am greatly upset that he's probably going to be our next Prime Minister.
andraste: Mendoza: because he's smarter than you. (Mendoza)
In two days time, Australia is having a federal election. It has not exactly been the most inspiring campaign in our history, but as voting is compulsory here we all have a make a decision. Who I vote for in the House of Representatives is immaterial as I live in a safe Liberal seat, but the Senate vote in Victoria is actually quite important this time, as we will have a chance to get rid of Family First Senator Steve Fielding.

My mother hasn't had time to look into the sixty candidates on the paper in detail, so I made a few notes for her, and I thought I might as well post them here for anyone else who hasn't had time to do background reading. Candidates are sorted into Groups A through U, usually by political party.

This post is aimed at Australian readers, so I assume you know the major players already and devote myself to describing the fringe parties. It's not a 'how to vote' card although I have not been shy about my views.

Brief description of each group's policies below cut. )
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
This is really not how I wanted Australia to end up with its first female Prime Minister, but on the other hand I can't be sorry to have one.

It was always going to be an interesting election, and I guess the sharp contrast between Julia Gillard and Tony Abbott won't hurt the ALP.
andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
Is that, sometimes, The People get it wrong.

I've been pondering Australia's treatment of the refugees who arrived in New Guinea today. What disappoints me isn't the behaviour of the government - it's no news to me that John Howard is a racist little twit - but that the more reliable polls say that about 77% of Australians agree with him. A week or so ago, I thought about tackling this issue in my journal and reassuring the world in general that Australians were not a bunch of compassionless, uncivilised, greedy, prejudiced bastards. Now I'm not so sure.

What it reminds me of most is the 1975 crisis (Australians in the audience know what I'm on about. I hope). Ultimately, I don't object to the fact that Malcom Fraser grabbed government like that - can't blame a guy for trying - or even that John Kerr was stupid enough to allow it. What still makes me angry about events that happened five years before I was born is that the Australian people *supported* Fraser's under-handed tactics at the election.

In these circumstances, I can't even condemn the ALP for backing Howard up - to take a stand against almost 4/5ths of the population in an election year is political suicide. Ideally, I'd like to see a leader who educated people about the situation instead of pandering to their prejudices. But with the commercial news media the way it is, how could anyone get them to listen?

The saddest thing is, I believe that if 77% of people in a democratic country support a course of action, it probably *should* be taken. Even if it's a course of action that I personally consider barbaric and - in the long term - completely pointless. There's more where those four hundred came from, after all, and surely we can't get the navy to stop *every* leaky Indonesian boat. That's a damn big coastline we've got there.

Bill Clinton was in Sydney for an exclusive dinner last night, and he made a good point - let global warming continue, and our current refugee problem will be the tip of the proverbial iceberg. The entire South Pacific could end up on our doorstep in a hundred years time, and if our own coastline went under water, we'd have nowhere habitable to put them.

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andraste: The reason half the internet imagines me as Patrick Stewart. (Default)
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