Just when you thought that Australian democracy was as lifeless as a roadkill ‘roo smeared across the asphalt of capital, it has risen, quite literally, like Lazarus. For years, progressives have yearned for a political visionary to shake up the major parties, someone with the gumption to stand up to corporate lobby groups and call out the Murdochracy. Someone who can mobilise the masses but isn’t afraid to have academic credentials. At last, he’s here. The vote recount for the seat of Fairfax is almost finished (not to be confused with the company Fairfax, which still has around a decade of exponential decline). In all likelihood, Professor Clive Palmer is soon to be a Minister of Parliament, with a trio of Senators orbiting around him like the icy moons of Jupiter.
This election’s Senate ballot is over a metre long and requires a magnifying glass to read, with candidates sprawling from “A” to “ZZZ”. A lot of folk will use this as an excuse to vote above the line in the Senate like the freedom-hating reprobates that they are and end up unwittingly preferencing the Al Quaeda Alliance or Kony’s Australia Party because they don’t know the Faustian deals their party has made. Perhaps inspired by the power of the Independents in the last parliament a menagerie of candidates are also overwhelming the House of Reps, scrambling like seagulls for the discarded chiplets of democracy. But although most people seem to be frustrated with the Coles/Safeway duocracy of the two major parties, they’re going to preference them first anyway. This is largely because a lot of punters don’t understand that you can’t waste your vote by voting for minor parties in the Australian system.