Sunday, August 22, 2010

Musings on a Sort-of Election

So, election day having passed, as we wait out the six or seven months it will apparently take to decide who is the not-very-legitimate prime minister of our country, allow me to let you in on a few thoughts and observations.

Firstly, anyone who says things like "the Australian people have spoken, and said they don't want either party" or "the people have said a pox on all their houses" and variations thereof, should really, really, really STOP.

No, the Australian people did not "decide" to have a hung parliament. Apart from the informals, every single person actually voted for someone. WE all decided we DID want someone to be in government. I guarantee you there were no votes counted for "I want both parties to almost get a majority but not quite so they have to negotiate with independents". Trust me on this: people who voted Labor wanted Labor. People who voted Liberal wanted Liberal. People who voted Green wanted Green. People who voted Family First wanted a lobotomy.

The media commentary on this election seems to be suggesting some weird conspiracy where all the voters got together and divided up their votes - "You all vote Labor, you all vote Liberal, you guys in the middle vote Green, let's screw 'em right up!" This did not, in fact, happen. Those who voted for a particular party did not do it in the hope that enough people would vote for ANOTHER party so as to ensure the party they chose did not achieve a majority. Everyone just voted for who they wanted, and not enough people wanted either side. It's just MATHS, people.

Do you think we WANTED this, mainstream media? Bitch, please.

Secondly, an informal vote is NOT a donkey vote. An informal vote is one where the ballot paper is filled out incorrectly, or not filled out at all, or where the voter drew little caricatures of 18th-century English playwrights in each box. Informal votes are not counted.

A donkey vote is one where the voter, rather than numbering the boxes in order of their own preference, simply writes "1" in the top box and numbers them in the order they appear on the paper. Donkey votes ARE counted, because they are legitimate votes i.e. NOT INFORMAL.

Therefore, anyone claiming this election had "an unprecedented number of donkey votes" or "Mark Latham urged everyone to cast donkey votes" needs to be informed of their own ignorance, and possibly lightly slapped, particularly if they're a political journalist and should fricking well know better.

Thirdly, it has been brought to my attention that Bob Katter is a significant figure in the determination of the next government of Australia. Bob Katter:

"I mean, if you could imagine 20 or 30 crocodiles up there on the roof, and if all that roof was illumination, and saying that we wouldn't see anything in this room because of a few croco-roaches up there," he said.

"Are you telling me seriously that the world is going to warm because there's 400 parts per million of CO2 up there?"


No, seriously, what?


Jeremy said...

One thing did change: more people realised they don't have to vote for either big party: that they can vote against Labor without voting for Tony Abbott.

That was a big realisation, and a big change, and led largely to this result.

Of course, it was only an extra 5% of the electorate who realised this, so it's a bit much to extrapolate it over the whole electorate, the vast majority of which just voted the way they always do.

Naytow said...

If you can actually get through to the media to explain the donkey vote vs informal vote thingy, can you also please explain that we do not actually have a presidential election system in this country and that very few people actually voted for Abbott/Gillard.

Ben Pobjie said...

Nah, almost everyone voted for Abbott or Gillard. The fact their names weren't the ballot doesn't change the fact that we vote for the leader, and have done for ages.

Anonymous said...

Thank the Flying Spaghetti Monster someone else has realised this. I thought I was the only one for a while

TimT said...

Katter is hilarious. I think I'll quite enjoy the chaos he is going to cause. Had no idea when I wrote this.