I know the bountiful well of political commentary I promised has failed to spring forth, but we all know that nobody cared anyway, and I’ve been busy. So, four days away from crunch time, let’s quickly sum things up!

The election campaigns have been amusingly different. Labor’s is refreshingly positive. Even if they don’t really have plans any more solid than the coalition’s, they’re doing a great job with image and visibility. The Liberals, on the other hand, are running a negative fear campaign of economic scare-mongering and anti-union propaganda, complete with ominous music and black and red colouring. Oh no! Labor has strong ties to organisations founded to protect the rights of the average working man? That’s reprehensible! Bonus points, however, go to the Liberals for managing to convince a sizeable number of voters that the government actually controls the economy (hint: it doesn’t).

Since I live in a marginal seat, my letterbox has been flooded with propaganda equivalent to perhaps one or two Tasmanian old growth forests. Yesterday I received two nearly identical letters from Peter Tinley, the Labor candidate. It’s as though they sent the first one off, regretted it, tinkered with the draft a little and mailed the second one only a few minutes later. My father also received two copies, as did each of the two people who previously lived in our house. That makes eight letters of the same political rubbish for two Australians who’ve already decided to vote for him, and two Kiwis who left the country a year ago. That’s still not quite as bad as Liberal candidate Michael Keenan’s sloganeering, however; we’ve received maybe nine or ten separate glossy pamphlets from his staff. Fucking wasteful and expensive.

An interesting contrast, though, of the two local candidates’ plans on a single issue. Keenan promises more CCTV cameras at local shopping centres, skate parks and beaches to crack down on “hoons and anti-social behaviour.” (Both of which are buzz-words that any sensible person should hate, but never mind.) This adds up to about a hundred and seventy thousand dollars of taxpayer money, only a small fragment of the extensive pork-barrelling which Keenan proudly tallies up in the apparent belief that it will increase the chance I will vote for him. Tinley, on the other hand, promises more security patrol cars and officers.

Gee. An actual human presence vs. grainy security camera footage that might identify thugs long after they have beaten and murdered elderly women. That’s a difficult one.

In any case, nobody cares about local issues anyway, because we’re too concerned with who’s running the flagship that is federal government. And while things are looking very optimistic for Labor, despite the Australian system being unfairly geared towards the incumbent government, I grow increasingly frustrated at the amount of stupidity I see in other voters. There was an 18-year old girl from Stirling interviewed in the Sunday Times who said that she’ll “probably vote for John Howard” because she thinks he’s “done a good job with Iraq and the economy and stuff” even though she “doesn’t know much about politics.” This is why voting should not be compulsory. Besides which, it just irritates me that there is a single person under the age of 25 who could possibly vote for that doddery, senile, rambling old man. He’s pushing 70, people! In another eight years he will, statistically speaking, drop dead of old age! Beyond that, of course, her claims are naive and simply wrong. Howard has not done anything with Iraq (our troops are managed by the Chief of the Defence Force, and we shouldn’t be in Iraq anyway) and nor has he done anything with the economy (it’s the economy, not a fucking policy run by Canberra).

What really gets my goat is people (including Howard himself) who think that our current economic boom is due to the Liberals’ “economic management.” No, it’s because there just happens to be a lot of ore in our soil, and the Asians pay us lots of money for private companies to dig it up. The government isn’t involved. Christ.

On a final note, I will not be voting in my local electorate, but rather on the island of Rottnest because my friend Michael has tempted me there on his private yacht. I’m fairly certain there’s a polling booth there, but if there isn’t I’ll be up for a $300 fine. Civil liberties – another reason voting shouldn’t be compulsory.

Let’s wrap up with a hilarious quote from John Howard in which he proves how out of touch he is, by painting a bleak picture of the nightmarish dystopia that will arise if Labor is elected:

“There will be a return of political correctness. There will be a softening in relation to things like drugs. You will get a less socially conservative country at the very least.”

My God! I must murder my family now to spare them the horror that is to come!

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