Saturday, July 31, 2010

it's on

"Your guilty conscience may force you to vote Democratic,
but deep down inside you secretly long for a cold-hearted Republican
to lower taxes, brutalise criminals
and rule you like a king"

Thanks Bob. Never a truer word have been spoken. Here in old Awhstrahlia, instead of having Democrats and Republicans we have The Australian Labor Party and the Liberal Party.

Traditionally, the Liberal Party is the party of fat and well being. I think they would say they pride themselves on keeping the books balanced, on making sure homes gets a double garage and that middle class Australians pay as little tax as possible, including by cutting public services (read: health and education). The Liberal Party is who Australia turns to when it's feeling a little cold and hungry. When it's not sure what's around the corner, and how we're going to pay for it.

The Australian Labour Party on the other hand plays to what, most of us, feel is just. Notable ALP victories in my life time include Gough Whitlam, who came to power in 1972 as Australians were sick of bigoted foreign policy that had got us caught up in the Vietnam War (and gave us the best campaign slogan ever).

Whitlam also began Australian's on the road to Reconciliation when he famously poured sand into the hand of Vincent Lingiari -a Gurindji man's - hand, starting the ball rolling for land rights and native title. He also laid the foundations for our current system of accessible health care and legal aid.

Unfortunately Whitlam was especially bad at balancing the books and was dismissed from power by the Governor General on Armistice Day 1975.

Labor Prime Ministers have continued in his footsteps, with commitments (real or spin) to health, education, diversity and human rights. They've taken other steps towards reconciliation, most notably Paul Keating's marvelous Redfern Address

and Kevin Rudd's Apology speech.

Kevin 07 rode into power as most Australians were sick of putting our tired, sick and huddled masses into off-shore detention centers. We were sick of licking some foreign arses, while blowing the shit out of others. We were sick of climate change sceptics, misogyny and Wallabies tracksuits.

And here we are three years later, and once again the ALP has shot itself in the foot. Despite a strong start, and amazingly managing to handle the GFC extraordinarily well, it's made poor taxation decisions and partaken in infighting in an election year.


and now, with a new leader, they've adopted policies that make it difficult to tell the parties about. It's not so much a case of "he said, she said", but "what she said".

At least I get to host the greatest of traditions: the election night party. So we can drink beer and watch the ABC while Antony Green crunches the numbers.

I'm cooking pork.

And we started with Bob. Maybe another Bob's in with a chance this time?

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