Ok, more than a week after the election I’m finally organised (or rather want to move on to writing about far more exciting things) to write about it. My observations, experience and once again longing to write a stream-of-consciousness election night piece like Bob Ellis. Here goes …
On Saturday afternoon I went to vote at my local polling booth, unfortunately this year situated in the hall of Siena Catholic College – insert glib remark about church and state here – and arrived to find quite a few Peter Slipper corflutes surrounding the place. And who wouldn’t want to kick them over, graffiti them or light them on fire? I was sensible and did nothing more violent than sticking my used chewing gum on them – twice. Much love, Pete! On the way to the queue for voting I was of course hassled by the faithful of a few different parties with their wasteful ‘How to Vote’ cards and pamphlets. Again, I was well behaved and instead of telling the Liberal volunteers to “piss off” I instead gave them the most curt and forceful “NOTHANKYOU” I could manage. I of course took the Labor sheet and a Palmer United Party (yes, PUP! – the most useless and ironic in it’s non use of irony anagram since the National bank became NAB) pamphlet and was again civilised to my canvas-shoed toes until the PUP player said after me, “Best place for it, put the yellow paper on top of the red!” So of course I automatically before you could say “fat millionaire” switched the papers round in my hands so Labor was again on top.
So, after quickly lining up I made my way to the polling booth and filled out the green ballot for the House of Reps.
And out of the 10 candidates my preference was:
- GREENS (Y’know, preferences to Labor and all that)
- LABOR – Bill Gissane was the candidate for Fisher and from first-sight a good bloke too
- Oh like you really care – you’ll be pleased to know I put Mal Brough dead last in 10th place and Slipper 9th, the rest were a motley bunch of half-baked independents, Family First (read: Fundamentalist) and the usual blokey yobbos from PUP and Katter’s Australia Party.
On to the Senate ballot, and of course I voted below the line, like you’d expect anything less (or better) of me. And I spent my time carefully giving my preferences to all 82 candidates for Queensland. Again, Greens 1st, Labor 2nd, the Liberals dead last at number 82 and then to work backwards until I’d made sure that the Sex Party was ahead of the I Shoot, Root and Vote or whatever the fuck they’re called.
I snapped myself after voting in a little tribute of sorts to Catherine Deveny’s pic of her culture-jamming the 2004 election.
And so to the election coverage.
And WHAT A CROCK OF SHIT it was that once respectable “journalists” or people who dare to call themselves “journalists” (whom you would think would know that to be a journalist one must be factual and IMPARTIAL) were declaring that Tony Abbott and his band of fundamentalist and economic-rationalist nutbags had already won – at 5 pm! Another hour until the polls closed in the eastern states! I know, right?
And Channel 7’s coverage, called the “Panel of Power” or some such rubbish that clearly belongs to a talk show in the 90s was nice and equitable, starting off with 4 Libs and 2 Labor people on the panel. And only 1 woman too! So switching over to the more “balanced” if not “subdued” ABC before I put my foot through the television, it was the same thing! “Liberals win! Liberals win!” Never have I seen Antony Green throwing all sense of patience and factual actuality out the window.
Eventually I started to get drunk, not to drown my sorrows on a Labor loss (I remain a proud Gillardite and know one day my views on Rudd will be vindicated) but because I just didn’t care anymore. This had been the most uninspiring election campaign in (my) recent memory, forced to choose between a paedophile-defending, fundamentalist-Catholic, homophobic, misogynistic blue(blood) tongued-lizard and a megalomaniac sadist who can whip up support on Instagram but can’t pass any lasting policies. Is it any wonder I just didn’t care?
By now (and I’m still waiting for the final result, was waiting until all votes were counted before I wrote this but I can’t put it off any longer) I really only hoped that Sophie Mirabella, the Member for Indi would lose her seat. Don’t know Sophie? Lucky you! How to explain a sneering, bullying, hysterical in the non-belief of a round Earth (probably) and most of all, RUDE person like Mrs Mirabella? And no, I don’t hate her because she’s a woman (looking at you, Helen Razer) but because, well, the best way to explain this is: you know that a person can’t be good if your astrology-teaching and peace and love-espousing mum reads Mirabella’s bio and all she can say is, “What a dog!”
Anyway, the one good thing (I hope will still happen) of this campaign is the massive swing against Mirabella, led by independent Cathy McGowan. Good on her! I’m sure I’m one of many people who wish they were enrolled to vote in Indi just to give Mirabella the shits. And no, unlike a few people on the internet who believe that most people are against Mirabella due to her being a woman, and not just a vile and nasty person – Helen Razer, whom I’ve only just discovered and copped a fair bit of flak for taking the view that we all hate Mirabella because she’s a woman, take note.
And on the subject of Ms Razer, she made election night fun. Sadly she’s since deleted her twitter account and has pretty much gone “off the grid”, but with a few drinks in me and a lot more in her she was tweeting away about anything that was annoying her about the election, politics and people in general. From calling Kevin Rudd a “symbolism obsessed lollipop” to decrying the left for trying to change the world with “rainbow chalk crossings”, what’s not to love? Shame on you wowsers and Helen Lovejoys who all flew off the handle at her. If I was any more churlish, I’d be like that skinny idiot having a hissy fit on Youtube – “LEAVE HELEN ALONE!”
So I got drunker on first Malibu, then Tequila, then Bourbon before I passed out for a bit after watching the Ruddbot’s concession speech and thankfully slept through Abbott’s victory, before my brother came home and piled me with more booze, Vodka this time, and he finally conceded that I can punch properly, for some reason daring me to punch him repeatedly in the stomach. It was that kind of night. I’m sure a glib columnist for the Sunday supplement would make some analogy of “rolling with the punches” here.
And so, we who believe in marriage equality, faster broadband and better infrastructure have been left to go wallow in the misery of opposition for the next few years. And yes, Labor did win more primary votes than the Libs, but only because the LNP and the Nationals aren’t tallied together with the Liberal Party, which is a crock despite they love to have a love-in, sorry, COALITION.