Thursday, November 04, 2004

The Australian Federal elections were held three weeks ago, with the incumbent conservative coalition returned to power with an increased majority. But who will really determine Australia's role in the world for at least the next three years - the length of the parliamentary term here - was only decided yesterday.

If Kerry had won, then perhaps Australia might have pulled its head in - or at least its arse-licking tongue. But with Bush returned, the worst is still to come. The ritual humility of re-election lasted until Prime Minister Howard's victory speech on election night. The arrogance surfaced before the words, gave lie to them. Do not expect anything different in the U.S. Cue to Thin Lizzy singing "The Boys are Back in Town".

There is so much talk of polarisation, because the vote is split fairly evenly. This to me is not polarity, more the opposite. Centrality. Assume the populace exists upon a ruler, two feet long, a right-hand foot, a left-hand foot. What I see is a (voting) population clustered about the centre, extending about three-quarters of an inch in either direction & with an overlap of about half an inch in the centre. That's where the bulk of the population exists, & they cast their vote not so much on policies but on who they feel can best handle the economy, or uphold "family" values. The only interest is self-interest.

In Australia the anti-abortion noises are starting to deafen. Same sex marriages have been legislated against with the accordance of both major parties. Women are being paid to have babies. Doctors have just put up their fees but the public health system which is the only alternative is in crisis. The Foreign Minister, a poncing dick-brain on his better days, utters threats about pre-emptive strikes on our Pacific neighbours. Everything is being sold or contracted out to private enterprise. The protective shield of unionised labour is under attack & will probably not last the next three years.

& let me made a couple of predictions now. Bush will ask for more troops to be sent to Iraq & Australia will oblige. & re-introducing capital punishment will be back on the agenda. Ostensibly for terrorist activities, but that's a definition that can be easily changed when you control both houses of Parliament.

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