Well, it’s just gone 6pm on election day (in the south-east at least) and the polling booths have just closed.
I had a rather interesting election day this time around, as I was handing out how-to-vote cards for one of the more major minor parties – no prizes for guessing which. I’m in one of the safest Liberal seats in the country, held by none other than Tony Abbott, so there was no chance of an interesting result in the house of representatives, but the response we got from the voters was quite encouraging.
Okay, I won’t try and keep up any partisan confidentiality here – I was hading out for the Greens. We often got voters by-passing the hordes of ALP and Liberal handers-out and making a bee-line directly to the lone Green, and promising to bring the paper back for re-use when they’ve finished (only a handful actually did, however). The ALP campaigners, who were very friendly people, unlike the Christian Democrat campaigner, thought that perhaps the Greens would out-poll them in this seat, based on their observations. Indeed in the state election last year, the Greens out-polled Labor in North Sydney, one seat to the west, and cam very close to even in this seat.
I did have a couple of entertaining moments though, like the man who surreptitiously took each and every how-to-vote card, including that of the Climate Change Coalition, but not the Greens. When I offered one, he said “Absolutely Not!” Another moment involved a bloke who came directly up to me asking to see the card, in an attempt to begin to understand “why on Earth his daughter would vote for these Greens“.
But by far the best entertainment of the day was the lone Christian Democrat who couldn’t help but argue with the ALPers about privatisation of hospitals, inadequate parking, illegal election day signage, and generally anything that tipped him over the edge.
The Abbott himself made a cameo appearance too. He picked up a pile of the Liberals’ glossy behemoth how-to-vote cards, handed two of them to passers-by, and walked off. He was also quite unimpressed when I maintained to him that “Greens are good for you”.
Anyway, it’s all over now, the decision is made, we just have to wait until it emerges from the counts. Putting aside the lower house for a moment, I think the current Coalition Senate majority demonstrates that we need a balanced Senate, with neither one party nor the other holding a majority. We’ll be waiting for days of counting until the Senate results are known though.
It’s of course way too early to know anything, but exit polls, however inaccurate and small in sample-size, are apparently predicting an ALP win, by about 53 to 47 percent, two party preferred, and John Howard still faces the prospect of losing Bennelong to Maxine McKew. Moreover, the bellwether, or ‘litmus test’ seat of Eden-Monaro, a seat that has voted with the winner of the election for the past 35 years, is exit-polling a whopping 58 to 42 percent two party preferred.
It’ll either be monumental celebrations or some serious drowning of sorrows; either way there’ll be copious amounts of liquor consumed.
On other matters, I know I haven’t posted anything in a while, almost two weeks, but I’ve been having computer issues – more or less. You might have noticed my ‘blog news’ widget in the column to the right, which implies that I’m now running Ubuntu, a linux distribution, on my computer. Well, there is unfortunately no good offline blog editor/poster program available to linux users, and I discovered today that the online WYSIWIG editor on WordPress.com doesn’t have any formatting in Ubuntu (or it may have just been the linux version of Firefox). This means that, after all my success in de-microsoftening myself, I have to revert back to a Windows machine to post a blog!
Happy election night, and may your party win (as long as your party isn’t in the Coalition)!