Monday, November 26, 2007


I watched hour after hour of the election night coverage on Saturday night, eager to see what my fellow Australians would do. Whether the Liberal government of the past 11 years would be returned, or whether Australians would vote for change.

Some paste-up graffiti electioneering in Newtown.

They voted for change, with a huge swing away from the sitting government.

We now have a new Labor government. It just goes to show, you can beat the drum on money and the economy all you want, but you cannot forget a strong social agenda. Record low unemployment and a strong economy (partly due to the current mining and resources boom) is not enough if people think their rights are not being respected, if schools and hospitals are being underfunded, if the disadvanteged are not being given a voice, and if long term issues like climate change or not being addressed.

Last Place

It seems to me it was as much an anti-Liberal vote as anything else. Especially given the fact that John Howard appears to also be only the second Prime Minister ever to also lose his position as the local member for his own electorate. It will be close, and postal votes need to still be finalised, but it seems like it's not just the party that has been given the thumbs down by Australia, but the man himself.


yani said...

Actually I think it was totally the man rather than the party at large... and it might not have been such a landslide (although I still think they would have been out on his ear) had he stepped down and given the job to somebody else.

Of course we'll never know.

The Other Andrew said...

I surprised that Costello took his bat & ball and went home. But then, if you wait 11 or whatever years to have something given to you, I guess second prize just doesn't cut it.

Cecilia said...

Maxine has just claimed Bennelong.

And I was amused and appalled and a little proud to see this in the paper yesterday:

"As the Liberals drowned their sorrows on Saturday night, one former senior Liberal adviser blamed the result on "the f---ing Chinese", an apparent reference to Asian voters in Bennelong turning against Mr Howard."

Go Asian voters!!

The Other Andrew said...

Yay! They may be inscrutible, but they know who they hate!

Seriously though, this just sums up the conservatives in my mind. A thin veneer of civility over some shocking attitudes. Take Abbott's comments toward Bernie Banton, for example.

Cecilia said...

And now Abbott wants to be leader of the opposition??? That takes some self-delusion!!

Ur-spo said...

i rely on you to inform us/me about all that goes on down there.
and what the heck is 'labor'. ...

The Other Andrew said...

Ur-spo, our two main political parties are Liberal & Labor. Broadly speaking Liberal is to the right of politics (ironically) and has a more conservative agenda, while Labor is left and is seen to be more of a "worker's" party with more inclusive social policies. Many of the current Labor parlimentarians have risen through the Union movement, for example. A fact which the conservative side of politics made scare tactics from this time around (to no avail).

Aside from the big 2, The Greens would be the next most significant and are a long standing party that is primarily on a environment/social policy agenda. The once important Democrats Party (no relation to yours) is now a spent force, and has lost all its seats. Other small groups like the religios right Family First Party are really small (but annoying).

Mel said...

I e-mailed this to M-H the other day, thought you might find it an interesting read, too:

Michael said...

I hope I'm singing the same tune after our elections this time next year.

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

oh I definitely think it's both - it's the party AND it's the man.

I am still doing the Dance Of Joy at seeing that f@ck-head done and dusted. I praise his electorate for coming out of their conservative shells and giving him what-for.

and the Libs are now dirtier than they have ever been. they are beyond description as 'conservative' - they have been nothing less than arrogant, disrespectful, compassionless, condescending and patronising. how dare they ever claimed they were doing anything for that much-misused term, the 'battler'. screw 'em... screw 'em all.

if there is something that is screamingly obvious about JWH's reign, it's that he carefully manipulated a sense of fear, insecurity and distrust. it led to our nation becoming self-centred and fearful, turning in on itself and looking after Number One instead of embracing not only immigrants but our own disadvantaged. and what good is a deficit when so many people are in need?

even if this new Labor government is still a far whack less Left that I (and many others) would prefer, I have the hope that they let people show their compassion and sense of community. when people feel secure about their own future, they start to care about others. we need to feel happier. we'll get bolder and braver and make bigger, better decisions.

and yes, I am one-part bitchy cynic and one-part eternal optimist.

here endeth the lecture ;-)

worldpeace and a speedboat said...

ps - you will LOVE Keatings sum up of the hopefuls for Lib leadership -

ahhhh Keating ;-)