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The presidential election campaign...
After one of the longest pre-election campaign campaigns in Australian history in Australian history, John Howard has finally called the election. Six weeks from now, Australians will wake up, sickened by the knowledge that they have voted in another bunch of politicians. I'm going to give a brief preview of some of the party leaders. I'm not going to discuss the policies because let's face it, we don't believe them, I don't approve of pork barrelling, and, on the rare occassions when the actually have meaningful policies, they tend to be fairly predictable.
Liberal party: Never trust someone who has a first name for a surname. Libs will be hoping he pulls a rabbit out of his hat. Has a history of saying or doing anything to maintain power.
National party: Not applicable.
ALP: The biggest media tart in Australian politics. Has been accused of being a Howard me-too. I was half hoping for a January election, just to ruin the Kevin07 Tshirts. Took over from Big Kim just after he got the polls looking right. I'm curious to see what his substance is once he has said or done anything to get power.
Democrats: Never trust someone who has a first name for a surname. Sadly, their best term for common sense and accountability has been balanced by being completely ignored by the media. The absense of the Natasha-related media has hurt, even if the main media completely ignored anything like policies.
Greens: As any school child knows, what do you get if you mix Red and Green? Will object to any other party's policy. Even if he subsequently uses it.
Family First: The 12th man of Australian politics: never batting or bowling. Has let some things through that he shouldn't have.
Pauline Hanson: Credit where due, has a lot of courage and determination, even if her economic policies are Mugabe-esque and her immigration policies are Andrews-esque. To come back for another crack knowing the flack she will cop does take guts. Sadly, this is where Australian politics finds the party with the most integrity and policies. Still, if I had the chance in the senate, she'd get triple figures next to her name.
At this stage, I plan to put ALP above the Libs and will vote for the Democrats where possible. There's still 6 weeks for me to change my mind though. Let the games begin.
And for an update on the UK situation, after combining my threat to vote Tory with a couple of huge leaps in the polls for Cameron, Brown has decided that it isn't the right time for an election. Of course, given where the polls sit, it would take courage to call. I would respect that and would then vote based on achieving the best outcome.
My favourite procrastinations
The Head Heeb - Jonathan provides a balanced view on various Israeli and (former) colonial states in less developed regions of the world.
The Bladder - a sports satire site. Well worth a look.