Electioneering

I was reading through April’s edition of The Monthly magazine (see how dropping that in an early sentence makes me seem heaps more intelligent and cultured – well only if you are an intelligent and cultured person – whose opinion will now have been tainted by the fact that I tried to generate cheap pops by name dropping such an austere publication – everyone’s a critic these days). As I said, I was reading through the aptly named The Monthly (on closer review there are only 11 editions per year – so it’s a misnomer) magazine where an op ed (opinion editorial) piece suggested this year’s (or early next year’s) Australian election is likely to be fought out on the issues of Climate Change, Industrial Relations, Iraq and the Australian Government’s treatment of David Hicks. Now I’m no disillusioned lefty – I’m not overly worried about any of those issues – sure we should probably not have entered Iraq, but getting out now creates a number of major problems. I’m not a worker who has been disadvantaged by people’s greedy exploitation of the IR reforms – nor am I a small business owner with increased freedom under those laws, I’m an educated professional (haha) worker with a better than average chance of competency based career advances, the Howard Government has a track record of creating jobs and stimulating the economy that can’t be argued with. David Hicks is another issue – the question of the civil rights of Australian citizens and how far the protection of those rights extends when the person in question is essentially fighting against the ideals their citizenship represents is a murky one. Global warming is one of those issues that really should not be a political football – if humanity is too blame for a change in climate – then it’s a corporate and individual responsibility to deal with it. The government has enough issues on its plate without having to save the planet.
K-Rudd is yet to score any points on his economic scorecard – and what really matters to Australian voters is the hip pocket – we can rant and rave about the environment all we like – but when it comes to the crunch people aren’t going to make a conscience vote on an issue that is likely to cost them money or jobs. I can’t even begin to comprehend why these issues have taken precedence over traditional government staples like education, health and roads.
The issue of immigration has taken a back seat in recent times – but the Department of Immigration and Citizenship struck an early blow (that’s a pun which you’ll pick up shortly) preventing US Gansta rapper Snoop Dogg entering the country due to a checkered past dotted with drugs and guns. Snoop Dogg was scheduled to host the MTV music awards but was not granted a VISA – I predict a four point bump in the polls for the government on the back of this decision alone. What do you think the election issues in the next elections should be?

This time contestants get voted into the house

The American presidential race is still some time off. Several candidates are yet to announce – the Democrats (left wing) have two candidates polling competitively – Barack Obama (who’s probably the closest thing in the race to the West Wing’s Jimmy Santos) and Hillary Clinton (Mrs Bill). The Republicans (right wing) are busy trying to overcome the special characteristics of the current administration led by Dubya and are yet to annoint a successor – NYC 9-11 Mayor Rudi Giuliani is tipped to throw his hat into the ring but with neither POTUS or Vice-POTUS standing for election they’ll be starting with a clean state. An article in this month’s aptly name “The Monthly” magazine uses the dirt free campaign exhibited in the final series of the West Wing as an opportunity to score points on the Howard government and the recent muckslinging between the incumbent (known in some circles as “the rodent”) and the challenger (a politician with a really fragile glass jaw who bears a striking resemblance to Harry Potter). Art imitates life. The political process and behind the scenes machinations are shown for all to see in any reality television game show – the backroom deals, the back stabs, the back slaps – it’s all there. And now, from the creators of The Apprentice and Survivor (this is Donald “Wrestlemania” Trump and Mark Burnett) have joined forces with Myspace to bring you a new high point in reality television – the most political thing shown on prime time since big brother candidate Merlin wore his “free th(sic) refugees” protest shirt to an eviction (one feels his campaign would have had more traction if he’d either a: known how to spell “the” or b: campaigned to free th(sic) sick refugees… which reminds me – in the form of an electronic patent (and because all my good ideas keep being stolen)… I want to start a business called fooly(sic) productions – it’s here now. Documented. All mine.)…they give you this very special announcement (courtesy of Associated Press):

The online social networking site MySpace and reality TV producer Mark Burnett are teaming up to launch a search for an independent US presidential candidate.

Their political reality show “Independent” will come with a $US1 million ($1.2 million) cash prize and a catch: the winner can’t keep the money. The prize can be used to finance a run for the White House or can be given to a political action committee or political cause.
Contestants on the show, set to launch in early 2008, will meet the public and interact with supporters, protesters and others. An interactive “town hall” will give MySpace users and TV viewers a chance to rate their performance.

The full story is available here.