8 Nov. 2007

It's All Over Now

I just voted yesterday (at my local AEC office). It was a surprisingly depressing experience: I voted Greens in the Senate, then stared at the Lower House paper.

As I said earlier, I live in a very safe Liberal seat. If I thought there was a real chance that Labor could win here, I might have just put a big ONE next to their candidate. But the Labor candidate is a pro-business Jewish leader, presumably a Zionist (based on his AJN connections) and he has been nearly silent anyway. Sure, Murdoch controls all the local media here, but the Labor Party hasn't bothered channeling any funds at all into this seat.

Outside the AEC office there was colorful Liberal signage everywhere, and just one Nationals sign. A fat lady in a big hat was handing out Liberal how-to-vote papers. While I was waiting in the AEC office, an elderly lady complained, "Oh dear, I've lost my paper that tells me how to vote." Another lady who'd just voted said, "Here, dear. You can have mine." I'm sure that if I had slipped her a Greens or Labor paper, she would have voted for them instead. But there were none around.

And that's life on Steve Ciobo's Gold Coast: the party with all the money and power can afford to station little old ladies outside the AEC office for three weeks. Even if that little old lady is not being paid for her efforts, she is no doubt so comfortably off that she can afford the time. Her family's business probably enjoys Liberal Party kickbacks. Other women her age are busy taking the grandkids to kindy, so Mum and Dad can drive to work in Brisbane...

So there I was, staring at the House of Representatives paper. It was a long list of names and parties, but not the longest ever. I was telling myself to put a ONE next to the Labor candidate, but I just couldn't do it.

Labor is not going to pull the troops out of Iraq, not really. Labor is still going to spend millions of dollars on military collaboration with Bush's USA crazies. And Kevin Rudd is still sucking up to Rupert Murdoch.

I put a big ONE next to the Greens candidate, folded my paper into the envelope, and handed it over the counter.

Of course I want to see Howard Out. But a vote for Labor in my seat is not going to do much to achieve that goal. My vote for the Greens sends a signal that puts the major parties on notice: as the Green vote slowly nudges slowly up, election after election, the prospect of real ethical government draws ever closer.

Sadly, Mark Latham is right: this is "a Seinfeld election, a show about nothing" and there is no real difference between the two major parties.
"The dominant ethos is greed, not generosity."
I was sick to the gut when Howard won the last election. Most significantly for me, that was a chance for the Australian people to punish him for the illegal invasion of Iraq. But the Australian people believed his scare campaign on interest rates, and placed greedy self-interest ahead of public morality.

Three years later, what has changed? Rates have gone up six times, so NOW the people want to punish Howard. Not for his immoral lies, but for failure to deliver even more prosperity.

We are a sick society. I hope Kevin Rudd wins the Lodge, and I hope he opens a whole swathe of investigations into the Howard governments lies, and I hope that we, as a nation, move towards more enlightened attitudes to government. But we've got a long way to go.

I have posted my vote, and I have nothing more to say about this election.

If I do blog any more - and I may not - it will be over at Riding The Juggernaut.

This blog is now closed.

UPDATE: Any day now.... Any day now... I shall be released!