Whilst this may come as a massive shock to some readers, there are a lot of things about this election campaign which are really pissing me off. I thought that I’d write a little collection of some of the most annoying things that have been happening in the last few weeks (and years, since it could be argued that the last 3 years have just been a continued campaign).
People Who Don’t Understand the Preferential Voting System
More specifically, I’m not particularly angry at people who don’t understand the preferential system – I’m angry that people haven’t at some point had the preferential system explained to them. Thankfully there’s a cartoon which explains quite succinctly how the preferential system does work, although the jury’s still out on exactly why the dialogue takes place between a koala and a dingo.
Similarly frustrating are people who care about how-to-vote cards. You don’t actually need a piece of paper to tell you which order you should put people in – in fact, given that your own interests will almost certainly never align exactly with a particular party, it’s highly unlikely that a how-to-vote card will ever order candidates in the same way that you would choose to without one. With that said I’ll probably be spending election day handing some of them out, so whatever.
Discussions about Tony Abbott’s fitness and community activities
For some reason (probably because it makes him look like a fantastic dude, which by all means he might be), Tony Abbott’s daughters, and a lot of so-called-journalists have some obsession with telling everybody about how he runs marathons, and has worked as a surf lifesaver, and as a volunteer firefighter.
Whilst this is all completely true, and he could be forgiven for getting a bit of self-satisfaction out of all of these activities, it doesn’t actually matter. Whilst it’s early days, I’m yet to see any evidence, scientific or otherwise, that working as a volunteer firefighter or turning up to your daughters’ netball games is particularly indicative of any ability to govern a nation of over 20 million people. It’s possible that Tony Abbott is a fantastic father, and that his friends really like him – but none of that relates on the most remote of levels to whether or not he’ll be a good Prime Minister. Oh well.
People who say Tony Abbott is stupid
Ok, yes, he’s made a dick of himself in public multiple times, but he did study at Oxford on a Rhodes Scholarship, and as such now holds an MA from one of the most prestigious universities in the world. I reckon that’s probably enough to prove that he’s not as big of an idiot as a lot of people say.
Seriously, can’t she just fuck off?
The Coalition’s refusal to provide any costed policies
The fact that the LNP has spent the last few months brushing aside requests to reveal their costed policies is both annoying, and pathetic. If you’re going to criticise the government’s actions and economic skills, you’d better be able to provide a legitimate alternative, which the Opposition has spectacularly failed to do.
This has been going on for longer than just the election campaign, though. The last three years have been an almost unique time in Australia’s political history (hung parliaments are in fact quite rare), in that we’ve had a minority government, which the Opposition have repeatedly claimed was a ‘failed experiment,’ despite over 400 pieces of legislation being passed by the end of 2012.
What’s particularly interesting about minority government is that the cross-bench can change how they vote at any time, which can lead and has lead to a change in government. The practical implications of this are pretty massive, but one thing which for some reason didn’t happen was the potential introduction of legislation by the Opposition with the help of the cross-bench. Given that the Australian population voted in 72 members of the Liberal and National Parties, presumably because at least some of the populace liked at least some of the policies the parties were proposing, it would have been at worst a moderately good idea to try to actually pass some of them. This failure was actually really massive, because it may have potentially reflected on what the Coalition would do if they did form government.
Essentially this means that the Coalition have had over three years to form costed policies, and they haven’t actually announced anything. It’ll be interesting if they win to see if they’ve actually got any idea how to present policies, given their total lack of action in this area during the last parliament.
Guys we have an election in less than a week. We don’t need people running simulated elections multiple times every day to tell us how it’s going to go. Can you imagine how pissed off people would be if I started doing that before every episode of Game of Thrones was released? That’s what I thought.
So yeah, cool. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my in-depth guide on exactly what to bring up if you want to piss me off over the next week or so. And please, please remember to vote below the line.