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10
Oct 04
Sun

Election Blues

There are a great number of people suffering from post-election depression. I must say I was quite taken aback when, about 90 minutes into the tallying, it became clear not only that Labor had lost, but had lost in a landslide. Or, at only 38.2% of the primary vote, you could call it an avalanche. However, most troubling is the Coalition’s control of the Senate means that bills can now move through the legislative process pretty much unimpeded. So much for the advantages of a bicameral legislature. (Think: deregulation of cross-media ownership laws and what that will do to the independence of media. Scary.) The general disappointment was put very well by a friend: “Australians are selfish, concerned with their own lifestyles, their bloody mortgages and generally nothing else. It’s pathetic and I hope they get what’s coming to them… It’s small mindedness at its worst and it’s exactly what Howard has cultivated.” And another, who wrote:

It is sad that it appears that the electorate has only cared about economics and nothing else. It doesn’t matter that we invaded a country based on a lie, it doesn’t matter that our PM lies, it doesn’t matter how our international reputation has been eroded. What only matters is the short term economic welfare of the populace. The result suggests to me that Australians are becoming increasingly complacent, big headed about their standing in the world and more selfish.

It also didn’t help that everyone appears to have been successfully spooked (and misled) about interest rates. Of course, when they rise in the next few months, it will be of little significance. Australians are setting themselves up for a crash landing. People have forgotten what a recession is like, and there could be one just around the corner.

Nonetheless, the people have spoken. At least, if the economy crashes for some reason in the next few years (and hopefully it doesn’t), the Libs won’t be able to pin the blame on anyone else.

As for the other parties, about the only eventuation that was predictable was the utter destruction of the Democrats. It’s a good thing for them that only half the Senate went to re-election. Greens and Family First preferences also had a large impact.