Showing posts from November, 2007

Friday Follies

Whilst there are many, many good things about the election being over, there's one drawback for me: I'm going to have to start thinking of post titles again. I'm not quite ready yet though, so I'll take the easy way out today. Finally, The Australian confesses the truth. The Chaser's suprisingly moving final tribute to John Howard. Crikey presents it's Election Award Winners A friend of mine was terrified upon seeing Therese Rein on TV, but couldn't really say why. Now we know (scroll down to the second picture...) This is what I pretty much expect every time I post (surely the Cheesecake Incident was of international signifcance?)

Election '07 - Disjointed Afterthoughts

It still hasn't fully sunk in yet - John Howard isn't the Prime Minister anymore, and Peter Costello never will be . When you've hoped for, wished for, and in your own small way worked for something this long, there's bound to be a sense of disbelief and perhaps even mild letdown when it actually happens. Being an hopeless (and infuriating) channel surfer, I actually watched the Election coverage on all three channels. Each went for their own little angle, from Channel Nine's shredder to the Footy Show style panel on Seven, and the earnest tone of the ABC. Of all the guests across the networks, I thought Tanya Pilbersek was the most eloquent and inspiring in how she described Labor's readiness for this moment. (And calling Alexander Downer a sook was the soundbite of the night). Contrast her manner with the not-quite-tears of Joe Hockey, sitting right next to her.  Was I the only one who didn't realise that the woman holding hands with Tim Howard during hi

Election '07 - The Wrap Up

Can there be a sweeter moment than this ? How long have we had to wait? How endless did it seem? How we dreamed of the moment when it was all over - the nation was no longer under the Howard regime. And yet how far off it seemed sometimes. To be honest, tonight did come as something of an anti-climax, simply because once the result was known, round about the 8:30pm mark, it was an eternity to wait for the official concession and victory speeches. Also...because I am of a slightly doubtful frame of mind, I couldn't trust in this till the very end. So, I thought Howard sounded like a sore loser, and Rudd less inspiring than he should have been. But I'm too tired for any rational analysis now. It's been an awesome night. And apparently I've been linked to by the Wall Street Journal . Tomorrow, I'll attempt some sensible analysis.

Election '07 - Election Day

11pm Well, we wanted to see him lose , and he has, and watching Howard concede defeat has been a great, great moment. I'll leave it to the Labor MPs to not be sore winners. Because, the hell with it, we've sufferred many defeats and much pain. This vindication could not be any sweeter. Was this better than Rudd's victory speech? Well, I've hated Howard so much longer. As a blogger, I've no duty to toe the morall ine whatsoever. It's been a long night...hopefully we'll hear from Rudd soon. Incidentally...the highest ranking Liberal poltician in the nation is now the Lord Mayor of Brisbane.
8:30pm Almost there. The Government's not conceding, but they can't put it off much longer. Nor can Howard reasonably do so in Bennelong... I wasn't expecting this to happen so soon. No words can explain how I feel right now.
6:30pm Well, the polls have closed and we're all waiting for the first results to come in. I can relate to how Helen Razer feels - but there's nothing to do now but wait. Voting was pretty uneventful for me; there were no candidates or Chaser team members at the polling place. As I was voting outside of my electorate, I wasn't even given any how-to-vote cards. I have a small confession to make, though... Whilst I intended to vote Greens for the Senate, I wasn't entirely happy with their preferences, so I decided to number every box below the line. It took ages, but as I put an 80 in the box next to the last candidate (Christian Democrats), I felt a small sense of triumph - "There, take that!" Then I saw on the ballot paper the instructions to number the boxes from 1 to 79. Somewhere along the line, I'd lost count. I started counting through the boxes, trying to figure out where I'd lost my way. But when I got to around preference 25, I gave up, rememb

Election '07 - Two Days To Go

In all the discussion of Work Choices, interest rates, working families and the economy, no one seems to have talked about the real issues of the campaign. Not the things which will define the nature of the nation long after any current economic conditions have changed. There's something deeper here - what sort of tone, even morality, we want for the nation. I'm not speaking of hypocritical "Christian" morality used by politicians whenever it suits their purposes, but just the ideas of helping out those worse off than ourselves, tolerance, and a fair go for everyone, including giving extra assistance to those who started from behind. Those finer ideals that Howard has done so much to destroy in the past eleven years. No one seems to be mentioning the things that the Coalition has done over their years in office - from mandatory detention to work for the dole - that have created a national attitude which disdains help for those less fortunate (unless they happen to be

Election '07 - Four Days To Go

We've published far fewer election posts here than I would have expected in the giddy moments of excitement as the campaign kicked off. Some of it has admittedly been due to my heavy work schedule and even a little laziness, but the main reason is that it's just so hard to get excited. Although I do very much want to see the back of Howard, it's hard to see what practical difference it will make, come next Monday morning. It's not that there's anything wrong with Kevin Rudd precisely. But - screaming schoolkids aside - there's nothing to get excited about either. It was all so different three years ago. Mark Latham was different, all right. At the time I had the feeling that, come the Sunday after the Latham victory, a different Australia would form. So when that didn't happen, it was incredibly disappointing (and to more than myself, although how many would admit that now?). This time around, there's no such hope. I had trouble articulating precisely w

Election '07 - Five Days To Go

Overheard on the Election hustings: Two Kevin07 shirt-clad Labor campaign workers were leafleting outside the local supermarket when they were approached by a third person who apparently knew them both. His greeting of, "How's it going?" was met with the response, "We were just discussing whether the term Comrade is gender-specific". I guess Rudd's Labor isn't as New as it would first seem. ~~~ I've really got to get better at speaking my mind. Having noticed posters for the local Liberal candidate around the place, I've wondered, Why is this man bothering? This morning, I had my chance to ask. He was standing outside the train station, handing out leaflets of his own. Given the opportunity to ask why he's wasting his time, when he tried to hand me a leaflet, I replied..."Sorry, no thanks." This was the best I could do? What's likely to be my only chance to express my disatisfaction with what the Liberals have done to this count

Election '07 - 12 Days To Go

An argument against the federal Labor party that's being bandied about lately is, "Look at what a terrible job state Labor are doing in NSW - can they be trusted to do any better federally?" The only possible comeback to this is to acknowledge the failings of the NSW state government, but to point out that the only reason that they were re-elected last March is because the NSW state Liberals are even worse. It's hard to believe that such a thing is possible, but there it is. Last week the Government gave up on the proposed T-Card system, cancelling the contract with the company hired to develop the thing, after spending ten years and $60 million dollars. An integrated ticketing system for buses, trains and ferries; how hard could that be? It certainly sounded easy enough that when the project was first proposed, it was anticipated it would be in use by the Sydney 2000 Olympics. Instead, seven years later, a passenger can go to Circular Quay, which could be a great tr

The Race Australia Should Stop

I've never been a big fan of Melbourne Cup day. This is kind of hard when one works in an office - I refuse to take part in any way, including watching the thing. For this, I'm often chastised for being anti-social - and frequently told, "it's just a bit of fun". I don't get it. I really don't see the fun in watching a defenceless animal being whipped. Even if all the horses happen to be masochists, there's always the risk of horrific injuries, like this . In the story they mention how some observers were in tears; but I wonder how many of these left the track and refused to participate any more in such barbarism. (I'd planned a milder post expressing my general disdain, but the thought of that poor animal staggering towards the finishing line before being put down - well, I'm too upset and angry to be moderate).

Thank You for Smoking

We're endlessly being told that we live in an angry society these days - and it's true. It seems there's no human activity these days that doesn't have its own form of "rage" attached to it. This blog post from Gary Linnell details some of the many incidents of fill-in-the-blank rage that have occurred recently - including, most tragically, a retiree beaten to death on his front lawn in an argument over water restrictions (as it turns out, it was legal for lawns to be watered at the time the man was killed). Why is this happening? Oh sure, we live in a more stressful society these days, and we're all short on time...but I think those excuses rather miss the point. At times of extreme stress, such as during war, communities often pull together with deep solidarity. Of course, people also have developed short tempers and limited patience due to our instant gratification society. But I have another theory - which you sure as hell won't hear from the mai