|MR BEHEMOTH'S ELECTION GUIDE: A MIGHTY WIND
||[Oct. 15th, 2007|11:49 pm]
The Australian election has been set down for November 24. Prime Minister John Howard's calling of the election begins six weeks of the actual election campaign, and puts an end to the "phoney election campaign", which began in the early 1940s.|
All through what is certain to be a thrilling and erotic election campaign, Mr Behemoth will be bringing you the news "from the trenches". I will be "telling it how it is", and speaking "from the horse's mouth". You should consider this journal your source for "the straight dope", so that you can look "beyond the spin" and get "informed" about "things".
To understand the intricate and complex workings of the Australian political landscape, it is necessary, before we get moving, to give you a broad OUTLINE of the main players in this political danse macabre.
THE LIBERAL PARTY:
The Liberal Party is the party currently holding the reins of power, and has been for eleven years, ever since John Howard took government from his predecessor Paul Keating, cunningly sneaking it away while Keating was in a pub attacking people with a broken bottle. The Liberals are the party of the free market and conservative social values. For example, they believe in giving small business a "helping hand" by allowing them to reduce lunch breaks to a maximum forty seconds, and stab employees in the eye when appropriate. They also believe in Judeo-Christian values, such as strongly opposing gay marriage and spending up big on home furnishings.
In this election, the Liberals are the underdogs, because the electorate has become tired of them. There are numerous theories on why the polls are so bad for the Liberals. Some say it is because of their industrial relations policy. Some say it is because of their Being A Group Of Weaselly Liars policy. It is hard to say. But Howard has many tricks up his sleeve. One trick is generosity, evidenced by his announcement on the first day of the campaign of $34 billion worth of tax cuts. Another trick is smear tactics, evidenced by television ads that hint that a Labor government will render all Australian men sterile. A third trick is showing his impish sense of humour, evidenced by his statement that he cares deeply about Aboriginal reconciliation.
But the Liberals are not alone. They rule as part of a COALITION, along with:
THE NATIONAL PARTY
The National Party is a group of eccentric folks in broad-brimmed hats who represent rural Australia and the powerful manure lobby. Their policy platform is two-pronged; they believe in a "fair go" for the bush, and they also believe in doing what the Liberals tell them to.
THE LABOR PARTY
The Labor Party is the opposition in Australia, and is led by Kevin Rudd, a small clockwork doll that can be wound up and released to do delightful tricks such as speaking Chinese and ignoring lap-dancers. The product of a difficult childhood, Rudd has many similarities to John Howard, but differs in that he is neither bald nor dependent on the blood of virgins for sustenance. The Labor Party is over a hundred years old and was born out of the union movement, a powerful movement full of committed people devoted to fighting for workers' rights and making people hate them.
The Labor Party is first and foremost the party of the free market and conservative social values. In a way this makes them sound somewhat similar to the Liberals, but Labor does possess a clear and obvious point of difference on matters of principle, in that it believes in fibre-optic rather than wireless broadband.
In the election, Labor is depending on little more than the fact that almost everyone in the country wants to vote for it, a risky strategy for sure. Rudd has adopted a "small-target" strategy, which has three main planks:
1. Say and do as little as possible.
2. Make every effort to conceal the fact that deputy leader Julia Gillard possesses "beliefs".
3. Repeat the phrase "working families" every three seconds until the majority of the population gives in and eats their own faces just to make it stop.
If Rudd has a flaw, it is that he too "intellectual". Conservative commentators have scored telling blows against the Labor leader by pointing out his obvious "intelligence" and "education", serious handicaps for anyone wishing to assume the most important role in the country.
The Greens are a small but vocal party focused on environmental issues and social conscience. They believe in saving the planet for future generations and possibly smoking some drugs. Their leader is Bob Brown, who is gay but not as charismatic as you'd think. Although they are called The Greens, most of the party's members vary from light pink to dark brown in colour, and only a few are genuinely green. They are in favour of equal rights for gays, women, refugees and other minorities, and are therefore not to be taken seriously. A random sampling indicates that 100% of Green Party candidates are women between the ages of 20 and 30 who sit next to me at work, which suggests they may struggle to find broad appeal.
The Democrats are a group of hard-working idealists committed to upholding the values of parliamentary democracy and classical liberalism. They are made up of a number of low-profile politicians who have so far failed to notice their party no longer exists.
Family First is a party which is strongly in favour of families, and strongly opposed to people who are not members of families. Their policies include opposing abortion, opposing gay marriage, opposing sexually explicit education, opposing thought, and attending creepy churches to sing horrible songs about Jesus. Their only member of parliament is Senator Steve Fielding, who is notable for riding a scooter and having over eight hundred children.
And there you have THE PARTIES. In the next instalment: LIFE ON THE HUSTINGS.
2007-10-16 12:27 am (UTC)
oh dear, I nearly snorted my coffee down my windpipe *merry and sustained chortle*
You forgot Labor's fourth plank which is 'more Wordsworth'...
I thought Labor's fourth plank was mahogany.
A few days ago--when I thought Palin was on the verge of becoming the next Dan Quayle--I went into Nexis and read the coverage of Quayle's VP rollout in .
That is a marvellous piece.
Fantastic post! I think i'll be adding you, at notsomighty
Thank you. That is the most comprehensive and interesting description of our Two party's plus ancilleries *lol*. Love that you pointed out that essentially Liberal and Labor have the same ideals the party of the free market and conservative social values because it's something I agree with. Only the origins of the parties is the difference these days (and that the Labor Party still professes to have a strong link with the Unions). I must admit I find it highly amusing that the Liberal party have been showing the Union movement as being bullies and thugs and pushing their work choices reform as being FAIR.
Well put and amusingly done. Looking forward to next installment!
It looks like I'm going to have to write another instalment then...
I guess what you said also applies to the English trade unions and their strong political links to the labor part of BLIAR and to France and the socialist party.
Oh, I make no statements about other nations. My analysis is restricted to those political systems that I have personally failed to examine, up-close.
To regular posters here, all of which amount to personal attacks' oh no, koz would never make a personal attack.
You make an intriguing yet baffling point.
2007-10-16 03:35 am (UTC)
Thank God for you, or else I would have no clue as to the nature of the political parties! You've sure cleared up some things for me.
*applauds* I enjoyed this very much! :)
Glad I'm winning in the foreign demographic too.
2007-10-16 01:47 pm (UTC)
I shall be providing this guide to my o/s friends as part of their Australian training packs. Marvellous.
Why thank you. Stay tuned.
Hey ben, in case you weren't aware, this post got linked to by today's edition of Crikey
And you've done another fantastic job, in case it wasn't obvious :)
2007-10-17 08:02 am (UTC)
Mr Behemoth's Election Guide
Man if I were from some other country i would now have a comprehension of Australia's political mores and traits that would do an avid Australian political watcher proud!
Good on ya!
I just saw you over there too. Fantastic hey!
So that's why people are reading my blog...
At first I was like wow, I'm famous. Then I realised I know who linked it, so I'm not as famous as I thought. But I'm a little bit famous.
2007-10-17 08:30 am (UTC)
mr Behemoth's Election Guide
If I were newly from another country and read this I believe I would have the comprehension of the state of Australian political more and traits that would do an avid aussie political watcher proud!
Good on ya!
2007-10-17 01:11 pm (UTC)
Re: mr Behemoth's Election Guide
It's a shame you're not from another country, because then I would be a lot more useful.
Please, oh please write more installments, kind sir.
I laughed so hard I nearly did myself an injury.
OK, but I really don't want to hurt you.
I think that's a risk I can live with, actually - if only for more of your brilliant commentary.
Coming very soon...I'm actually writing it now.