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Send My Conscience Home in a Taxi

Externalised Memory

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The Election So Far
Voting is the best revenge
Unless you'd been hiding under a rock the size of Utah, you'd have heard that the federal election campaign has finally started.

Now, you may also have noticed that I'm a rusted-on third generation Labor voter (on one side at least. My grandfather worked a lathe for Ford in Geelong.) In fact, I'm somewhat involved with the ALP here in my home seat - Northcote at a State level and Batman federally. I'm the assistant secretary of the Northcote branch, in fact, although not a member of the "Political Class" as it is known. Hmmm, there's a long blog entry in that one...

Waiting for the election to be called was excruciating. It seemed like there were polls every single day saying "Labor is ahead. Labor is still ahead." Ever since the last federal election - October the 9th of 2004 - I've been waiting desperately for the chance to help turf the Short Man out of the lodge. I can still remember turning on the television on that night in 2004. I was having a birthday party. And the first thing I saw on the telly? Two seats in Tasmania had been lost to the ALP. Fark. It's been a long four years. I rejoined the party specifically because of that, because I wanted to help it not happen again.

And now I find myself watching the campaign, and... It's excruciating in a different way. To win government, the ALP has to pick up 16 seats. It, ok, we, have to win 16 marginal seats off the Liberals, the Nationals, independents, whoever. There are marginal seats all over the country, but mostly in Queensland, NSW and South Australia. And definitely not this seat where I live - Batman. Safest Labor seat in the country! In other words, campaigning here is almost redundant. And indeed there aren't any marginal seats nearby, or indeed in the entire state of Victoria, which are really expected to change hands. So... Here I am wanting desperately for Labor to win federally so that good people like Lindsay Tanner and Peter Garrett and Julia Gillard can have a turn at running the country. And there's almost nothing I can do about it from here. I'd almost be better served flying to Queensland for five weeks and walking the streets there saying "A vote for Howard is a vote for Costello" etc. etc. etc.'

*sigh* talk about frustrating.