Monday, August 16, 2010


And now for something completely different

Election 2010, people smugglers, budgie smugglers, media coverage, voting

Okay, it's been a long time since I posted anything on here. Let alone anything serious. And I'm sitting here, staring at the screen, trying to think of something serious to write about right now (which isn't being helped by listening to Flight of the Conchords songs - "That's the sock factory, hence the giant sock.").

But it's the final week of the election campaign in Australia. In some respects, it's been mercifully short. Having voted this morning, I'm feeling enormous relief in not paying all that much attention to what the news has to say about how Australia will vote or some inane chatter about the politicians involved with it all (while almost completely avoiding talk of policies).

Right now, I feel like I should be watching Q&A. But I'm not. Although Clansi is telling me that Tony Abbott's getting skewered and working on dancing around questions. So I guess that means tomorrow I'll be reading the transcripts. I particularly am interested in finding out more about the issue of taking money from the tabacco industry (apparently he's rather, "I'm certainly not going to refuse their money!" which is something you'd kind of wonder about coming from a former health minister).

Anyway, I'm sure religious faith has entered the discussion at some point on Q&A. The intermawebs tells me that he said that he's not made a decision based on his religion (hmm, RU486 much?). I also don't think atheism equals a "lack of conviction."

Honestly, as a Christian, I voted Labor, mainly because I believe they have conviction and will hopefully be the most beneficial for the country. Yes, I voted for the party led by a lady who's an atheist, hasn't popped out children and has a de facto partner. Gasp! But I did this because I believe the Labor party offers a better alternative than the Liberals.

Their policies are generally ones I agree with. Our country needs government spending on key national infrastructure like the National Broadband Network and the fast train stuff. National Trade Cadetships are great (although the Libs have a similar policy, too). Education reform is important, particularly if combined with their policy about early intervention services for disabled children. If you want to read more policy stuff from the ALP, it can be viewed here. And in the interest of fairness, the LNP stuff can be viewed here. Surprise, surprise, there's actually stuff on the Lib's site about climate change.

But there's also the usual, "This is how Labor is full of fail," which I find a yawn. Regardless of which party is saying it or which party it's directed at. I'd rather hear what your party has to offer, rather than what you think the other one doesn't. Otherwise things get lost in the blah-blah-blah-blah.

As an aside, the marginal seat pandering has also irritated me. It's always irritated me. I don't think it's a healthy thing to try to convince people to vote for a party based on policies that target a narrow group of people who may or may not know what they want, other than more money from the government. It just seems to turn things into a race to the bottom.

After the last election, I lived in a seriously marginal seat. It meant I got to take part in lots of phone polls, which I always enjoyed. Do I have 10 to 15 minutes to go through some questions with you about politics? Why yes, I do. And that's probably why I also am more than happy to fill out polls online too. It's fun, bizarrely.

But back to losing things in the blah-blah-blah-blah, I've been disappointed with the media coverage of the campaign (for all parties involved). It's appeared to be quite personality-focused and the lack of serious, relevant questions relating to policy and plans bothers me. Most people probably won't take the time to explore the sites of the parties campaigning and are likely to rely on information from the media. News coverage should be able to provide people with the outlines of policies and point them toward where they can get more information about it if that's what they're into. Otherwise, things are ending up being soundbites, boat phone bad jokes and whatnot.

Anyway, Grog's Gamut has written about that way more sensibly than I could at this time of night. You can read that here.

I should be sleeping instead.

Oh, actually, one last thing that's annoyed me about the whole thing! People commenting on how Julia Gillard took over from Kevin Rudd. As if Tony Abbott didn't take over from Malcolm Turnbull. Who took over from Brendan Nelson. Plus we don't vote for the individual leaders to be the leaders of the parties. The parties themselves choose them. Unless you live in the leader's electorate, you're not actually voting for them. Why there seem to be people who don't grasp this just makes me wonder how much we've all learned in Australian Studies -_- I know we learned the lyrics to that dreadful "I'm a bloke, I'm an ocker..." song.