Monday, November 27, 2006

Australia Votes: QueerPenguin Says 'Meh'

Firstly, regarding this annual election: Don't be too grumpy that a paddy won Oz Idol (you xenophobic, anti-Irish, nationalistic supremacist scum). Gina G came 8th in Eurovision once (UPDATE: Thanks to Eurovision tragics everywhere). Just the cosmos balancing these sorts of things out.

Meanwhile, downstairs in this four-yearly election: Victorians vote for the status quo in one of the most boring elections since Nora Flynn was voted top dog following Myra's murder*.

Of note: There was a direct correlation bewteen the fall in Labor's primary vote and the rise in Fundies First's. Like, literally - Labor were down 4.3%, while FF debut vote in their first Vic election was 4.3%. This isn't a big surprise - Labor has always had a core socially conservative voter base mixed in with its more progressive voters - but unfortunately, we can assume based on these figures that Labor will maintain a chummy relationship with the Happy Bashers and thereby negate any claim to calling itself a genuinely progressive party (if, indeed, Labor even bothers with that tag anymore).

What worries me more is that in this election, the Greens' vote remained essentially the same. Now, considering the daily screams of anti-Green hysteria propagated by the Hun and other quality Murdoch publications, that's actually quite a good achievement - but then again, would people inclined to vote Green even read the Hun anyway, and/or be convinced just by one throw-away rag of the 'evils' of the Green Menace without tottering off to do their own research and/or read a less biased source? I'm not sure I want to lay the blame regarding the Greens' static vote entirely with the Hun; maybe it's just a case that the Greens have reached saturation of primary voters. Maybe, in Victoria at least, 10% of the voting pool is the highest they can hope for. This should have been the moment they went one step further than the last election and won at least one Lower House seat, but it looks as though Bronwyn Pike will actually increase her margin in Melbourne.

I guess the best thing to do now is keep an eye on the upcoming NSW State and Federal elections and see if the same is true of Fundies First - i.e. if their total voter base is only 4-5% or whether they are still growing - mutating - in force. Also, pay attention to disgruntled Labor/Lib voters and see with which party they cast their protest votes. Now that the Greens have essentially consolidated their core voter base with that of former Democrats voters, the test is to see if they can keep poaching disgruntled progressives from both Labor and Liberal- or have all potential 'defectors' already defected? Results from Victoria are not encouraging.

Say what you will about the Greens, but Australian voters deserve a valid third force in our political system - and I'd sure as hell much prefer it to be the Greens than Fundies First.

(*obscure Prisoner reference)


At 27/11/06 6:42 pm, Blogger JahTeh said...

I never even bothered looking at the two major parties, just Greens and Fundies First and my language got progressively worse through the night. At my polling booth, all the fundies were old people so they were probably trying to get a few points up in case they shuffled off in the night.

At 28/11/06 12:34 am, Blogger nash said...

I absolutely agree with you - what a bad choice Nora was as Top Dog... (and what do you mean "obscure"?!)

At 28/11/06 9:17 am, Blogger weasel said...

Gina G cam 8th in Eurovision actually... that article doesn't claim that she won, either.

At 28/11/06 12:47 pm, Blogger Splatterbottom said...

The problem with the Greens is that are too leftist. They are never going to do more than claim a few upper house and inner city seats unless they become a broader church, so to speak. Maybe they are happy being a ginger group for now, and will moderate as they get closer to power.

The reason they didn't increase their vote is that they leeched the available Democrat vote last time.

I vote for them because they are the best of a bad bunch and I like their leader, but it is not without misgivings.

At 28/11/06 3:39 pm, Blogger Sam said...

I agree SB - and I think most Green supporters themselves would acknowledge a lack of broad appeal that (once) made the Democrats a serious third force (although I don't believe the Democrats ever came as close to winning a state seat as the Greens almost just did in Victoria). I certainly do, but I'll keep voting for them while they're still, as you say, the best of a bad bunch.

Plus I think Bob Brown is a quality, class-act leader, who certainly puts Howard, Beazley, Vaile and Allison in the shade.

At 28/11/06 9:33 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you weasel.

Shame on you penguin! Gina G never won Eurovision.... be careful, us Eurovision obsessees are out there!

At 29/11/06 9:51 am, Blogger Sam said...

Duly and humbly corrected.

At 29/11/06 3:12 pm, Blogger Jeremy said...

Well, we could become a "broader" church, but only by moving to the right. And wouldn't that kind of defeat the point? If people want to vote for a pragmatic centre-right party that would feed its own grandmothers to the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal, they can already vote for the ALP.

At 29/11/06 4:32 pm, Blogger Sam said...

"Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal"?

In the words of Jacqueline Bouvier (Marge's mum, not Kennedy's widow), "I don't know who that is".

I'm not sure it's necessarily just the Greens moving to the right, MrL - maybe it's more about marketing. During their peak, the Democrats, as I remember it, were able to balance socially progressive policies with 'modern' (ie fairly free-market) economics, without the constant media condemndation that the Greens suffer (not until GST and the leadership debacles, anyway).

Although now that Uncle John has deigned to admit that climate change actually exists, maybe the Greens don't look so 'kooky' these days so much as being right all along.

At 30/11/06 8:49 am, Blogger Splatterbottom said...

Mr Lefty: Well, we could become a "broader" church, but only by moving to the right. And wouldn't that kind of defeat the point?

I am not advocating the Greens become conservative, but is it so bad to, say, adopt sensible economic policies which enable the avoidance of large scale poverty while pursuing the socially responsible part of the agenda?

One would think that an important goal of a political party is to get votes, and taking a few steps in that direction does not necessarily result in selling out important principles. At some stage voters need to be persuaded to vote for you.

At 30/11/06 12:25 pm, Blogger george said...

Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal; see, also Vogons

Sheesh! You guys are so unhip it's a wonder your bums don't fall off!


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