Saturday, 7 September 2013

What I hope for today

Well I've taken part in our election for 2013, where we have a choice for PM between two honesty-challenged candidates. I thought about voting informally for the House of Representatives, but decided that I wanted to send the electoral funding connected to my first preference to the Greens, who I can't see winning the seat. I found myself wishing we could exhaust our preferences, like we do for state elections, so that my vote would count for neither major party. Alas preferences will probably see my vote end up with the Labor Party.

What would I like to see today? Well, those wishes that have some chance of eventuating are:
  • The Greens to retain the balance of power in the Senate in order to stop the Coalition from having both houses.
  • Clive "Goofball" Palmer not to come anywhere close to winning in his electorate of Fairfax. I doubt the pompous windbag's ego will be deflated much by losing by a mile, but I want to see it anyway.
  • No Palmer candidates to get into the Senate. Former rugby league prop Glenn Lazarus, seems their best chance. Nobody who thinks Palmer isn't a joke should be allowed anywhere near a seat in Parliament.
  • Sophie Mirabella, the most annoying Q&A panellist ever, to lose her seat of Indi.
  • Kevin Rudd to lose the seat of Griffith. I would really like to see Rudd suffer the same final indignity that Howard received.

Some suggested reading for today

In the Sydney Morning Herald, Mike Carlton's Lies, damned lies and Australia's future
So, are we the people really going to elect a liar to The Lodge today? It seems we are. Every opinion poll predicts a thumping win for the Coalition. We will have a liar as our prime minister for at least the next three years.
In the Guardian, Elenore Potter's Tony Abbott sets out the dots and the media join them
Tony Abbott ended the campaign doing what he has done for so long with such brutal success – framing the political debate.

Finally releasing the Coalition costings just two days before voting day, Joe Hockey said the intention was to "cut growth in foreign aid to pay for more infrastructure here in Australia".
But also in the fine print of the costings document – as we pointed out – was a big cut from public transport funding. We already knew Abbott wasn’t going to fund urban rail projects, but here we had the full and costed cuts to Melbourne metro rail, the Brisbane cross-river rail, Perth urban rail public transport and the Tonsley Park public transport plan for Adelaide.

So the Coalition could have just as legitimately said it was paying for road infrastructure by cutting public transport.

And also in the document was the previously flagged cut to the schoolkids bonus, worth $4.6bn over the same four years. So the Coalition could also be said to be paying for new roads by taking away government payments to low and middle income households. But those would have been far less palatable stories.

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