Election Eve Round-up

With under 24 hours to go, pretty much all that can be said about this election has been said. The media know this; they’ve run out of new questions. They’re reduced to repeatedly asking Prime Minister Kevin Rudd if he’ll stay in Parliament after his apparently inevitable defeat, and how long before Abbott repeals the ‘carbon tax’. Oh, and how Margie will like living in the Lodge.

Of course, what they are not asking – and for the most part, have not asked – is how the Coalition can justify handing out middle and upper class welfare dollars to those who least need it, while cutting funds for vital public transport infrastructure and for indigenous legal aid. They’re not asking how the Greens plan to force a majority government of either stripe to go along with their policies. And – with the notable exception of the Wikileaks Party debacle – they’ve ignored the minor parties altogether.

Instead, the News Ltd media this morning gave us a full-page photo of Abbott in close-up with the Australian flag behind him. The headline? ‘IT’S TONY’S TIME’.

Nope. No bias there. It has to be said, though, that it’s one of the Murdoch empire’s milder headlines. At least they managed not to Godwin themselves.

One notable exception in the lacklustre media coverage was the revelation last night that the Coalition had a hitherto unannounced policy for an opt-out internet filter. Broken by the ABC’s Latika Bourke and ZDNet’s Josh Thomas, the news sent the Shadow Communications Spokesperson, Malcolm Turnbull, into frantic damage control. Turnbull’s attempt to quash the story failed miserably when the policy was discovered on the Liberal Party’s website, Taylor published the audio evidence, and Bourke pointed out that Paul Fletcher (Turnbull’s junior) had walked her through the policy in detail. On The Project, Joe Hockey was blindsided. By 8.00 pm, the official line coming from the Coalition was that the policy – which was an old memo, never adopted – had been published in error by an unnamed staffer. An alternative version also popped up, stating that the policy had been ‘badly worded’.

Whatever the truth, the news was clearly damning. Whether that makes any difference to the vote, however, is another story. Arguably, the Coalition were never likely to attract many ‘net voters’, anyway – but at least it made the news.

Barring another such policy explosion, there’ll be little more coming from either major party before the polls open. With such a short time to go, however, there’s still time to read up on the parties, their policies, and some notable commentators in the independent media.

On the mythical beast that is the Coalition’s ‘costings’, Greg Jericho has a ripper of a piece over at The Guardian. Jericho points out what virtually no one in the major media has bothered to mention; what was released yesterday was not costings. It was a short document with few numbers, no detail and none of the bottom-line working-out that should be made available, presented to journalists ten minutes before the media conference. And we’re all supposed to take it on faith that the Coalition got everything right.

For in-depth analysis of the parties and group tickets, particularly in Victoria, Cate Speaks is your go-to blogger. If you can think of a party contesting this election, Cate’s put them under the microscope and turned the magnification up high.

Another very good site for summary and analysis, particularly of Senate candidates, is Butterfly’s Wings. Merinnan also looks into each party’s preferences, and where an above-the-line vote is likely to end up.

Over at the ABC, Antony Green’s Election Guide will take you around the country and show you every electorate in detail. (Okay, so it’s not independent media, but it’s an indispensable guide).

And for the policies themselves, here are the links to the websites, in alphabetical order. If I’ve forgotten anyone, please comment and provide a link, and I’ll update this post.

Animal Justice Party

Australia First

Australian Christian Party

Australian Democrats

Australian Greens

Australian Labor Party

Australian Motoring Enthusiast Party

Australian Sex Party

Australian Voice Party

Bank Reform Party

Building Australia Party

Bullet Train for Australia

Christian Democratic Party

Citizens Electoral Council

Country Alliance

Democratic Labor Party

Drug Law Reform Party

Family First

Fishing and Lifestyle Party

Help End Marijuana Prohibition (HEMP) Party

Katter’s Australian Party

Liberal Party

Liberal Democratic Party

No Carbon Tax Climate Skeptics

One Nation

Outdoor Recreation Party

Palmer United Party

Pirate Party of Australia

Republican Party of Australia

Rise Up Australia Party

Save the Planet

Secular Party

Senator Online

Shooters and Fishers Party

Smokers Rights Party

Socialist Equality Party

Stable Population Party

Stop CSG Party

Wikileaks Party

Finally, there’s Below the Line, which I cannot recommend highly enough. It provides a simple, user-friendly way for everyone to tackle those ridiculously long Senate ballot papers. In this election, with so many minor parties and with the looming prospect of both Houses being held by one party, voting below the line is more important than ever.

So that’s it, folks. Please, take some time, read up on the policies and some of the excellent analysis that is out there. Your vote is more than important – it’s crucial.

Tomorrow I’ll be live blogging and tweeting from early in the day. Please ‘call in’ with sausage sizzle reviews, dodgy tactics and dirty tricks (photos gratefully accepted), exit polls and anything else you see happening around town.

It’s all up to us now. Let’s do it.

UPDATE:

How could I forget the most crucial website of all? The Election Sausage Sizzle Map, for all your sausage, cake stall and school fete needs on Election Day – all those small, but necessary things that sustain us all. Where would we be without them?

Sausage sizzlers of the nation, I salute you. And I’ll have mine with onions and tomato sauce, thanks.

9 Responses to Election Eve Round-up

  1. megpie71 says:

    I’m getting ready to head down and vote (I’m in WA, it’s still only a quarter to eight here) and then I plan to switch off the web browser, and devote my day to doing useful things instead. Things like cooking dinner for the family (my partner and his parents, all of whom are working at polling places for the AEC today – be nice to the polling place people – they’re not responsible for the politicians we’re stuck with, they just hand out the papers), getting caught up on some commission work I’ve been doing, catching up with my reading for uni, getting started on some uni assessment, and maybe playing some games on the computer. Oh, and if I remember it, tuning in to watch the Fremantle Dockers in their final vs Geelong (Carna Dockers!), which is a much more interesting competition.

  2. senate.io is also good if you don’t like belowtheline.org.au for whatever reason.

  3. I very much fear that, in 2013, Australia is about to enter The Barry Mackenzie era of political achievement and diplomacy.

  4. Merinnan says:

    If people don’t want to wade through party websites, I’ve summarised the policies of ALMOST every single party Australia-wide at http://www.butterflyswings.com

  5. cartoonmick says:

    With Abbott about to become Australia’s face and voice on the international stage, I feel totally embarrassed to be an Australian.

    His performance and presentation will be what all other nations judge us on for the next 3 years, and I’d bet, even the rusted-on believers will become uneasy, and lower their heads to their chest.

    Regardless of who anyone votes for, there’s a damn good chance we’ll end up with a bunch of politicians in charge and, looking at the available talent, this is a major problem for Australia.

    Australians have 3 year now to find good honest decent people with leadership qualities, and encourage them to run for parliament. If enough good ones get involved they will swamp the entrenched crud which currently controls both major partys.

    Maybe we need a coalition of independents, dunno !!

    http://cartoonmick.wordpress.com/editorial-political/

    Cheers

    Mick

  6. richo says:

    Reblogged this on Neuro Typical? No Way! and commented:
    A great read, outlining just how lax in asking questions of the coalition the media has been.

  7. richo says:

    Great read. Ripper.

    It is so sad that the people will not be voting on the basis of an equal scrutiny of the policies, costings and records.

  8. Catherine says:

    Thanks so much for the shout-out! I’ll be out all day tomorrow too, but can’t wait to read your posts.

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