Saturday, November 17, 2007

Keep the champagne corked - the marginal dictatorship saves its worst for last

Rudd is not trouncing Howard. I predict this, claim it, without the armament of extensive psephological analysis of poll numbers. They interest me, but election night results interest me more.

The election isn't being fought on any of the grounds it should be; the long history of abuses of power, the disregard for the environment our children will grow up in, the rise of sneering racism and anti-intellectualism in our culture, embedded by the endorsement of small-minded self-serving besuited bogans.

It's 70% pocket and 30% gut. Work Choices is pocket, Howard's tax cuts and economic claims are pocket. And that's a conservative gut, one that enjoys its overcooked steak and 'taties.

The economy isn't bad. Sure he lied about interest rates. But anyone with a modicum of intelligence knew that the first time around. And since when did lies lead to a poor outcome for an Australian election candidate?

It's not a rational argument. I mean, if it were, there is no way on earth a party that has so messily botched up foreign affairs would be leading the polls in that department. Surely no conservative views Iraq as anything other than the mother of all fuck ups by now?

Last week's 4 Corners had interviews with several people in marginals, following their reactions to various announcements as we entered the campaign. The one who embodied the difficulties faced by social democratic parties more than any other was the woman with the godfrigginalmighty mcmansion.

There she was, with a huge behemoth behind her, or indoors with vast plasma TV and a thousand other spoils. I don't begrudge her this, beyond thinking there's no accounting for taste and moderation. But all she cared about was her pocket. Each promise to give her a handful more bucks caught her attention, to the point that she was coming across as a potential swinger. No wider issue even registered.

A swinging voter in a marginal; key election winning territory. And she, with all her needs and a busload of wants amply met, could not care less about any policy that impacts anyone except her.

She's a natural creature of the Right; singularly greedy and lacking empathy. Yet in a marginal dictatorship she's all that counts, politically speaking.

She's undecided. They're undecided. I hope I'm wrong and he slams it through next weekend. I do give Kev odds-on, but only just. The champagne's corked and stashed. It ain't over 'till the CUB lady sings.


Jeremy said...

This is what terrifies and depresses me. It's so difficult to put yourself in the mindset of someone whose sole interest in government is WHAT CAN IT DO FOR MY WALLET, and I don't care about anything else... but they're the bastards who decide it for the rest of us.

I'll just hope that eventually the progressive parties won't have to try to appeal to these people any more, that there'll be enough rational, compassionate voters to get a majority in their own right.

TimT said...

'Gnac, good to see you're blogging (semi-)regularly again. Enjoyable and astute analysis.

nailpolishblues said...

So true. So fucking depressing.

Splatters said...

Armaniac: And that's a conservative gut, one that enjoys its overcooked steak and 'taties.

Never trust anyone who does not like their red meat red.

Guy said...

I certainly empathise mate. I think this one will be a lot closer than the poll echo chamber is making it out to be.

Bruce said...

Not sure that this constitutes an echo.

I've had this gut feeling it'd be 1998 all over again. I hope I'm wrong. I really do.

Helen said...

Armaniac: And that's a conservative gut, one that enjoys its overcooked steak and 'taties.

I love that image. Well written.