Sunday, October 10, 2004

The horror, the horror

I have been a bad blogger. It is only now on Sunday evening that I have been able to bring myself to post about last night's events. Thankfully we never promised that Psephite would provide up-to-the-minute coverage...

Last night I watched the election at an election party. And what a sad party it was. In attendance with me was comicstriphero who left early, once it became clear that things were very bad. I am not sure if we will see a post from her any time soon, she has driven back to Canberra today and may spend the next couple of months in an election-induced fugue state.

The party was unashamedly Labor/Greens supportive so you can imagine the pall of depression that was only worsened by the beer that had to be consumed to dull the pain. We had a couple of wags who kept our spirits up, those who insisted that Family First were actually saying that lesbians burn the steak, being tofu-eaters and all and were subsequently not to be trusted at BBQs. But it wasn't enough.

So where did it all go wrong? I will continue in the vein of my previous analytical posts and provide a couple of spurious claims based on gut-feeling.

Firstly, the L-plater Latham. Did inexperience really play a part in the end? I think it did. Howard is a crafty bastard and Latham just seemed too honest. Too nice (but not as nice as Big Beazo). Howard plays on people's fears, he plays on the fears that people have of losing what they have got. Whereas Labor attempted to provide promise of building on what we had, Howard just emphasised that it all may be lost. The Coalition ran a negative, fear-mongering campaign. No surprises there then.

Latham tried to bring a 'vision' to the campaign but he is evidently not a good speaker, his repetition and monotone never inspiring anyone much. Perhaps he would have been better served if we saw the cabbie-punching, congo-line-of-suckhole Latham. Perhaps he should have just gone out and nailed the scum instead of trying to provide 'vision', however weak.

The thing though that frightens me most about this result is what this says about the Australian people. Howard has succeeded in turning this country into a collection of individuals who care only about what they will directly get from the Government. Mainly, they seem to care about cash. The promise of a tiny bit of cash is far more easy to understand than Labor's 'Medicare Gold' which on the surface seemed to benefit only the over-75s but which in reality had a trickle-down effect that would reach most of the population. Such an idea has proven too complex for the electorate. We've become a population that is self-serving, simple, ignorant, money-grabbing, short-sighted and unwilling to risk a couple of bucks for the greater good. At least, this is what last night's result would have you believe.

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