Completely Biased

Sunday, October 10, 2004

The Three D's

Yes, three D's. So put on some red/blue cellophane glasses.

I spent the late afternoon handing out How To Votes, alongside a Greens supporter called Christine, who was awesome. She'd actually read this blog, so it was really weird when she asked "are you the David Murray that has that blog?" I felt like a total celebrity.

We stood out the front discussing political issues while the sun went down, then it was 6PM and time to get counting ballots. So off home I went, with butterflies in my stomach, to see the results.

After I got home from handing out HTV's, I sat down and got stuck into the coverage.

And as minute by minute went by, I felt weirder and weirder (I even had the fleeting crazy thought that the entire Australian media was pulling a Fox News). Apparently all my assumptions about the general Australian public were completely wrong. And it just got worse and worse as the night went on. Instead of gaining seats, Labor went in the other direction! And I honestly can't get my head around why. While Latho didn't campaign as hard as I thought he should, and the last few days were a total disaster regarding Tasmanian forests and Medicare Gold costings, I thought the absolute worst result was going to be that Labor would retain all their seats and that would be it.

But they lost seats! It boggles the mind.

Even worse than this is that it looks like the Liberals will have control in the Senate too. What does this mean? It means that whatever crazy idea Howard/Costello comes up with, odds are it'll get rubber stamped without any scrutiny. Meaning that you can expect about triple as much shit to happen in the next three years than has happened in the past eight.

The strange thing is I don't know anyone other than a few that passed through to the booths that voted Liberal. Who are these people? Do they wear invisibility cloaks when going to the polls? Or are they just ashamed of who they vote for?

I became suspicious of my fellow Australians, not unlike the outcome of Howard's anti-terror campaign. How do you spot a Liberal voter? They could be everywhere!

I cried. I felt physically ill. Seriously. About three hours in. I feel like a moron saying that, but I did. It was a total feeling of helplessness, finding out that the majority of Australian people are either completely stupid or hold money/themselves as their number one concern. To find out that the majority of people I see in this country - people I see and talk to every day - are perfectly fine with a dishonest government. It felt like a sledgehammer to the face. Do I even know what defines an Australian anymore?

My mood sunk so low. I hadn't felt that bad since I found out my ex was banging my friends. We had awesome weather on one of Australia's darkest days. How ironic.

After drying my eyes and moaning about the end of the world for a bit more to people, I started to feel encouraged about the amount of irate people on aussielj. It started to cheer me up. Then I thought back. I got cheered up thinking about the huge amount of anti-Howard blogs there are. Cheered up that I've talked to so many 16 year olds that hate Howard but can't vote yet. Cheered up at the amount of people that called in to Channel [V] yesterday and said they were voting Labor. Cheered up at all the little website polls that put the Liberals in third place.

And cheered up by Jess. At first, I wanted to stab her in the head for being optimistic, but I came around. Her Children Overboard song is really catchy and took my mind off things, plus this made me smile:
Yes, Labor lost. But you know what? I’m still proud to have been supporting them. I’m proud I voted for a party that actually put forward a positive campaign. I’m proud that Latham & Co came up with ideas to better this country rather than reasons to be frightened of change. It’s the good fight we’re fighting, and I’ve got plenty more juice left in me to keep going for another three years. We won’t give up - we’ll get it together and keep working towards making this place a better country to live in. A Howard run Australia is a horrifically difficult place to be proud of, but if we abandon all hope, if we gaze at our shoes and sob and whine about being robbed for various reasons, well, then we’re not helping anyone.

Also happy that Ross Cameron lost his seat.

And while the RWDB's win this round, I'm grateful that we had a clear choice in this election. Good Guy vs Utter Bastard. You really can't get clearer than that (dreading the next state election when it'll be Utter Bastard vs Utter Bastard). I can only hope the Liberals won't change the constitution so we don't have elections anymore, or that they gain control of the AEC (*thinks back to a certain incident with Tony Abbott and Pauline Hanson*).

I was asked if I wanted to join the ALP today. I will. I want to get active.

I was going to close up shop tonight, but I'm not letting this blog finish without a happy ending, so Completely Biased will continue until the world is a better place (although posts won't be as obsessively frequent). By 2007, I feel we will be looking at a different media landscape, for better or worse. And blogging may be treated with the same respect and readership as traditional media outlets (unless the Internet gets censored).

Howard wants to take us back to the 50's and 60's. Remember the 70's and 80's came after that.

So screw this result. We can chalk it up to yet another embarrassing incident in Australian history (you do see how this looks from an international perspective, right?). Next time, the result will go our way, and I have a newfound steely-eyed non-religious determination to make it happen. For the next 1095 days, I (and many, many others) will be chipping away at the stinking mound of horse shit that is the Liberal party.

Yes, I'm optimistic at the moment, but make no mistake that there is sadness and rage seething behind that.

This country is totally fucked, but I'm going to help fix it.

Like Dr Claw says: next time, Gadget, next time.