Santa Claus is Coming to Nicaea

Remember how the subtitle for this blog is ‘Politics and Poetry’?  And it’s basically all politics?  Well, this is not really *good* poetry, but what is a girl to do when someone complains about the lack of Christmas Carols celebrating Saint Nicholas (that’s Santa Claus to you) punching Arius (the heretic) at the Council of Nicaea?

I admit, the scansion is less than perfect.  It’s difficult to fit any really sound theology into lines of 5 or 7 syllables.  (And unsound theology has similar numbers of syllables to good theology, as it turns out.)  Also, technically, the bit about the Creed is ahistorical, because that happened *because* of Arius, not before him.  But I suspect that anyone who cares enough to nitpick… is exactly the right audience for this.

(I promise I’ll get back to the Victorian State Election results soon.)

Continue reading

Advertisements

Victorian State Election 2018: Post-mortem Part 1

So it looks like Labor won that one, then.  Which is good, because the main narrative I’ve seen floating around the place has been that Victorians rejected the politics of fear and racism, and that Andrews won by being strong on policy and infrastructure (and, it must be said, on the back of four years of actually achieving a fair bit of what he set out to do).

Is this narrative true?  Well, partially, at least.  I’m sure the mess in Canberra didn’t help Matthew Guy any, though amusingly neither side of politics really wants to admit that – Labor, because it takes away from their victory, and the Liberals because then they’d have to admit to getting that wrong (which Mary Wooldridge very nearly did, in fact). But, while I’d love to think that my fellow Victorians are all highly-evolved individuals who are too intelligent to fall for a fear campaign and too kind to be motivated by racism, I suspect that this is not wholly the case.

Still, true or not, it’s a good narrative, and one that I hope will take root.  “Fear campaigns don’t win in this country” is an idea that I would like to become true.  I mean, wouldn’t it be lovely if everyone in politics went, right, OK, fear campaigns don’t work, let’s make the Federal election about policy instead of about racism and being mean to LGBTQI people.

Continue reading

Victorian State Election 2018: Election Eve

And so, here we are.   Tomorrow, millions of Victorians will get up, locate their nearest polling booth, and vote.  We will collect (or reject) How to Vote cards from the major parties and whatever random sprinkling of minor parties come our way; we will investigate the cake stall and secretly regret that we are too old and too heavy for the jumping castle; we will complain about the length of the lines and the ridiculous size of the ballot paper; and on the way out, we will probably succumb to the lure of the Democracy Sausage, or at least the veggie sausage or the egg and bacon roll.  (And woe betide the rebel who puts the onion on top of his sausage!)

And then we will go home, secure in the knowledge that we have voted and that our vote will be counted.

Here are three things I want you to remember tomorrow.

Continue reading

Victorian State Election 2018: Worth a thousand words?

Well, if I actually go back and count up everything I’ve written over the last few weeks, this election is clearly worth more like 83,000 words to me…

Which is a lot of writing – and also a lot of reading.

If you have been following me on this long, and sometimes disturbing, journey through Victoria’s political psyche, with its egos, ids, and superegos, I think you deserve a reward.

I’ve commented a few times over the course of these posts that it would be interesting to create wordclouds for some of these political parties.  Well, it turns out that http://www.wordclouds.com lets me do just that – and it even lets me choose the colours and shapes so that they can be themed with the parties in question!  So, herewith, for your delectation and delight, the political parties contesting the Victorian State Election – in pictorial form!

Continue reading

Victorian State Election 2018: Some useful links and resources

We’re getting to the pointy end of the election, and if you are just joining the fun, you probably don’t have time to read every single one of my posts!

So here are some other resources that should take you less time to read, and might entertain you.

Official Resources

Other resources on small parties

  • Antony Green tells you how to vote, provides some fairly scary senate calculators based on the group voting tickets and recommends voting below the line.
  • Jill Stark on Twitter gives a brief rundown of political parties with misleading or confusing names
  • André Brett on Twitter has a tweet for every party on the ballot.
  • André also has an excellent Tumblr Blog called Blatantly Partisan Party Reviews (close inspection will reveal that he and I have something of a mutual admiration society happening – the world of tiny political party bloggers is small…), which gives you a paragraph or two on each party if you want more detail than Twitter can provide, but don’t have all day.  He also researched the independents for Brunswick.
  • Matt Hrkac has nice, concise summaries of each party contesting the election.  (I’d recommend this as an article to take into the polling booth, because it’s brief and covers the basics enough to remind you who everyone is)
  • Daniel Bowen has a useful article about the election, with information on voting, small parties, energy and the environment, and local Bentleigh issues.
  • The New Daily have put up a post on microparties.  It’s interesting to see what stands out for them.
  • If climate change is your priority, then Precarious Climate has analysed all the parties from a climate change policy perspective.
  • If homelessness is your chief concern, Everybody’s Home has profiled Labor, the Coalition, the Greens and Fiona Patten’s Reason Party on this issue.
  • If racism is something you are worried about, Colour Code has rated a number of major and minor parties, and provided short profiles on their policies in this area.
  • First Dog on the Moon doesn’t talk about minor parties, but as usual, he is on the money with the majors.

Democracy Sausage

  • Democracysausage.org is an interactive map that tells you which of your local polling booths are having sausage sizzles, which are having cake stalls, and so forth.  I have not yet figured out what all the icons mean, but they are numerous and varied.  For booths which have not yet been filled in, the site predicts the likeliness of a sausage sizzle based on past elections.  This is probably your most important link on election day…

And that’s about it!  Don’t forget to vote, and make sure your friends vote, too – and for heaven’s sake, vote below the line.  Your vote is too important to leave to other people to decide.

If you have spotted a useful round up of tiny political parties that I haven’t included here, please let me know!  I’m aware that those linked above are largely as left-leaning as I am, which is mostly because those are the blogs that link to me or that Google offers me, despite my now extremely dubious search history.  (On the bright side, Googling so many political candidates has apparently made Facebook’s and Twitter’s algorithms start sending me recruiting ads for ASIO, which I find hilarious.  I’m pretty sure ASIO would not take me as a gift.)  (But then, that’s probably what I would be saying if I *was* working for ASIO, isn’t it…?)

The One and Only Cate Speaks Endorsed How to Vote Card!

So, we have reached the end of my explorations into the psyches of our various tiny political parties, and it is time to answer the all-important question: who should I vote for?

I must admit, I’m having a harder time with this than usual. In most previous elections, there has been at least one party or independent who I have been truly excited about. And this makes all the other parties more palatable – essentially, I still know, deep down, that I’m compromising, but I don’t actually have to admit it out loud because the person who is number one on my ticket is genuinely awesome.

This time… well, I’m excited by Chawla and Lee, but they aren’t actually on the ballot in my region, so I’m out of luck.

Beyond that… I like the Socialists, but they are a bit flaky (which is not unexpected, but there were a couple of elections where they were looking unexpectedly sane and I enjoyed that); I want to like Reason, but I’m not entirely sold on it; both the Greens and Labor are fine, but let’s face it, having just spent two weeks analysing all the minor parties it feels like a bit of cop-out if I then vote for one of the majors.   I mean, I will if that’s how it pans out, but it’s a bit depressing!

So I’m going to start at the bottom of the ticket, where things may be ugly, but at least they are clear, and work my way up from there. Who knows where this journey will end? (Truly – not me. I’m hoping that inspiration will strike in the course of writing this.)  I’ve divided parties into categories.  Much like Cyclones, you really want to avoid a Category 4 or 5, but a Category 2 or 3 is basically survivable.  (My metaphor breaks down at Category 1, unless you really, really like storms or are really not fully delighted by any of these political parties.  Hmm… maybe it’s not such a bad metaphor after all…)

Incidentally, I’m using the numbers and names appropriate to Northern Metropolitan Region.  Since we do, in fact, have representatives from every party except the Nationals, this is pretty easily adapted to your are.

Having said that… while this is approximately how I intend to vote (I invariably change my mind about *someone* between here and the ballot box), and I’m including it because I know some people find it useful, my true How to Vote card is simply this: Vote below the line, numbering at least five squares, but ideally all of them (there is much satisfaction to be had in putting terrible people at the bottom of your ticket).

Who you vote for is important, don’t get me wrong, and I ABSOLUTELY have opinions on that (you may have noticed this…).  But I truly believe that the best thing you can do as a citizen is inform yourself about who is on the ballot and vote for the things you care about.  Vote with your brain, vote with your heart, and don’t let anyone else decide where your vote should go – not your party, not Glenn Druery, and not me.

Continue reading

Victorian State Election 2018: Meet Pascoe Vale Independent John Kavanagh!

I don’t have time to read all of this!
The Basics

Website: https://www.kavanagh2016.org/about
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100011552947817
Themes: Public transport, kindness to animals, funding for schools.  Generally left-leaning.

With friends like these…
How to Vote Card

Kavanagh has a multiple-choice how to vote card, telling you how to vote for John Kavanagh if you prefer Liberals ahead of ALP, and how to vote for him if you prefer ALP ahead of Liberals.    Nice ducking of the question there, Kavanagh!  At the bottom of the card he reminds us that ‘these preferences are recommended, but the choice of preferences is entirely yours!’.

So I don’t think preferences are something he cares much about, basically.

Oscar Yildiz is second on both cards, with the Greens in 3rd place.  You then have the option of Labor or Liberal in 4th place, followed by Animal Justice in 5th.  Liberal or Labor are back at 6th place, followed by the Socialists at 7th and Francesco Timpano at 8th.

The Body Politic
Policies, Snark, Terrible Theme Songs and Other Observations

Continue reading

Victorian State Election 2018: Meet Pascoe Vale Independent Francesco Timpano!

I don’t have time to read all of this!
The Basics

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006101358852
Or possibly: https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Performance-Art-Theatre/Francesco-Timpano-Thinker-Politician-Architect-to-the-Very-Rich-Worthy-377430045757803/

(I’ve spent ten minutes trying to figure out whether the second one is a parody or not, and I honestly can’t tell.  It has a lot of the same material, and is very much in the same style.  It’s slightly more grandiose, but really only slightly, and not actually out of character…)

Having said that… it’s a very, um, distinctive style, and I suspect it could be imitated pretty easily.  Having said *that*, who would bother?)

Themes: The Moreland City Council is Corrupt!  The Greens are criminals!  Conspiracy theories abound!

With friends like these…
How to Vote Card

Timpano has put Oscar Yildiz in second place, followed by the ALP.  The Liberal candidate is in 4th place, followed by Animal Justice, the Victorian Socialists, John Kavanagh and the Greens.

I recall from the last election that he really *hates* the Greens; it looks like Kavanagh (the current Moreland mayor) is also on his shit-list.

The Body Politic
Policies, Snark, Terrible Theme Songs and Other Observations

Continue reading

Victorian State Election 2018: Meet Pascoe Vale Independent Oscar Yildiz!

I don’t have time to read all of this!
The Basics

Website:  http://www.oscaryildiz.com.au/
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/OscarYildiz4Pascoevale/
Themes: Cost of living, environment, families.  Being local.

With friends like these…
How to Vote Card

Yildiz has preferenced his fellow independents, John Kavanagh and Francesco Timpano, second and third, suggesting a common ground which, as we shall see, is not wholly reciprocated.  He has put Liberal first of all the parties, followed by Labor, the Greens, Animal Justice and the Socialists.

It’s almost a perfect mirror of the Socialist ticket.  Suffice it to say that Mr Yildiz probably does not lean to the left, politically speaking.

The Body Politic
Policies, Snark, Terrible Theme Songs and Other Observations

Continue reading

Victorian State Election 2018: Preferences in Pascoe Vale!

So, with the Upper House all done, I thought I’d turn to my local district, Pascoe Vale, and see what’s on the menu.

Our options this year appear to be as follows:

This is a typical People’s Republic of Moreland ballot paper, with a wide selection of left-leaning choices, a handful of independents, and a token Liberal Party candidate who is not going to get very far, poor thing, but has to take one for the team regardless.

I’ll be reviewing our lovely independent candidates shortly, but first, let’s take a quick look at who is preferencing whom among the major parties.

Genevieve Hamilton – Liberal Party

The Liberals know they don’t have a snowflake’s hope in a globally-warmed hell, so they aren’t trying very hard.  But they always run a candidate so that their loyalists have someone to vote for, and they are probably hoping to wrest the two party preferred envelope back from the Greens.  They have preferenced the three independents, Yildiz, Kavanagh and Timpano first, followed by the Animal Justice Party.  Then Labor, the Greens, and last of all the Socialists.  Apparently, they would rather preference someone they consider a little bit nutty ahead of the Labor Party, so that’s fun. It’s been their policy to put the Greens after Labor for a while, because they don’t want the Greens winning seats from Labor on Liberal preferences, so no real surprise there.

Lizzie Blandthorn – Australian Labor Party

The ALP has put the Animal Justice Party second, which is making me wonder if they might do dangerously well.  Surely not well enough to overtake the Greens and the Liberal Party, though?  In third place are the Greens, with just enough separation to show that, no, no, no, there is no Labor/Green coalition!  Socialists are in fourth place, followed by Yildiz, Timpano and Kavanagh.  The Liberal party are at the bottom of the ticket.

Phil Jackson – Australian Greens

The Greens also know they aren’t going to win this one, but they want to come a convincing second and give Labor a run for their money.   They have preferenced  Kavanagh second, followed by the ALP, the Victorian Socialists and the Animal Justice Party.  Yildiz is 6th, Francesco is 7th, and the Liberal candidate is dead last.  This is a bit of a surprise – I really thought they would put the Socialists ahead of Labor, given that Labor is their main competition for this seat.  (My quick scan of their how to vote cards in other regions suggests that they are putting Liberal last most of the time, unless there is a party like the DLP or the Shooters and Fishers, or a really nutty independent that needs the spot.  They also seem to be consistently putting the ALP ahead of the Socialists, which is a surprise.)

Graeme Linsell – Animal Justice Party

The AJP is still bearing a grudge against the Greens, and has therefore put Labor second and the Greens third.  The Socialists are in fourth place, followed by Kavanagh, Yildiz and Timpano.   You know, nobody seems to like Timpano much – it’s not a good sign.  The Liberal Party is last, yet again.

Gerry Beaton – Victorian Socialists

The Socialists have put the Greens candidate second, followed by Labor.  The Animal Justice Party is in 4th, then we have Kavanagh, Yildiz and Timpano.  (Really, nobody likes Timpano – even the Liberal candidate put him third of the three independents.).  The Liberal Party is lucky last, and nobody is surprised by this.

Look, it’s highly likely that Pascoe Vale will become Labor / Green in the two-party preferred, but unless the Greens pull of something astonishing, it’s going to be a safe Labor win.  Nobody except the Socialists and one of the independents (spoiler!) is putting them ahead of Labor, and while we are pretty red in this part of the world, I don’t think we are red enough to elect a Green, so to speak…

As for the Liberal Party, even if they get to the two-party preferred, everyone except for the independents has put them last.  They are not going to get up.