Another Big Party’s Lament

What do you want, Australia?

Can we form government or not? You haven’t even given us 50% of the vote! You hate them, but you don’t automatically vote for us even though we – and they – have repeatedly told you it’s a two party system?

WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM US?

We were very careful in this campaign to pretend to have abandoned all the scary things we believe in but you don’t like. We announced some things that sound good (money for some forms of mental health, a sort of parental leave) and left the unpopular details of how we’d pay for it (slashing $1.5 billion from education, for starters) until the last day or so when it was too late for most of you to hear about it.

All the polls said you were really liking what we’re doing and really hating what they’re doing. But you didn’t elect us!

WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM US?

We all had a good laugh about Labor’s lame slogans (“Working families”, “moving forward”, ha) and ignored how childish and empty ours were (“stop the boats”, “great big new tax”). You teased us by making us hope you’d forgiven us for the Howard years and were going to restore us to our place as the natural party of government in this country.

We changed leaders until we had one you seemed to like (and that was hard work, we went through four of them in three years) and then all acted outraged at Labor changing the one we all agreed we hated, and you seemed to like it. We made that a central theme of the campaign, and you lapped it up.

And then you didn’t get us over the line! You left us feeling like we’d sort of won but without the actual numbers that would enable us to form government! You teased us with the taste of victory and then dangled it just a little out of our grasp!

WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM US?

Frankly, I’m not sure why we even bother.

You’ve let us down, terribly.

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