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Sep 03 2013

I guess I’ll know who to vote for in the Australian elections, then

Oh, wait, I’m not a citizen, I don’t get to vote. But if I were a citizen, I know I could never vote for the Liberal party, because they put up billboards flyers like this:

billboardbaby

We just had a long fight over same-sex marriage in Minnesota (we won!), and the conservative thugs and liars who opposed it here never sunk quite that low. And really, now that gay couples are getting married all over the place, the landscape is not littered with tearful abandoned children.

And then there’s this guy Rudd from the Labor party who said this in a debate the other day:

Labor it is, then.

Although Rudd doesn’t seem to think things through. He does consult his “Christian conscience”, but doesn’t he realize that his riposte — that he’s no more compelled to oppose gay marriage because of a Biblical injunction than he is to support slavery because “the Bible also says slavery is a natural condition” — is a knife to the heart of the whole notion of the Bible as any kind of moral authority at all? I’d be happier with him if he’d consider the logical consequences and simply abandoned Christianity altogether.

He might as well. I bet that pastor who asked the question, and his congregation, all think the billboard above is lovely and are going to vote Liberal anyway.

63 comments

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  1. 1
    Walton

    Given that both Abbott and Rudd have supported appallingly brutal and punitive policies against asylum-seekers, I’d have a hard time backing either of them, myself, if I were Australian. (And Australia has preferential voting in elections for the lower house, so, unlike Americans and us Brits, Australians are not obliged to vote for a terrible party to stop an even more terrible party getting in.)

  2. 2
    David Gerard

    The Liberal Party of Australia is in fact the direct equivalent of the Republicans in the US or the Conservatives in the UK.

    A Liberal voter explains it for you. (You should watch this.)

  3. 3
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    Oh for fucks sake! That is my electorate.
    I haven’t seen this piece of poison yet – thankfully.

  4. 4
    PZ Myers

    Ah, Australia is just like us! All the political parties suck!

  5. 5
    Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion

    Most of them do. Far too many blatant bigot parties in this election. I don’t want to vote below the line because giving them preference numbers other than “NOOOOO” makes my spine want to creep out of my arse, but I’ve looked at the party preference charts and they anger me. Even the Greens (our “third” party that doesn’t have the clout to get into actual power but often has a lot of influence) preferenced some pretty right-wingy parties. It’s all a bit scary.

    Also, it’s nigh impossible to get real information on the parties, so you can’t make an informed decision when you vote. There’s no easily accessible list of policy positions, and going to the party websites only show you what they’re prioritising. Most of them are going for the OMG NATIONALISM XENOPHOBIA PRIDE vote. It’s disgusting.

  6. 6
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    It never ceases to amaze me how utterly dishonest some people can be when naming an organisation. Could someone please explain how the Liberal Party is, in any way, Liberal?

    (David Gerard, I’m afraid that, having watched your video, I am none the wiser).

    lib·er·al·ism [lib-er-uh-liz-uhm, lib-ruh-] noun
    1. the quality or state of being liberal, as in behavior or attitude.
    2. a political or social philosophy advocating the freedom of the individual, parliamentary systems of government, nonviolent modification of political, social, or economic institutions to assure unrestricted development in all spheres of human endeavor, and governmental guarantees of individual rights and civil liberties

    …the freedom of the individual… unrestricted development in all spheres of human endeavor… governmental guarantees of individual rights and civil liberties. Am I being an idiot, or is opposing mariage equality directly counter to those values?

  7. 7
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    PZ:
    The greens are the least sucky of the parties – if we can get them the balance of power in the Senate some sanity may prevail.
    Unfortunately, the current voting trend is to just vote for the same party in both the upper and lower houses. In the olden days it used to be the Australian Democrats before they imploded. Their slogan was: “Keep the bastards honest”.

  8. 8
    jonjermey

    If it was a Liberal Party billboard, it would say ‘Vote Liberal’. It would also have an attribution to the Liberal Party, as required by law. I understand that it is actually erected by the National Council of Churches, and if they don’t like the Labor Party they have plenty of company — about 70% of the Australian electorate, in fact. But most of us have better reasons for voting — either way — than either religious bigotry or a knee-jerk reaction to a misattributed billboard.

  9. 9
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    I don’t think it is an “official” Liberal Party billboard in the same way that Tony Abbot ‘didn’t agree’ with the attitudes of the school where he launched his education policy:
     

    “We believe that homosexuality and specific acts of homosexuality are an abomination unto God, a perversion of the natural order and not to be entered into by His people.”

  10. 10
    David Gerard

    The party name comes from economic liberalism and the idea that our system of government is “liberal democracy”. It makes Australian English an unduly confused place.

    Thumper @6: it’s a parody of Liberal leader Tony Abbott’s speaking patterns. As a repurposed Terminator android fueled by orphans’ tears, he finds emulation of your human “speech” in real time extremely computationally expensive.

  11. 11
    bytee

    PZ, I love your work and I love your outspoken attitude on these kinds of issues. (But) I think you’re making a mistake by too closely aligning in your mind the Australian Liberal Party with your own wing-nut Republicans. This billboard is not a product of the Liberal Party. By all means criticise the people who put it up. As a conservative voter I will also happily accept that Rudd did very well on the debate with the pastor. The Aust Liberal Party is nowhere near as right wing as your Republicans. And in a few days the majority of Australians will vote for them because the people now desire a return to a Govt. of financial competence. I would predict that the issue of gay marriage will be addressed soon. I hope the Libs will switch to a conscience vote and settle it in favour of equality.

  12. 12
    CaitieCat, getaway driver

    Wow, sounds like you’ve got a right-wing party leader from the same manufacturer as ours! The Harpertron 5000 is currently installed in our (Canadian) PMO as MP for Uncanny Valley.

    I hope you get a non-robot for your new PM!

  13. 13
    Sophia, Michelin-starred General of the First Mediterranean Iron Chef Batallion

    Economic competence? The LNP?

    I have no idea who you’ve been getting your info from. Former (LNP) PM John Howard, most reputable economists and Nobel Laureate Joseph Stiglitz disagree. Labour are incredibly competent economically.

    I’ll take investing in people over screwing them over to try to produce a budget surplus. Which should be going to those screwed-over people in the first place.

  14. 14
    rorschach

    Abbott and his team are such insufferable fools. No vision for the future, no trust in science, all slogans and shallow thinking. If they win, the next 3 years will be one long drinking game.

    Stop the boats! *drink*
    Build the roads! *drink*
    stop the carbon tax! *drink*

    It’s embarrassing.

  15. 15
    Don Quijote

    jonjermey: Stone the crows mate, how did you get up on that horse? You say that 70% of Australians will not vote for the Labor Party, that is “most of us”. Doesn’t matter then who put up the poxy bigoted billboard, 70% of you will be endorsing it.

  16. 16
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    Just an FYI:
    The back of the flyer ( it’s not a billboard) says it is authorised by Gavan Duffy from Sunnybank.
     
    And @ bytee: I don’t see Austalia in financial ruin. But I do see sexist, racist, homophobic rhetoric from those in the Liberal party.

  17. 17
    Alethea Kuiper-Belt

    This election is just so sickening. Murdoch & cronies seem to have persuaded Australia that the best economic managers we’ve had in ages are somehow terrible, despite all the expert economists disagreeing. Not to mention both previous Liberal PMs. And both sides are racing to the bottom in the cruelty stakes.

  18. 18
    Trikeabout

    I’m in one of the safest Labor seats in the country. At least my Senate vote counts for something, if I fill out the absurdly long ballot carefully below the line…

    As for Rudd’s efforts on Q&A the other night, too little too late. Terrible campaign they’ve run. Great to see a leader stand up for marriage equality, but given the impending landslide it’ll be some time before Australia does anything about it unless there’s a massive social change or the states get onto it and force the issue.

  19. 19
    dmcclean

    Are there seriously footnotes on that billboard?

    And does the second one really go to the %$#!ing Regnerus study?

  20. 20
    gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet

    The puppetmistress is using her google-fu:
    Gavan Duffy ran for the Queensland state election, 2012, as a Katter Australia Party candidate.
    Right-wing conservative, but probably not Liberal Party.
     
    My comments about Abbott and the Liberal Party still stand though…

  21. 21
    dmcclean

    Ahh, it isn’t a billboard, I see now after reading the other comments. My mistake. That explains the footnotes.

  22. 22
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @David Gerard

    Ah, thanks :)

    Economic Liberalism is another oddity, in so far as it is diametrically opposed to social Liberalism, but I can at least see the connection in the “rights of the individual” bit.

  23. 23
    David Gerard

    @Thumper – The Liberal Party of Australia doesn’t actually pursue neoliberalism wholeheartedly; they’re quite on board with the neoliberal programme in general (Tony Abbott certainly is), but don’t go full-on with it because they’re in coalition with the National Party, who are rural conservatives who have disproportionate power because of hugely country-biased districting, and whose platform is social conservatism and giving as much subsidy to the country areas as possible.

    tl;dr it’s all weird.

  24. 24
    DanDare

    Barry Jones: the 2013 election and the death of rationality http://theconversation.com/barry-jones-the-2013-election-and-the-death-of-rationality-17637

    Secular Party : http://www.secular.org.au/election-2013/

    if that’s too dry there is at least the Sex Party : http://www.sexparty.org.au/

    :)

  25. 25
    consciousness razor

    Economic Liberalism is another oddity, in so far as it is diametrically opposed to social Liberalism, but I can at least see the connection in the “rights of the individual” bit.

    Yes, they’re both about taking the side of individuals, in cases where their interests are at odds with what is regarded as the interests of the whole, collective society. That society, the status quo, whatever it may be, is definitionally what is “conserved” if those are disregarded. This is why, for example, they are not to be confused with conservationists: the latter conserve features of the environment, which (depending on a lot of pretty shaky assumptions I won’t spell out) need not have anything to do with conserving features of a society. That sort of thing isn’t implied, basically because the guiding principle isn’t simply to “conserve” everything (or “liberate” everything) without qualification, but is much more specific (or less principled than it might sound, I guess you could say).

    The “economic” flavor, if you can’t tell, is only concerned with “people” (which obviously includes corporations) insofar as they have economic power. If you have no such power, you may as well not exist or you’d better be satisfied with the scraps the important, job-creating, real people give you. To do otherwise, if you’re powerless, is destructive of the social order we’ve all grown to love. Of course, the important people are also totally nice and down-to-Earth just like you are, not like their powerful description above suggests: they like hunting and fishing and Jesus and hate all of the same brown people you do, not like the socialist elites who want to brainwash your innocent children with lies and turn them into criminals and perverts.

  26. 26
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @David Gerard

    Neoliberal fiscal policies and Social Conservatism? Ah, the old bedfellows, holding back humanity since forever.

    @Consciousness razor

    Yes, they’re both about taking the side of individuals, in cases where their interests are at odds with what is regarded as the interests of the whole, collective society.

    I’m not sure I understand this line. Fiscal Liberalism, as I understand it, is “for the individual” only in the sense that it opposes the undertaking of economic decisions by organisation, institutions or collectives; i.e. they are free marketeers who want the “Job Creators” (as individuals) to make economic decisions. This obviously is supportive of your idea that people of no economic power do not, in reality, have any decision making power in fiscal liberalism. In that case, I can certainly see where decisions would be taken that are counter to the overall good of society, but I fail to see how upholding the social freedom of the individual would be.

  27. 27
    Mike

    While I applaud Mr. Rudd’s stand, on this one subject, I also must take him to task for the false premise on which he bases it. He mentions the lack of choice involved with being homosexual as being the core of his support for marriage equality. What does choosing have to do with anything? It’s just the opposite end of the same old tired christian argument against marriage equality.

  28. 28
    consciousness razor

    This obviously is supportive of your idea that people of no economic power do not, in reality, have any decision making power in fiscal liberalism. In that case, I can certainly see where decisions would be taken that are counter to the overall good of society, but I fail to see how upholding the social freedom of the individual would be.

    I’m not clear about what the question is. You’re asking why social-liberal goods are supposedly against the public good? They’re actually not. But food stamps, for example, do require tax money. And if you’re an economic liberal, what you regard as the good is all about wealth/property, primarily (if not entirely) that of the people who already have it. It’s not that you want everyone to be wealthy or want the society as a whole to be more prosperous (though you might claim those could be side-effects); it’s that you want to protect the wealthy people’s “right” to be wealthy. The big mean government, here representing the rest of the public, shouldn’t be a bully and take it away from you. That’s why you want a pseudo-government which won’t represent the public, just you.

  29. 29
    chigau (違う)

    As a Christian he doesn’t need a “conscience”.
    The Bible will tell him what to do.

  30. 30
    smhll

    Are they actually against any “marriage law” that allows people with children to divorce?

  31. 31
    leftwingfox

    Economic Liberalism is another oddity, in so far as it is diametrically opposed to social Liberalism

    Free market policies were more in line with liberal ideals of individual freedom than the mercantilist policies they critiqued, back in in the 18th century. It took a while longer for the consequences of free market policies and abuses of private industrial capitalism to become widely apparent.

    I think the socialist tendencies in American liberalism is largely due to the two-party nature of the US electoral system; rather than having an actual viable party on the left, everything gets rolled into a “left-ish” party.

  32. 32
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Alethea

    This election is just so sickening. Murdoch & cronies seem to have persuaded Australia that the best economic managers we’ve had in ages are somehow terrible, despite all the expert economists disagreeing.

    I’ve noticed that one thing right-wingers are really good at, it’s propaganda demonizing their opponents. It’s absolutely the only thing they’re any good at, but they do manage it quite effectively.

  33. 33
    vaiyt

    I’m pretty used to that usage of “liberal”, as it always meant economic liberalism in these parts. Our “Liberal” party was the closest thing we had to the (pre-Tea Party) Republicans. While there’s not much distance between the major parties, they were pretty explicitly a club of old rich white men.

  34. 34
    Thumper: Who Presents Boxes Which Are Not Opened

    @Consciousness razor

    Yes, that’s what I was asking, but it appears I misunderstood you so the question was pointless. It would appear that neoliberalism/economic liberalism/fiscal liberalism/call it what you will is basically libertarianism. Or at least, I am unable to discern the difference, unless it is that the above is concerned merely with economics while libertarianism encompasses both economic and social policy.

  35. 35
    Dalillama, Schmott Guy

    Or at least, I am unable to discern the difference,

    Practically speaking, there isn’t; I’ve encountered a number of people who insist that they’re ‘classical Liberals’ because they don’t want to be associated with the reputation that libertarians have earned, but do want to pass on the gospel of Adam Smith (whom they usually get terribly wrong, because like many people who want to pass on a gospel, they haven’t’ actually read it.). Made more confusing here in Yankeeland, where libertarians call themselves ‘fiscally conservative’ due to the way our political terminolgy had drifted.

  36. 36
    Walton

    bytee,

    As a conservative voter I will also happily accept that Rudd did very well on the debate with the pastor. The Aust Liberal Party is nowhere near as right wing as your Republicans. And in a few days the majority of Australians will vote for them because the people now desire a return to a Govt. of financial competence.

    Leaving aside economics, I don’t see how you can defend Abbott’s record on immigration issues. He’s stirred up hatred against asylum-seekers, and railed against so-called “illegal immigration” – despite the fact that the right to claim asylum is guaranteed by international law – as a cynical ploy on his part to win votes from racists. He has supported vile policies such as imprisoning asylum-seekers in inhuman conditions on Nauru. And he has also pledged to abolish legal aid for asylum-seekers in immigration detention, making it even more likely that people who face the risk of violence in their home countries will be deported, due to being unable to afford legal advice for their asylum hearings.

    Australia’s record on the treatment of asylum-seekers is horrific, perhaps the worst in the Western world (and that’s saying something). The Labor government is now forcibly resettling them in Papua New Guinea. That’s bad enough, but Abbott seems intent on making it worse.

    Whatever you think about financial and economic issues, it is wrong to vote for a party who has expressly pledged to make life worse for one of the most marginalized groups in society. Many asylum-seekers have fled violence and oppression that most of us can barely even imagine – and when they reach a “safe” country, they’re victimized a second time by the immigration control system. It is wrong.

  37. 37
    Travis

    Whatever you think about financial and economic issues, it is wrong to vote for a party who has expressly pledged to make life worse for one of the most marginalized groups in society.

    This a million times over. It brings to mind a quote from the Simpsons, when Sideshow Bob was running for mayor of Springfield:

    Homer: Hmmm. I don’t agree with his Bart Killing policy. But I do approve of his Selma Killing policy.

    and of course he votes for Bob.

    I am always amazed by people that will gladly vote against the rights of others because of some supposed economic benefit. That tell me how much those people really care about other people.

  38. 38
    dianne

    Anyone else have the impulse to put out a counter flyer with a sad, cute kid on it saying, “I want both my mums to be my legal mum”?

    And if not having both parents makes kids sad, will they also outlaw adoption, divorce, surrogacy, etc? Just asking.

  39. 39
    Julia Sullivan

    I’m the genetic mother of two children whom I like immensely (and who I hope like me as well) and they are nonetheless all the better for being raised by their two loving, generous dads and only seeing my cranky misanthropic ass a couple of times a year.

  40. 40
    grumpyoldfart

    Tony Abbott is known as the Mad Monk.

    Kevin Rudd flaunts his Christianity by holding press conferences in front of his church on Sunday mornings.

    Whichever clown gets in, we’re fucked.

  41. 41
    anchor

    Ah, Australia is just like us! All the political parties suck!

    Indeed, ‘politics’ are, uniformly, across the world and throughout history, a PRIMARY means by which people seek to accomplish a consensus. Everybody to some extent practices it…too bad that people don’t listen to folks who have legitimate information to give them AFTER they have become indoctrinated by whatever else.

  42. 42
    Frankie

    So far as I know, no one really knows how just “how” Christian some politicians really are. I suspect if he came out as an atheist he’d lose even more votes.

    In Australia, the Green party is represented in the Senate also. I live in New Zealand where we have a proportional voting system and I’m usually torn between voting Greens or Labour. Like Australia, our Green party has some awful anti-science views around fluoridation of water, vaccinations etc, but seems pretty on board about global warming. The Australian Labor party however has much to be criticized for.

    Also remember the Australian system is Westminster, and the leader doesn’t have the same “powers” as a president, so if Rudd put a vote for gay marriage on the cards it’d probably be a conscience vote – which means some conservative MP’s would vote for it, and some Labour MP’s against it. He’s just stating his position if he put the bill before the house he’d vote for it.

  43. 43
    Clinton Hart

    The funny thing is that the pastor is such a fan on “Christian” marriage that he has been married twice – http://www.newhopebrisbane.org/index.php/about-us/pastor-matt-prater

  44. 44
    kittehserf

    @Thumper – the Liberal Party was founded by Robert Menzies way back in the day, and while it’s always been a conservative party, it’s way more reactionary now (copying its Republican heroes) than he envisioned. In fact I think Menzies would be seen as way too small-l liberal for this lot, despite his mid-century Queen and Country and anti-communist stance.

    @grumpyoldfart – “Whichever clown gets in, we’re fucked.”

    Exactly how I feel about it. The thought of Abbott as PM terrifies me. Mr Smash-the-walls-inches-from-a-woman’s-head but noes he’s not a misogynist at all. Mr Scared of Gay People. Mr Let Those Brown People Drown.

    Rudd’s a hypocrite; I don’t believe for a minute he’ll really legislate for marriage equality if he gets back in. I think he took that stance to grab support Gillard lost by being so against it (and I’d bet she was only taking that stance because she was going for lowest-common-denominator support anyway).

    I’m in a safe Liberal seat, which pisses me off no end. I seriously don’t know who to vote for; I just want the Liberals NOT IN GOVERNMENT.

  45. 45
    Kagato

    If they were actually sincere in their claimed motivations, the flyer would look like this.

  46. 46
    John Morales

    kittehserf,

    I’m in a safe Liberal seat, which pisses me off no end. I seriously don’t know who to vote for; I just want the Liberals NOT IN GOVERNMENT.

    I am too, but I plan to vote for the Secular Party of Australia*.

    (You might wish to check out their party preference distribution)

    * Disclaimer: I am a member.

  47. 47
    Kagato

    That’s the good thing about Australia’s instant runoff electoral system, at least. You get the best result by voting for the candidates in your real order of preference.

    Put the minor party candidate you most agree with first on the ballot. (In fact, you’re probably best putting any favourable minor candidates ahead of Labor/Liberal, even if you would slightly prefer one of the big two, otherwise they’ll never see your vote.)

    Put Labor and Liberal toward the bottom, in the order you’d prefer them. It’s highly unlikely any minor candidate will get in, so you still have to make this choice; but at least your true preferences have been recorded, and voting trends may at least influence future policy decisions.

    Putting candidates below the big two pretty much guarantees they’ll never see your vote, so that’s where you should put any truly objectionable parties.

    Being in a safe seat makes the whole exercise feel pretty futile, I agree. But someone has to drag that voting line back to “marginal”. And if you’re lucky, a bit of boundary redistribution down the line may help you out, like it did in my seat… (Independently managed in Australia, so not subject to gerrymandering like the US.)

  48. 48
    launcespeed

    The choice between having the ALP (Rudd) in power and having the LNP (Abbott) in power is akin to choosing between putting tomato sauce or barbecue sauce on your steaming shit sandwich.

    While the ALP still claims to be centre-left, and the LNP claims the centre-right, that claim only rings true if you relocate the political centre to be between the positions of the respective parties.

    That move, in reality, moves the actual “centre” to the “extreme” left, shown in handy graphical format by the Political Compass site, and its analysis of the major party’s stances.

    (I recommend their “take the test” link, for the purpose of self-analysis if nothing else.)

    For anyone wanting more background on the various parties, the Wikipedia articles on the election and the candidates are pretty good jumping-off points.

    For an excellent guide, it’s hard to pass up Antony Green at the ABC.

    Crikey coverage is Murdoch-free, and their “Form Guide” links in to a DIY Below-the-line Senate ticket tool.

    Needless to say, if you’re “socially conservative”, “economically right-wing”, “christian”, or “nationalist” (or any combination thereof), you are spoilt for choice. If you aint… let’s just say that whom to preference first becomes a fairly simple choice.

    Left-ish people putting the ALP before, say, The Greens are probably doing their principles a disservice.

    Anyone thinking that they should vote for the LNP because they are more competent at managing the economy has not been paying attention.

  49. 49
    Wild Old Caveman

    I am also in a safe Liberal seat. Still voting Labor anyway.

    There really is no party that I really approve of but Tony Abbott is such a scumbag that almost anybody would be better.

  50. 50
    Moira Clarke

    I’m in the Secular Party. We’re all about church-state separation. We can’t field candidates in every electorate, but we’re running in the Senate. We would really appreciate some support this election from freethinkers. For that, we need primary votes. Our preferences are (for major parties) going to the Greens then ALP ahead of the Libs. We did not do any preference deals, and have published our preference listings on our website.

  51. 51
    anchor

    My hatred of politics demands that I do not recognize the asinine distinctions that POLITICIANS make up. I’m sorry, but I am a conservative (by the actual meaning of the word) AND a liberal (by the actual meaning of the word) AND anything else a fucking WORD actually denotes without the idiotic baggage required by the POLITICALLY astute, because I consider myself to be a complete person in charge of himself who needs no such idiotic assistance and happens to harbor elements of all that POLITICIANS want to polarize out of me by telling me what “conservative” or “liberal” is supposed to mean.

    FUCK THEM

    goddammittalltohellalready

    With all the excruciating handwringing that so-called ‘liberals’ go through, its astonishing that they haven’t discovered how to arrest themselves from the dopey yet ever popular inference that being a “liberal” somehow means no connection whatsoever to being conservative as a matter of practice.

    Like it or not, we are all actually composite creatures: EACH of us

    The reason why we are living in Bizzaro World is because we listen to POLITICIANS* to define who we are.

    DAMN THEM!

    *it isn’t really necessary to point out just who or what I mean by “POLITICIANS”, is it?

  52. 52
    anchor

    whoa, a peculiar flurry of pop-ups forced the posting before I could finish refining my thoughts…hmmm, VERY PECULIAR – i’ll just let it stand.

  53. 53
    kittehserf

    John Morales, Moira Clarke – I just checked the Secular Party’s candidates and Arrrgggh! they’ve no candidate in my seat. The Mad Katter, yes, the Raging Racist Asshole Nalliah yes, the Not As Progressive As They Pretend Sex Party, yes, but not the Secular Party.

    Still there’s some hope: I thought McMillan was a safe Liberal seat, but it’s marginal, though the incumbent’s practically rusted in. Fingers crossed.

    NB I’d vote Secular if there was a candidate, though I’m neither an atheist nor a freethinker. But I’d sure love religion out of government!

    I dreamt the other night the Mad Monk was standing doing the ranting preacher thing on a street corner – literally on a soapbox – about women who had some disease or other needing to pray to be healed. Told my Mum and she asked if that was a dream or reality.

  54. 54
    mildlymagnificent

    My only feeling is that as many people as possible should do everything they can to limit the mad monk’s freedom of action seeing as he seems likely to win the lower house.

    New senators won’t take their seats until July next year, so there goes his chance of pushing any of the more disgusting anti-asylum seeker provisions that need legislative action for many months of his term. With any luck – if people vote thoughtfully – he’ll need to compromise with the greens and Xenophon and the like to get any of his truly stupid proposals through in any form. With any luck, they’ll be unrecognisable by the time all the horsetrading is over. As for the NBN-but-not-really that Turnbull’s going to be responsible for if a Liberal ministry resembles the shadow bench – dog save us.

    I’m now in a safe Labor seat – having moved away from sanctimonious, whiny Christopher Pyne’s electorate – but I’ll certainly give the greens my upper house vote. But I’m not sure how that’s going to play out in SA, so I’ll have to do a below the line tailored vote.

  55. 55
    rorschach

    Tony Abbott creeps out Big Brother housemates

    Enjoy. Or be afraid.

  56. 56
    John Morales

    kittehserf ,

    NB I’d vote Secular if there was a candidate, though I’m neither an atheist nor a freethinker. But I’d sure love religion out of government!

    That’s gratifying and encouraging.

    (Also, it ain’t everybody that understands the difference between secularism and irreligion)

  57. 57
    John Morales

    [semi-OT]

    Irreligion in Australia

  58. 58
    madscientist

    Now the funny thing about voting in Australia is that if someone wants their vote to be counted, they have to vote for everyone on the list. Imagine if we did that in the USA – yeah, I voted for Obama – and for McPalin too!

    As for the choice offered by Australia’s major parties – it’s no choice really – the deal goes like this: “would you prefer horse shit for breakfast or cow shit?” Large parties are a cancer in society; they exist for their own benefit and the enrichment of a number of chiefs of the parties. Just look at the UK following suit with Australia: parliament gives itself a monstrous undeserved pay rise because apparently austerity is only for the goddamned peons.

  59. 59
    kittehserf

    John Morales – I’d count as irreligious, ‘cos deism is the only description that’s sorta-kinda applicable. Interesting to see more Australians identifying under that broad banner.

    madscientist – that’s one of many things that gets me grinding my teeth about our voting system. As the boss and I were saying today, can’t we just put “last” in all the boxes, pretty please?

  60. 60
    mildlymagnificent

    can’t we just put “last” in all the boxes, pretty please?

    Nuh, uh. As voters we only have to do it every now and again, politicians have to do it all day every day.

    There are very few unequivocally good legislative moments, like the disability insurance scheme for example. Most of the time politicians have to juggle the not good enough, the maybe good if something else fits in, would be good once we get x number of other things done first, really good if only we could get party members to agree, the good enough if we had the money/ resources/ whatever and turn it into something that everyone can accede to in the upper house and get it through the budget. Aaaaaand … then there’s a hurricane or a flood and everything gets delayed or substituted.

    So we grit our teeth and choose the least worst of a bad lot. Just like they have to.

  61. 61
    petermountain

    To quote Hitchens, this pastor gives “me the awful impression (I hate to have to say it) of someone who hasn’t read any of the arguments against…[his] position, ever.”

  62. 62
    kittehserf

    Well, my voting’s done. There’s an early polling place down the road from work and I went there to avoid the queues on Saturday (I’m not up to standing that long these days).

    Choosing which is less worse from among clowns like Palmer, Katter, the DLP, the Liberals, that turdeater Nalliah and co. … strewth.

  63. 63
    kittehserf

    And fuck it all, that walking talking never-shuts-up excrement is now Prime Minister. I can just hope the Liberals tap him on the shoulder when he makes a total hash of it, same as Labor did to Rudd in 2010. Not that there’d be a second woman as PM then, oh no. The Liberals know even better than Labor that being boss is for blokes, the sheilas are just there for sex appeal – isn’t that right, Tone?

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