Sunday, 25 November 2007

Australia Chooses ... Revenge of the Nerds

24 November - Got some inspiration in the AM (montages always help shake off a hangover), tasted freedom for the first time in a while and followed it with eating hamburgers and voting.  One vote doesn't count for much but when you're marginal it can ... but in my case, it didn't.  But it didn't matter - drove (drove???) to Randwick Labor Club to bear witness to the new age of Australian politics.  The faithful are a random lot - given to vocal vehemence against the 'enemy' but for the most part just happy to let off steam and rant for a while before happily settling back into the smug satisfaction of finally living in a country not run by John Howard.  And some of the faithful just get really, really drunk (and hats off to the party for providing free booze for the entirety of the night). 
The stat numbers have a hypnotic force in them - seats are called when it looks pretty safe to call, the important ones flick back and forth from the won to the doubtful as the statistical chances show leaning in different directions, but the numbers moved inexorably to one conclusion - victory for Labor and the rare improbability of the decapitation of the Liberal party.  If you watched the numbers it was difficult to decide when it was really time to celebrate - sometimes it looked dead certain then back to safe but still all too possible for it to go the other way but it was a lot earlier than expected when the completely civil and proper transfer of power occurred - both leaders gave absolutely proper speeches of humility and etiquette - thanked everyone under the sun (but not God, apparently ... even the Christian) and gave inklings of sound bites that could possibly be crafted into memorable quotes at some stage - and it happened.  Labor government - a slightly dull man but ultimately likable and capable and the kind of leader a country like ours needs in the world we now live in.  Both parties seem so similar on so many fronts these days but that is because they are now smaller components of an ultimately global political system - a world economy that interlinks every country means we have less influence on changing the world and a responsibility to ensure that we fit with it - and in the 21st century that includes broadband and really embracing the connectivity that can happen with the science fiction level of technology that we have the potential for - that's why this country needs a new ideology to really embrace the new world and not just take advantage of the short term gains of having a big savings account to cater for old age and really try to improve the future - ensuring the world is affordable for all, we can really richly connect with all in the virtual world and ensuring we have a real world that can still be lived in.  This is the new country.
Best ten dullahs I ever lost.

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