One of the downsides to getting internet access again is catching up the news regarding the Australian election on Saturday, 21 August. If 2007 was the first environmental election in the world – as commentators outside the parochial scene of Aussie politics put it – then this one would have to be the racist election, with each side trying to outdo each other on keeping those dreadful boat people out.
It hate to say it, but I was skeptical about the promise that Rudd seemed to give people back in 07. People poo-pooed me, saying Rudd and Labor would make a difference. But now the disillusion is palpable. As I pointed out in Rescuing the Bible, within parliamentary systems like Australia we really have only one mega-party, the pro-capitalist party. It has various wings and factions, who like to call themselves liberal, labour, conservative, national and so forth. But each one argues that it can provide the best conditions for capitalism to flourish. Tomorrow we get to choose between the Labor faction, led by prime minister Julia Gillard, and the curiously named Liberal-National faction, led by Tony Abbott. I’d rather be tarred and feathered than see Abbott win, but it is a long shot for him to do so. Gillard is a shade better, but not by much.
So here’s a tip. Labor under Gillard wins 75 seats in a 150 seat house, Liberal-National 71, country independents (National renegades) 3 and the Greens 1 – the seat of Melbourne which they may well take from Labor. Gillard will have a minority government, requiring the Green MP to get anything through. And the Greens will for the first time be able to propose legislation. Even better, the Greens, polling at times close to 20%, should win the balance of power in the proportionally represented Senate.
No guesses for where my vote is going.