Monthly Archives: November 2010

RSPCA on the Victorian Election – three days late.

The RSPCA breaks down the Victorian parties’ animal welfare policies – and sends out the email announcing it today, three days after the election.

Liberal voters who care about their four-legged friends might be a little disturbed to discover what they’ve voted for.

Victorian election settles politics once and for all

With the news that the two conservative parties in Victoria may, when counted together, have scraped over the line and won a bare majority of seats in the lower house, lefties around the state are abandoning their entire political philosophy in droves.

“I had thought that the provision of decent public services was more important than tax cuts”, said Claudia Rizzo, sipping her latte in a cafe in Brunswick Street. “But the news that up to six percent of Victorians who voted for the ALP four years ago switched to the Coalition has changed my mind. I’m leaving the Greens forever and becoming a Young Liberal.”

Another Greens supporter living in Cranbourne, one of the more than 10% of people throughout the state not living in the inner city who supported the party once again on the weekend, despite the swing to the conservatives, was resolute.

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned from elections in Australia, it’s that the side that wins slightly more than half of the vote (or doesn’t, but manages to get slightly more than half of the seats) is entitled to get its way on everything from now on. The side that won’t have a majority of MPs for the next four years is irrelevant and all its voters should now back the winning side.”

“I can’t believe I used to believe in the rule of law!” he added. “Thank God that a Baillieu parliament is going to take over from the courts and shatter the separation of powers.”

James Martin, who supported Labor in 2006 but this time voted for the Liberals because “the Liberals promised to help first homebuyers”, was looking forward to finally being able to afford to buy a house. Like many younger Victorians, he has found it increasingly difficult competing against investors already in the market, who use their equity as existing homeowners to push prices out of reach for those who aren’t. The Liberals’ superficially attractive and extremely expensive promise to cut stamp duty appealed to him: “Vendors are going to pass on the savings to buyers at auction, right?”

Polemicists from media organisations that had spent the last term of government pretending that the state was disintegrating into anarchy humbly thanked the tiny proportion of swinging voters who’d temporarily switched sides, for confirming that they were right about everything.

“This result just goes to prove what I’ve been saying,” said Rupert Smith, Australia’s leading conservative commentator. “It’s a ringing endorsement of all of my personal political opinions, which a few thousand swinging voters have clearly now adopted on behalf of every citizen of the state. Read my Wednesday column where I’ll tell you what you’re going to do next.”

The Liberal spokesperson was jubilant. “In a time when voters were already sick of an eleven year government, and we’d warned them that fifteen years was pretty much unprecedented in modern Victoria, we were able to marginally increase our vote to about half! Well, when you include the National Party as well! Frankly, the almost half of the state that still disagrees with us must be ashamed of themselves.”

Similarly, the spokesperson for the National Party was elated. “We got almost half the Greens’ vote, but we get ten seats and they get none! Isn’t our electoral system wonderful! Now they can shut up and stop trying to protect the land on which our constituents depend while we help big corporations ravage it.”

The mood at ALP headquarters seemed to be one of utter embarrassment. As one former frontbencher said: “If only we’d known that the right-wing view of the world was correct, we could have saved ourselves so much time and money! And the state! We really hope the Liberals can forgive us for denying them the power that is rightfully theirs for so long.”

Last, and certainly least, the Greens, who had initially been telling reporters that a rise in their vote since the last state election was actually something they were pretty happy with, eventually came clean and admitted that “more than a tenth of Victorian voters is practically nothing when you contrast it with the most optimistic projections our opponents used to try to scare people” and promised to go away forever.

“Kevin Andrews is right,” said their spokesperson. “Lefties don’t deserve to exist, let alone be represented in Parliament in accordance with our numbers.”

“We’ve learned our lesson now. Please accept our apologies.”

Go ahead and complain, please

Talking of buyers’ remorse – check out this New York Times story about the online shonky business that thrives the more customers complain.

It’s the kind of well-researched, well-written, eloquent journalism we don’t see enough of in this country.

(Via @Colvinius.)

UPDATE: Google responds.

UPDATE #2 (8/12): A week later, and things have gone rather badly for Mr Borker.

Buyers’ remorse

Quick question: who voted for Labor last time but the Coalition this time? I’d be fascinated to hear your rationale.

PS: It’s okay, you can use a pseudonym – I understand if you’re feeling a bit of buyer’s remorse this morning.

UPDATE (Sunday evening): Ah, no-one’s admitting it. I can’t say I blame you. (I mean, for being quiet about it. I certainly blame you for putting the rest of us at the mercy of the damn right-wingers again.)

Penny Wong is at least advocating for principle

A quick note of congratulation and support for federal ALP Minister Penny Wong. I have been fairly critical of her previous unprincipled failure to publicly stand – and vote in parliament – for equality. I understand how strict Labor is with its MPs, and how little real freedom they have with their votes – but their ultimate responsibility is still to the electorate, not the Labor caucus.

Which is why I am so pleased today to see that she’s bravely stood up and said, hang the consequences, I am going to publicly support full equality.

Except if the Labor Party decides against it and there’s a vote in parliament: Wong’s still not said she’d vote in Parliament according to her principles if the party ordered her not to.

Still, from an ALP Minister, that’s a significant step forward. Let’s hope the Greens can bring her the rest of the way.

Serious cracks are appearing in the dam wall of discrimination. I look forward to the collapse.

More effective advocacy

I’m a bit annoyed with myself, actually. Although I spent ten hours in the rain yesterday handing out Greens HTVs, I didn’t point out anything particularly useful to prospective voters. What I should’ve been saying is things like “What are the Liberals going to cut to pay for their prisons and stamp duty promises?” and “Annoyed with Labor over poor public transport? Let them know by voting Green – the Libs are even worse!

Sod the environment – there were much punchier things we needed to be arguing.

The infuriating thing is that Labor did run a negative campaign – but on irrelevant stupid crap like Baillieu’s background. They should’ve run one on the late costings, and the piss-poor explanation the Liberals have given for how they’re going to fund their terrible policies. Far too many people appear to have voted Liberal without thinking about that.

Fellow Victorians, prepare for serious pain if the News Ltd party – disingenuous election-day editorial notwithstanding, the Libs owe a lot to Rupert for four years of utter bullshit about the state of Victoria – gets over the line.

Painful remembering

I like it better when the Liberals are not a reasonable chance of winning with a list of truly appalling policies we’re going to have to endure for the next four years.

What the hell were the Labor voters who switched to the Liberals thinking? You get that where Labor is crappy with public services, the Liberals are even worse?

Remember the Kennett years?

Apparently you’ve forgotten. What a painful remembering this looks like being.