Nov. 26th, 2007 05:15 pm
4thofeleven: (Default)
Costello's gone - I don't blame him. Who'd want to deal with rebuilding the Liberal party in their current state, especially considering whoever gets control of the Libs is unlikely to still be opposition leader by the next election. I've always kinda liked Costello, mainly on the logic that anyone who despises Howard that much can't be *all* bad. Still not sorry to see him leave parliament, of course.

The Greens look like they'll pick up senate seats in Western Australia and South Australia, but Nettle's lost her seat; a shame, I really liked her. I have to say, Western Australia is the last state I'd expect to have a Green senator. That gives the Greens and Nick Xenophon control of the senate once the new term starts in June - not bad, not bad at all. :)

Thankfully, Family First came nowhere near winning another senator - Labor learned its lesson and didn't make the bizarre preference deal they made last time. Hopefully, next election they'll lose their only seat, and that will be the end of them as a political force.

What is Downer playing at, with his claims that he'd 'always known' that the Coalition would lose? Does he think that's going to build his credibility, either with the public or his party? Granted, he's always saying strange or stupid things, but this was particularly strange and stupid. Can he quit already?

Still a few seats in doubt, but it looks like Bennelong is Labor-held. Congratulations to Maxine McKew!

I have to admit it's still hard to believe the scale of Labor's victory. I complained earlier in the campaign about the amount of advertising junk the Liberals were sending me, and wondered why they were putting so much effort into campaigning in a seat they held by - what I considered - a comfortable margin of 5%. Well, Deakin's now a Labor seat with a margin of 2%, and there's plenty of other seats with swings even larger towards Labor. La Trobe's still in doubt; if the Liberals keep it, it'll be by the skin of their teeth.

When's the next state election? I can't imagine Labor will be able to stay in power in every state and territory for long, but it'll be interesting to see what they can do in the meantime with total Federal and State control...
4thofeleven: (Default)
I had the basics of an election post planned out ahead of time, where I'd say things like "Hey, look on the bright side - at least the coalition will loose control of the senate" and "Well, at least a reduced majority will sent a message to Howard."

I had it planned out because I knew I wouldn't be able to face working out what to say afterward if the coalition had won. I considered planning out what I'd say if Labor won a small majority, but decided it would be tempting fate to spend too long considering that possibility.

Never did I even dare to dream of the result tonight!

I swore I wouldn't watch the election results because it would be too nerve-wracking to follow a close election all night. But then I weakened about eight o'clock and started watching the ABC... Massive swings to the ALP in every state and territory except WA; coalition seats falling like dominoes. My own electorate had already been declared a Labor gain when I'd started watching. Not even the poor performance in WA could dent the ALP's gains. It's an incredible victory, and it makes me glad to be an Australian.

I think it's still too close to call Bennelong, but at this point, it doesn't matter. If McKew wins, congratulations to her! If Howard keeps it - well, he's not going to hang around in opposition. Labor can win it in a by-election.

A shame Downer never came under any real threat - I'd love to have seen him kicked out... Mal Brough's loss is, I think, a good sign of public opposition to the Northern Territory intervention.

The Greens seem to have done very well, even in areas like Western Australia and the Northern Territory where I wouldn't expect they'd get many votes. Looking forward to seeing how they do in the senate.

Be interesting to see where the Liberals go from here - I suspect there's many who were unwilling to challenge Howard's leadership but would be more than eager to try and challenge Costello for control.

Thrilled to bits that my own MP has lost his seat - and I suspect his constant barrage of advertising was part of the reason for his fall. Nice to be living in a Labor seat for once... and nice to see that it came down to Green preferences too!
4thofeleven: (Default)
I was rather surprised when I went up to vote today how few Liberal party posters were up there. The side of the polling building seemed to be wall-to-wall Labor ads. I began to speculate that the Libs had spent so much on their constant barrage of leaflets during the campaign that they ran out of money to promote their candidate at the polling station itself...

Then I got a bit closer and noticed that about half the posters WERE Liberal posters. The problem? All of them were warning of the dangers of having Labor governments at the state and federal level. What the Liberal ad designers apparently didn't consider is that, at a glance, the most noticeable element of the poster is a map of Australia with "Labor" written all over it in big letters.

Handy hint for campaign advertising: Make sure your party's name is the dominant element of the poster, not your opponents...

Don't think I'll be watching the election coverage tonight - it's too nerve-wracking. I'm still cautiously optimistic - but I don't want to have my hopes raised and dashed over and over all night long.
4thofeleven: (Default)
Alright, I've finally tracked down enough information to decide how I'm going to vote for the Senate on Saturday - there's still a few gaps, but I have a basic outline of most candidate's positions (if any). If anyone has any info on Norman Walker or Joseph Kaliniy, though, please let me know - I have no idea who they are, so at the moment, I'm preferencing them just behind the Liberals, after all the major parties and just ahead of the real crackpots (DLP, CEC, One Nation).

[profile] sener4senate has links to every party and candidate's website on his journal - check out his policies while you're there.

[profile] yak_boy has a good post up on why senate preferences are important.

If you're still planning on voting above the line, please - PLEASE - check the group voting tickets out first. There's nothing wrong with voting above the line - I voted above the line for the Greens last state election - but make sure your preferences are going where you think they're going. Parties often make unexpected and unannounced preference deals - eg, Vic Labor and Family First in 2004.

Let's kick the bastards out on Saturday!
4thofeleven: (Default)
Who will you be voting for? Labor? The Liberals? The Greens? The Democrats? Family First? Have you perhaps considered...

Tony Klein! He*:

  • Has worked for small business AND large corporations!
  • Has a family AND a mortgage!
  • Owns shares!
  • Has traveled extensively!
  • Never smoked!
  • Works hard AND is dedicated to his family!
  • Overall, thinks he is an average Victorian!
  • Has no specific agenda or policies!
How could you pass him up? He's running as part of Independent Group V, alongside Amanda Klein, who isn't mentioned at all on her husband's (?) website. Then again, considering how proudly his policy page notes that he has no policies, perhaps it's better if she's not overly associated with him or his campaign.

So if you want a candidate with no agenda, no policies, and quite probably no ideas, VOTE TONY KLEIN on Saturday!

Seriously, how do candidates like this get enough support to get on the ballot in the first place?

* All statements taken from his policies webpage.
4thofeleven: (Default)

Independent political candidates confuse me. There’s always one or two on the lower house ballot paper, and generally dozens on the senate ballots, but none of them ever seem to do any campaigning. You’d think if you’ve gone to the trouble to get enough supporters to be listed on the ballot paper you’d make some effort to – if not win the election – at least get enough votes that the major parties notice your ideas.

Some independents go further than just registering for the ballot – they ally with other independents, and form their own parties! They still don’t actually bother campaigning, not even to get enough supporters to be formally registered as a political party. One such group contesting the election is the Secular Party of Australia, or as they’re known to the electoral office and to Victorian voters, “Independent Group P”.

They actually seem pretty organised, so maybe I’m being a bit hard on them. They’re running two candidates in every state, which is more than some registered parties could manage. Possibly there is some reason they’re not registered as a party – the government has changed a lot of the rules for registering new parties. Still, it doesn’t explain why they’re not bothering to campaign. The only reason I’ve heard of them is because I obsessively check to see how the major parties are directing their preferences – otherwise, I wouldn’t have heard of them until I was voting.

As for their policies? Vague would be the best thing I can say about them. They’re secularists, so as an atheist, I have no quarrel with them. They’re pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, and republican*, so in general, I like them. The problem is that Australia is already pretty secular, and it’s unclear what they’re opposing. Their viewpoints section sais that “Australia now more closely resembles a pluralistic theocracy, where numerous religions have been ‘established’.”, but at no point explains what they mean by that. Funding of religious schools? Religious objections towards stem-cell research? Religious values influencing the decisions of some politicians? The rise of Family First? I haven’t the slightest idea, and most of their other statements are similarly cryptic. I might agree with everything they say; I might be horrified by their positions – I have no idea. I want to support an explicitly secular candidate – but unless they explain their positions, these guys aren’t ever going to be the ones I’ll vote for.

I’ll probably preference them after the Greens and Labor, but before the Coalition.

* That's repubican in the Australian sense; ie "opposed to the monarchy". Not to be confused with the American political party.

4thofeleven: (Default)

Election time is almost upon us, and what does that mean?

Yes, it means it’s time to scrutinise the websites of obscure fringe candidates and parties! Part of the fun of preferential voting is that you’re not just voting for a single candidate – no, you’re ranking all of them, and you can hardly call yourself an informed voter unless you’re aware of the policies of all those seeking your vote!

Fortunately, in Victoria, there’s a mere sixty-eight candidates for the senate, so this will be a breeze!

Today’s fringe party is the Democratic Labor Party, which split from the main Australian Labor Party in 1954 and attracted the support of Catholics and anti-Communists. They exerted considerable influence at both the state and federal level for the next two decades, but lost influence following the election of Gough Whitlam, and were formally dissolved in 1978.

Then what are they doing on my ballot paper, you might ask? Well, seems after the party was dissolved, it was reformed a few years later, but only in Victoria. Having lost the national influence and Church endorsements the old DLP enjoyed, the Victorian DLP has remained a political non-entity for its entire existence. They actually managed to get almost two percent of the Victorian senate vote in the last election, but since other right-wing parties tend to preference Family First ahead of them, and left-wing and centrist parties tend to stay as far away from them as possible, they failed to win any seats. They’re still confident, however, and this time around they’re running six candidates for the senate. This may seem optimistic, considering the major parties are only running four; but, hey, better safe than sorry, and maybe some freak distribution of preferences WILL result in this dying remnant of a decades-dead political movement winning all six Victorian senate seats.

The DPL website can be found at , where you can read all their policies, written, for no apparent reason, in Comic Sans. Perhaps they feel that by following the web-design standards of the early 90s, they come across as more conservative than the major parties with their new-fangled, wishy-washy, left wing, non-horrible font choices. Their polices are an odd mix of the progressive – eliminating Workchoices, increased foreign aid to Pacific nations, an emphasis on accepting more asylum seekers into Australia – the appallingly reactionary – large rants against ‘radical-feminist policies, AIDS being ‘overwhelmingly a homosexual disease’ – and the outright baffling – calls for Australia to develop a nuclear power program that would ‘facilitate future options for acquiring a nuclear deterrent capability, and to promote the prospect of New Zealand joining the Commonwealth as a seventh state.

I plan on preferencing the DLP ahead of the outright racist One Nation and the conservatively religious Family First, but behind all the major parties. They’re not the worst option on the ballot paper, but they’re not very good.


4thofeleven: (Default)
The Liberal party is at it again, this time sending every person in the electorate - that's every person, not every household - a large, glossy poster of their achievements in this electorate.

This isn't even a marginal seat - how much are they spending on advertising there?!

Still no word from the opposition, who presumably has better things to do than harass every voter with constant junk mail...
4thofeleven: (Default)
My Federal MP sends out campaign advertisements ridiculously often - about once a fortnight normally, but now that we're in campaign season and there's actually a reason to send the stuff, he's up to about twice a week. They're full of big pictures of himself, vague promises, and always - ALWAYS - a mention of how he hiked the Kokoda trail.

Today's advertisement is the usual junk, including a list of his plans for the future. They're STRONG plans, and you can tell because he writes "Strong Plan" next to each one. Of course, he doesn't seem to have too many plans, as "Work to upgrade community halls" and "Upgrade community centres" are listed as separate plans. On the plus side, in case you've forgotten what he looks like, the booklet includes twelve photos of him, one on each page. That, combined with the eight photos of him in the pamphlet he sent out on Saturday, along with the two billboards of his face he's put up in a vacant lot in my street, means I've got a pretty good mental image of the guy I'm going to try and vote out on the 24th.


4thofeleven: (Default)
David Newgreen

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