Okay, so one of my favourite vloggers nerimon did a 'Hung Parliament in Three Minutes' video which he basically detailed the events of the recent UK election. I'm not a vlogger, I don't have a video camera or the courage to shove my face in front of one, so I'm going to do a post of 'The Federal Election in a Shitload of Words'.
So, basically we had an election this weekend (during my forty hour famine). If you don't know anything about Australian politics (i.e. most of the Australian population), keep reading.
MAJOR PARTIES OF THE 2010 FEDERAL ELECTION:
The Australian Labor Party (Labor or ALP) - the incumbent governing party (centre-left) of Australia at the present, led by Julia Gillard, who ousted the former leader Kevin Rudd.
The Liberal Party of Australia (The Liberals, The Crummy Bastards, etc.) - the major opposition party (centre-right), in a coalition with the Nationals.led by Tony Abbott, possibly the most misogynistic, incompetent asshole ever to walk this country.
The National Party of Australia (The Nationals, The Country Bumpkins, etc.) - a political party that traditionally represents the farming and rural communities, in particular old farts stuck in the colonial turn of the (previous) century (centre-right). In a coalition with the Liberals and led by Warren Truss, who no-one knows of or cares about (I had to look him up on Wikipedia).
The Australian Greens (The Greens) - a political party of green political ideology with a preference deal thingy with Labor. Led by Bob Brown, and cool because they're all hippie greens and support sympathetic immigration protocols and gay marriage.
Other Random Parties - most of them are extremely right and biased, and therefore never get elected for anything.
The Independants - people who are fed up with parties and run solo shows.
The Australian Election System:
So, basically, Australia is divided up into loads of tiny sections called electorates - there are 150 electorates and therefore 150 seats in the House of Representatives. For a party to become the governing party (i.e. the leader becomes Prime Minister) that party must have half of the electorates/seats (75) plus one (so 76). People in the different electorates vote for the politician they want to represent their electorate (and they in turn belong to different political parties) and the political party they want to be in the Senate. Australia runs on what is known as a preferential system, so basically, if you vote for a party that has a very low vote tally, your votes are moved to your second choice party (you must number all candidates for your electorate in order or preference) and so on. Because of the preferential deal thingy the Greens have with the ALP, all votes that go to the Greens will be added to the ALP total in the event of a non-majority win (to win an electorate you must get at least 50 percent of the vote). Kind of confusing, but anyway.
The Key People of This Election:
The Honourable Julia Gillard MP, Prime Minister of Australia and Member for Lalor: The new leader of the ALP, kicked Kevin Rudd out of his seat recently. Many people don't like her for this. Other reasons for not liking her include the fact she's an Atheist, childless, unmarried and in a de facto relationship.
The Honourable Tony Abbott MP, Leader of the Opposition and Member for Warringah: The leader of the Coalition, the third new leader in two years. A fanatical Roman Catholic who makes all Christians look bad, he's known as the 'Mad Monk' and opposes basic things such as women's rights to abortion and paid maternal leave.
Senator Dr Bob Brown MB BS, Parliamentary Leader of the Australian Greens Senator for Tasmania: The leader of the Greens and the first openly gay member of Australian parliament. Anyone with half a brain likes him - which is why he gets no votes.
How Things Happened:
Before the election: Kevin Rudd, Leader of the ALP, was elected in 2007, finally ousting decript old scumbag John Howard. Kevin made some stupid mistakes with the help of his stupid advisor and recently got kicked out in favour of his deputy, Julia Gillard.
The election campaign: Julia makes even more stupid mistakes involving the Superprofit Tax, the Emissions Trading Scheme and shit like that. A leak from the ALP reveals that she was opposed to the cost of establishing a paid parental leave scheme. Tony Abbott tries to renounce his misogynistic, backwards, sexist comments dating back to the Stone Age. Yes We Canberra! mocks the whole thing to music including:
The Negotiate Song:
The Liberal Mental Health Scheme:
Penny Wong's Views on Marriage:
and The Gay Marriage Issue:
The Superprofit Tax - also known as the 'Mining Tax', a scheme introduced by Kevin Rudd to impose a bigger tax on rich bums digging up shit from our land. The miners didn't take to that too kindly. Has been adjusted by Julia Gillard - they didn't like that either.
Legalization of Gay Marriage - Tony Abbott, being the almost-Roman Catholic Priest, is vehemently against it. Julia Gillard is also against it for seemingly no apparent reason other than she's swayed so easily by the catestrophically huge proportion of the Australian populance who are backward facing fags. Bob Brown, being the first openly-gay member of Parliament, supports the legalization (unlike Penny Wong, who has to keep her trap shut in the name of the ALP), and so most of the 80% of Christians in Australia hate him.
The School's Building Stimulus Scheme - building buildings at schools to boost the economy. Didn't make any sense then or now, and is now botched because the buildings are crap and behind schedule. The brainchild of Julia Gillard, the former Minister for Education.
Paid Parental Leave - as wealthy and well off as Australia is, we currently don't have a set minimum for paid parental leave. Julia Gillard, fearing the cost, presented a rather stingy plan. Tony Abbott, who once claimed that parental leave would happen in Australia over 'his dead body' (damn, how I wish that would happen soon), is now offering a much generous offer to try and combat his misogynist persona, but a bastard is a bastard for life, I say.
Amongst other things.
Predictions for the election: A small number of us believed that it would be a hung parliament with the Greens and Independants in power. Most of us were kind of...confused.
The election: Voting took place last Saturday. At the moment the Coalition have a slight advantage, but no party has the prerequisite 76 seats. the ALP lost a shitload of seats.
So, it looks like the small people who believed in a hung parliament were right. Both parties are now trying to warm up to the Independants. Lovely.
So why didn't the ALP get the majority? The ousting of Kevin Rudd was unpopular with some, and Julia did make some big mistakes. They also underestimated Tony Abbott - a lot. But most of all, the ALP is loved for being a centre-left party, always moving Australia forward into the modern world. But this campaign in particular has been so right wing they're almost twin to the Liberals.
So why didn't the Liberals get the majority? Tony Abbott has always been deeply unpopular amongst many communities in Australia: women, the youth, the indiginous population, the gay population, etc. He's far too close to John Howard, who was detested by many. Tony Abbott is far too religious and backwards for a free-thinking and free-minded place like Australia. He wants everyone to be good little Catholics and resist sin, as if that is realistic in this day and age. He has absolutely no respect for women and if he gets into power we're going to go back to the Stone Age as far as women's rights is concerned. The modern world is no place for a conservative idiot who cannot look past his long white nose. Also, the Liberals held power for a very, very, very long time - from 1996, the year of my birth, to 2007, the year that I turned twelve. That's four terms, straight. Most of us with half a heart and half a brain are sick to death of the Liberals .
What happenned to the Greens? The Greens did very well, gaining two seats in the House of Representatives (they've never held a seat in the Lower House before) and were a big boost to the ALP seat count. But I cannot help but think that the Greens and the ALP could not be more different than now. The Greens have my vote - if I had it, of course.
So what has this election taught us? This election, for me, has actually made me confront how backwards Australia is. I've realized a much more fearsome percentage of the population are too pious, too conservative and too narrow minded for my anarchic liking - you cannot do much when you're on your knees with your eyes closed and your hands clasped in prayer. Australia is not the modern place I thought it to be, and I've just realized that the term 'average intelligence' applies to the majority. And the majority still rules, at the end of the day. Democracy only gives people what they want, not what they need. Democracy takes care of the fish who go with the flow, the flock of sheep, and leave us red fish, us black sheep, in the dark.
And now I leave you with a charming little song by the Chaser Boys that sums up this election nicely: