Well, that’s that job jobbed…

In the last three weeks I’ve handed out How to Vote cards (HTV) six times.
I’ve had three overt Liberal supporters be blatantly rude to both myself and the Greens volunteer standing the requisite six metres from the polling booth door.
One of the Liberal volunteers got a little hysterical when I wouldn’t back away from quoting facts about Mr Abbott’s record compared to the “BISONS” that the previous government achieved. I’m getting too old to be intimidated by people who think shouting can substitute for reason.

Yesterday it was picked up by the local online and broadcast MSM that Joe Bullock, who was placed ahead of Louise Pratt on the ALP ticket due to ‘it being his turn’ or some such factional flummery, had once been a playmate of Mr Abbott and encouraged him into taking over the Young Liberals at Sydney Uni as they were an easier pushover than Young Labor at the time.
It has long been known that Mr Bullock is a dreadful old dinosaur when it comes to things like abortion, homosexuality and equal marriage, but he has also spent many years working for the Shop Workers Union and standing up for workers conditions generally. So why does it matter that, as a youth, he was not a “Labor man”? He has worked for “Labor” and labour ever since! I would suggest that he has had a far more positive result on working conditions and income of retail workers for whom he was responsible than some who came from a similar background!

Mind you, the timing of the ‘discovery’ that Mr Bullock is a “dinosaur” I find most intriguing, as it suggest that the Liberal strategists may be concerned that they won’t get their senatorial rubber stamp.

I have heard some grumbles about ‘wasting $20million’ on this ‘by-election’ process because the AEC stuffed up – and the stuff up in Merriwa hasn’t helped either. Reports today about boxes splitting will not assist in repairing the reputation of the AEC. But the booth I attended was well regulated and the boxes were exchanged well before they got full. My impression is that the AEC staff are really trying hard to ‘get it perfect’ to restore their reputations.

There is also some confusion as to why some of the micro parties are not fielding WA based candidates, and a lot of people are confused about the whole micro-party preference deal thing that has been highlighted in the last few weeks. I think there could be a lot of support for finding a way to clear both those points up in the near future. There is also a deal of resentment about some of the micro-parties putting up candidates who reside out of Western Australia and have admitted that if they were elected, would not even move to the state they represent. That I find both disrespectful to the people they would be representing, and arrogantly rude. Not something that is desirable in someone whom I am employing to represent me!

In the main, I would suggest that most West Australians are well and truly ‘over it’ with regards to politics, muttering frequently about ‘a pox on both their houses’. The more experienced volunteers I spoke to on the pre-polling booth did comment that there seemed to be more people using the pre-poll option this time though. However, attendance at the actual booth (in a quite Liberal area) was quite steady all day. I asked the AEC Booth Officer as I was picking things up after the poll closed, if he thought that the turn out had been lower than expected. He responded that he thought that turn-out on the day may have been slightly down, but there were already a large number of postal votes and pre-polled votes ready to be counted next week, so was reasonably sure that it might be better than expected.

We will most likely get two Liberals and at least one Labour returned. Scott Ludlam may get re-elected, but I fear that WA feels quite beholden to the mining companies, so may well vote more Liberals up, or Liberal leaning candidates at least. I’m just hoping that Ms Pratt and Mr Ludlam get re-elected so that there is a need for Mr Abbott to learn how to negotiate!

I voted today, and then stood outside my local polling station with HTV cards, hopefully encouraging some voters to vote at least below the line so it is all their own preferences. After pressing ‘publish’ I shall be retiring to the couch with a nice cup of tea and some excellent chocolate. Because now we have to wait for all those ballots to be counted.

And for the record: Yes, I volunteered for the ALP.

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