I don’t know if I’m the only one who reads one of the outcomes of Saturday’s Federal election this way, but it seems clear to me that the Australian electorate has picked up the cudgel and is smiting the Democrats for their sins.
For those who may have forgotten, two elections back the Democrats rode a promise to oppose the introduction of a goods and services tax (GST) to their best-ever electoral result. Presumably power-drunk on their new level of influence, the Democrats then-leader Meg Lees negotiated a deal that allowed the GST to be introduced by the Howard government. It cost Lees her party’s leadership, her political career, and now the party seems to be poised on the edge of oblivion. Speaking as a voter who expressly changed his vote that year to support the Democrats and oppose the GST, I couldn’t be happier. The Democrats deserved then, and deserve now, to be removed from the Australian political landscape, and that seems to be happening. There’s a real chance they won’t even have the support to continue to be registered as a political party. Good. No retreat, no surrender and no forgiveness. Ever.
Well, we at Coode Street are braver than the media outlets and are willing to call the Australian Federal Election for 2004 for the Liberal Party. With 25% of the vote counted, it seems that John Howard & co will be returned with an increased majority. A dark day.
Sophie’s not feeling too well, the Australians look set to sweep to a devastating win against India (in India), and early voting suggests there is a 4.4% swing to the Liberal Party, making it seem likely that John Howard will win today’s election. These three things are respectively sad, brilliant and very depressing. Who knows how to feel on a day like today?
There’s no such thing as a quiet morning here. I was awoken by children climbing over me, gave them breakfast, and they’re now raging around the place. Reading the new Clive Barker ‘Abarat’ novel, which so far is a lot better than the first. I thought it was a fairly unimpressive book that relied too heavily on the artwork to carry the story, but Barker’s lifted his game with this one.
Have to vote today. Can’t say I’m too impressed. I think the incumbent government will be returned, but I could be wrong. Either way, I vote in a safe seat so the local member should be re-elected, pretty much regardless of how I vote.
I’ve also spent a little more time with the new REM album (hi Mark!). I was listening to it late last night and liked it a lot better than I did the other day. Maybe it’s because I like Stipe’s vocals. I stand by the idea that the band without Berry sounds structureless, drifting, but they do have moments.
I don’t know why I was surprised,but for some reason I’m always a little surprised to find out that someone based overseas is familiar with, or even passionate about, one of our Antipodean talents. When I was in Oakland last month, I found out that Locus assistant editor Liza has a thing for an old Do Re Mi song and when I was looking at Locus Online editor Mark Kelly’s blog yesterday I found out he was a big Neil Finn fan. He was sufficiently enthusiastic about Finn’s last solo effort, which I actually had forgotten that I’d bought, that I threw it in the cd player last night and started getting into it. It’s a small world.
And with that in mind, Liza is you read this and you went to Piedmont High, then someone is looking for you.