Aussie journalist Georgia Lewis (who also blogs as The Rant Mistress) takes a break from smoking her billabong to complete her guide to the 2013 Australian elections. If you missed part 1, click here to read it first.
I could have written reams and reams on why Tony Abbott, Australia’s opposition leader, is leading the way with a moronic election campaign, I didn’t even scratch the surface with his carbon tax nonsense and there was plenty more to be said about how Labor Prime Minister Rudd is about as close to the original ideals of his party as Russell Crowe is to singing a note. But you are all busy people and there are many morons to watch with the Australian election and I want to share as many of them as I can.
Here are a few more for your enjoyment…
Stephanie Banister didn’t really get out of the starting blocks, the poor dear. Despite facing charges for putting anti-Islamic stickers on food in supermarkets, she was poised to be a candidate for the terminally idiotic One Nation party until an excruciating television interview happened. She laboured under the misapprehension that Islam is a country, she confused the Muslim holy book, the Quran, with “haram”, meaning “forbidden” and after the usual whine about being misquoted, she withdrew from the race.
Just as well then that One Nation party founder Pauline Hanson is making her sixth political comeback with a bid for a seat in the Senate. Australia’s upper house of Parliament, unlike the House of Lords, is elected with a proportional representation system. Each state is allocated a certain number of seats based on population and this is where all manner of moronic politicians often end up getting a lot of airplay. This year could be the year Pauline Hanson is one such pollie.
In 1996, Hanson won the federal lower house seat of Oxley as an independent after losing preselection for the Liberal Party (Australia’s Tories…) over remarks about Aboriginal Australians. It didn’t take long for her to be nicknamed “The Oxleymoron”. Her maiden speech was a festival of idiocy, with her fear of being “swamped by Asians” ringing in everyone’s ears. She also had a policy of “abolishing multiculturalism” although it was never really clear how she planned on achieving this. She lost her seat in the 1998 election and since then, she has been convicted and then acquitted of electoral fraud, and, for no good reason apart from attention-seeking, revealed that she had an affair with her former adviser, David Oldfield, giving Australians a collectively unwanted mental image. She is showing no signs of overcoming her battle with extreme idiocy.
Sadly, it seems the Australian Sex Party may have jumped the shark in this election. Another party with high hopes for the Senate, with its tablecloth-sized ballot paper, this party has some excellent and non-moronic policies. These include ensuring churches pay tax, legalising same-sex marriage, a secular education system and the decriminalisation of personal drug use.
Unfortunately, if you vote for the Sex Party above the line on the senate ballot (whereby you put a number one next to the party of your choice and let the party to distribute preferences as they see fit instead of laboriously numbering every single candidate below the line), your preferences might go to some unexpected places. The Sex Party has given preferences to One Nation, single-issue buffoon groups such as the Non-Custodial Parents Party, Climate Sceptics and the Shooters and Fishers, as well as the loopy Bob Katter’s Australia Party ahead of parties whose values are way more in line with the Sex Party, such as the Socialist Alliance and the Greens.
And I can tell you’re dying to know more about Bob Katter. He used to be a member of the National Party, which forms a coalition with the Liberal Party, to form either conservative governments or oppositions. But it would appear this all became a bit too radical for Katter. So he took his footy and left to form Katter’s Australian Party. This has been formed largely on the basis of economic protectionism – all armed forces, police and prison uniforms to be made in Australia, increased customs duty on good being imported into Australia and the like… And then there is the policy of resistance to same-sex marriage and restoring individual rights such as “fishing freely and boiling a billy without a permit.”
But this is not surprising from a man who said he wouldn’t let a homosexual person teach his children and claimed there were no gay people in his electorate. He promised to “walk backwards from Brisbane to Bourke” if this was proven to be untrue. A gay man in his electorate did reveal himself to the media but Katter has not yet taken the 582-mile stroll.
It is hardly surprising former Prime Minister, Paul Keating once referred to the Senate as “unrepresentative swill”. It has always been a magnet for weird power imbalances and surprise elections of people who would not stand a chance in the lower house. This sometimes means ridiculous legislation is either stopped or amended. Or it means productivity can come to a halt. Either way, it’s certainly entertaining.
And before Australia goes to the polls on Saturday, we have time for one more bonus moron. Enter stage right, Jaymes Diaz, a Liberal party candidate for the Lower House seat of Greenway. He naturally supports his leader, Tony Abbott, in his “stop the boats” policy on refugees. It’s just a shame that while he happily trumpets Abbott’s “six-point plan”, he was unable to name any of the six points when asked by a reporter. He has hardly been seen since this gaffe and it looks like he won’t win the western Sydney seat. But, rest assured, there will still be plenty of moron activity in both houses of Australia’s parliament for the foreseeable future.