Saturday, November 27, 2010

A Different Logo

Due to powers beyond my control, I was unable to write any sort of prediction about the State election outcome before polling day. And by 'Powers beyond my control' I mean a combination of 'Friday night' and 'pub.'

But I don't see this as a big problem. I mean for starters, my wishy-washy prediction, something along the lines of:

Labor will lose seats in the East of Melbourne put probably hold enough of their rural and regional marginals to retain Government by a slim margin.

would have been dead wrong, making me look as stupid as every other political pundit in this town. Well, probably not quite as stupid as most of them... most of them are paid a large salary to be wrong.

Failing a prediction then, there's still the other stock standard piece of election day commentary available to me, which is the morning after analysis. The key points from last nights surprise election outcome then:

1. THE LABOR PARTY HAD BEEN IN POWER FOR 11 YEARS: And people were sick of them.

And that's it really. As John Keats would have put it, 'that is all ye know on Earth, and all ye need to know.' (I've left out the bits about beauty and truth, these have no place in any sort of political discussion).

Much else will be said and written about the election in the coming days, particularly as the final outcome is still undecided as I write, but you need to look little further than 'Point 1' for an explanation as to the outcome. Labor had been in power for more than a decade in Victoria and was past it's use by date. Even a casual study of recent Governments in this country, state and Federal, will bear out the fact that once a party has been in power for 10 plus years, they live on borrowed time (see John Howard as a prime recent example of this).

So that's it.

I'd like to alert our network affiliates that we'll be finishing a little early tonight, tune in tomorrow when our topic will be 'What is the one true faith?'

(Brief Pause)

Well, actually, it's raining out and I've got nothing else to do right now, so let's have a few of the minor points from the election night result as well:

2. BIG TED - SUPER GENIUS: Big Ted Baillieu's do-nothin', say-nothin', propose nothin', smile politely campaign strategy frightened no one and so was enough for him to edge over the line once the voters had decided to give the incumbent mob a kicking. But you can expect his content-lite campaign to be described in the most glowing of terms and the man himself to be praised as some kind of modern day political superman, like a contemporary Napoleon on a roll after a big pot of coffee. I'm sure he'll be getting about in one of these soon (at least in his own time):

3. SERVICES, SERVICES, SERVICES: A companion piece to 'Point 2.' Liberal egghead analysis on election night had them winning the election based on voter dis-satisfaction with Brumby Labor's performance in delivering basic public services - public transport and health chief among these - and the Liberals superior plans to improve them. Half of which is fair enough. Labor had failed to deliver in these areas. Where we have a problem is with the other half, the bit where the Liberals enact their plans to rapidly fix these problem areas up. Because unless I was following a different election, the Liberals have no real, concrete plans to fix public transport delays, hospital waiting lists, sham urban planning processes, myki or anything else that's wrong in this state. In fact, for anyone who's interested, I'll bet a hundred bucks that these self same issues are what we'll be talking about in four years time, when Baillieu faces re-election against new Labor leader Randy the Purple Puppet:

(no one will want the job, see). I mean, wasn't Steve Bracks elected Premier largely on a promise to restore public services - public transport and health chief among them - that Jeff Kennett had neglected?

4. FEELING BLUE, I MEAN, GREEN: That the Greens pre election polling of 16 - 18% evaporated as the punters went into the booths to mark their cards should surprise no one. Relentlessly hostile press and a pseudo boycott from both major parties will do that, particularly to an under-resourced minor party largely run by well meaning volunteers.

5. THE END OF THE KENNETT ERA: Ummm... wasn't he voted out, like, 11 years ago? I remember getting drunk and partying all night as they carried his bleeding corpse out of Liberal HQ! Well, this may be but it hasn't stopped the ALP fighting every election since like Kennett was still tormenting all of us and not just the members of Hawthorn FC. But I doubt we'll see any more posters about how Kennett ruined the state at the next election. I mean... right? It's over... right?

6. THE ELECTION IS STILL UNDECIDED: Forget it, it's over.

Big Ted will be Premier, people who have committed minor criminal offences will go to jail and have their lives ruined and the States Year 9 students will rejoice that they've been spared two weeks of 'motivational camp.' Anyone who's waiting in the rain for an overdue train, or hoping that their life saving surgery will soon be approved, or watching while a large corporation builds an ugly apartment block in their midst without consulting them can expect more of the same, only with a different logo on the accompanying form letter:

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