Thursday, March 10, 2011

Please Explain

Last blogpost ( I bemoaned the general lack of interest in this election, and conceded that it was a bit of an election for the "purists" - those of us who enjoy the process with or without drama.

Two stories arose in the last 48 hours to inject some excitement into proceeds, and perhaps a little interest from the viewers.

The first was the unexpected appearance of Pauline Hanson, who announced she would be seeking an upper-house seat.  Apparently she is running on "cost of living issues".

There is no doubt she will get her fair share of attention (as she always done).  She got a dud draw in the ballot (getting towards but not quite at the right edge - on such minutia careers are made and lost) and she announced she'd be heading to regional areas to drum up support.

The difficulty for her is working out whose voters she is going to nick.  Labor's voters are, as I have discussed ( just the rusted on voters.  They won't move.

The people planning on voting for smaller parties usually have a very good reason for doing so, so won't be going anywhere.

The Liberal voters fall in multiple categories: rusted on Liberal voters, disaffected Labor voters wanting to "give the other lot a chance", and traditional swinging voters who, overwhelmingly it seems, are backing the Coalition.

It is difficult to see who of these Hanson could grab.  Perhaps a few of the disaffected Labor voters, but it is hard to see someone traditionally voting for Labor casting a ballot, in any circumstances, for Hanson.

The only real source of voters I can see is those people who feel no affiliation for either party - of those, some people will be sympathetic to her "agenda" (meaning her previously stated views) and will move across. But, to my mind, that's about it.

I personally doubt she will get much cut-through on her "cost of living issues" - when people see her name on the ballot paper all they will think is "We are being overrun by Asians" - at least, except for those of us who think of Pauline PantsDown (

Hanson's detractors are out of luck too - there is no opportunity for her to make money from the election, because the funding available if one gets sufficient votes can only cover costs - so hopefully we'll be spared allegations that she's only in the election to try and "steal" money from the public purse.

It promises to be an amusing sideshow, and will give many people a chance to fill in 311 first.  Yes, that's right, 311 candidates.  I'll be bringing my own pen.  Or maybe a sharpener.

The most amazing about that number is the word "only" appears in front of it in many reports.  

The other incident was at the drawing of the ballot for the Upper House.  

Apparently a man attended in a bathrobe and a bowtie.  After the drawing, he "revealed" that the only other thing he was wearing was a g-string.

Apparently he is from the nudist party, and with a bit of luck will be mentioned in numerous "novelty" stories over the next 24 hours.

Such is life as a minor party - attention is votes.  Well, attention, or a funny name.  

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