Australia Votes 2022

IMPORTANT UPDATE: ALP WINS! The Honourable Anthony Albanese is sworn in as Australia’s 31st Prime Minister.

Get your Democracy Sausage!

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The most important day of 2022 for Australia is almost here.

Tomorrow, Saturday 21st May 2022 is the day Australians decide how they are going to live in the next three years, and the decades influenced by that time.

We vote in the 2022 Federal Election. 

It is a stark and clear choice. We either continue to live the same or worse lives under a nefarious, disingenuous Right Wing government driven by religious and political zealotry, partisanship and questionable ethics or we can choose the only other major party who can change the course of the nation towards a better future. 

We can choose the incumbent Liberal Party Prime Minister who mixes his politics with his religion and who claims a divine message from an eagle in a painting inspired his ascent to the top job of leading this nation.  Otherwise, we can choose Labor, the party whose leader will become the Prime Minister and whose solid experience includes living and working amongst some of the most disadvantaged in Australia, with the residents and workers in working-class suburbs. 

The Labor Party has an extensive team of talented experienced and enthusiastic candidates. The Liberal Party and National Party have a team that appears to be dead-scared of a FICAC, going by the Prime Minister’s refusal to keep his election promise to set up a Federal Independent Commission Against Corruption. 

I am hoping that Labor and good Independents win their seats tomorrow so we can escape this nightmare of a government at last and see off our inhumane, international embarrassment of a Prime Minister.

It is the people’s turn to have their say.

For all volunteers from all parties and independents who have and will be helping in this and every election, thank you for your commitment to our democracy.

A big thank you from a grateful nation goes to some of the most under-rated, hardworking, and dedicated people whom Australia has the privilege of employing; the staff of the Australian Electoral Commission. If anyone wants to dispute that Australia’s democracy stands on their shoulders and that the AEC should be the envy of the democratic world, just look over the street at elections in the USA.

There is even an AEC site where you can practise voting. 

https://www.aec.gov.au/Voting/How_to_vote/practice/

Hopefully, AEC staff hand-counting every vote will see more thankyou messages scribbled in the margins of ballot papers than the usual drawings of penises and testicles, or the universal message to our politicians to Eff Off. I like to leave a kind message, in the margins away from the candidate’s boxes on my completed ballot. I feel very proud after I vote. It is both a right and a privilege in our uncertain world.

Please enjoy your Democracy Sausage!

Image from https://junkee.com/democracy-sausage-history/330115

A contrast between the two major parties:

Here is an interesting article that uses a different style of map that shows the distribution of federal electorates held by the major parties.

The Australian election map has been lying to you

By Colin Gourlay, Georgina Piper, Tim LeslieCristen Tilley and Matt Lidd

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-05-20/federal-election-map-lying/101076016

Liberté, égalité, fraternité

As a conversation thread starter, here are some links to help understand the recent election in France. I will avoid all but one of the obvious “This isn’t the end of Macron or France’s problems” articles, of which there seem to be at least a thousand.

Firstly, it is interesting that the polls moved to Macron between the first and second round, and his final vote slightly exceeded his best final poll, which might be partly accounted for by the fact that there is no last day polling by law. As with the 2017 election, I think some who don’t like Macron and who love to complain about the way things are, admit to themselves in the last week or even the last day that they will still vote to block the one they like even less. This 2021 post on french performative miserablism and polling on vaccination partly covers what might be a national political and polling tendancy.

https://www.tomforth.co.uk/miserabilism/

The below by John Lichfield from before the vote is a good read, he argues that the old French Right-Left system has mutated into a muddled pattern of three broad tribes: the scattered Left and the Greens; a pro-European, consensual Centre; and a nationalist-populist, anti-migrant and anti-European Right. No winner will ever be really popular with more than a third of the country.

https://www.thelocal.fr/20220419/opinion-macron-will-win-the-french-election-and-then-his-real-problems-begin/

Late last year Manu Saadia wrote a series of Substack posts on the French election for the benefit of the non french, explaining the basics and background really well. He stopped well before the vote, but they are still a good read. https://lacampagne.substack.com/

In particular I draw your attention to the one on why the Presidential vote matters so much, “Camembert President.” He writes “France is a monarchy that undergoes a succession crisis every five years, by way of an election. It is by design. Under France’s current constitutional arrangement, the so-called Fifth Republic, the sole real seat of power is the office of the presidency. It is therefore unsurprising that all civic and political life would revolve around it.”

https://lacampagne.substack.com/p/camembert-president

Another good read, “Eric Zemmour and the long shadow of France’s defeat in Algeria”

https://lacampagne.substack.com/p/the-long-shadow-of-frances-defeat

The amazing mechanics of an election that spans the entire globe

https://lacampagne.substack.com/p/a-vote

Finally, I recommend to you the recently launched Le Monde english language edition. Why read US and UK takes on European news when you can now get the news direct? Most of the best European newspapers are only in the local language, so this is a good development for us. Some articles are subscriber only (although you can usually still read good chunks of those), but many are free to read. Worth bookmarking the site for french news. https://www.lemonde.fr/en/

Two articles to start…

Jean-Luc Mélenchon devises plan to become Emmanuel Macron’s main opponent

The leader of the radical left hopes to win the legislative elections in June. Labor Day protests on May 1st will be the the left’s first show of strength against President Macron.

https://www.lemonde.fr/en/politics/article/2022/04/27/jean-luc-melenchon-devises-plan-to-become-emmanuel-macron-s-main-opponent_5981705_5.html

Quarrelling French far right struggles to unite for legislative elections

Marine Le Pen has already set her sights on the June 12 and 19 elections, hoping to induct a significant far-right group to the Assemblée Nationale. Eric Zemmour called for an alliance while criticizing her defeat, fueling their rivalry.

https://www.lemonde.fr/en/politics/article/2022/04/27/quarrelling-french-far-right-struggles-to-unite-for-legislative-elections_5981707_5.html

107 Years Ago . . .

One of the more of the many appalling – things – incidents – catastrophes of WW1 that happened:

Gallipoli.

Australia and New Zealand and the UK and – we should NEVER forget – Turkey – were embroiled in this utterly futile and destructive stretched-out battle. So many young men – teenagers, on both sides, were doing their best to kill each other, probably without any idea of the politics behind that war.

So many young lives wasted.
So many parents and siblings mourning.
So many families grieving forever.

Now the wannabe warlord/tsar of the world is wreaking his hubris on Ukraine – a place fought over for centuries. Who’s next? Poland, aka the battleground of Europe?

When I was a child, my family and I often visited the War Memorial in Canberra. For me, it was an important way of learning part of our history, and I learned so much from those visits: respect, sorrow, and – hey – let’s NEVER do that again.

Now I completely and utterly deplore the Australian War Memorial’s morphing into being a celebration of war. I don’t see anything in their glorification of war that supports the amazing efforts of the people of Ukraine. That is so sad.

I want the AWM to return to what it used to be: a memorial.

It’s not a memorial or a museum now. Instead, it’s – under its current leadership – a glorification of endless war.

My father served in the RAAF throughout WW2. He would be appalled by the current state of the “museum”.