- “A change of rulers is the joy of fools.”
November 24 is The Day.
Joe Toscano of the Anarchist Media Institute / ‘Anarchist World This Week’ / Defend & Extend Medicare Group / Direct Democracy Not Parliamentary Rule (nee Vote Informal Today, Direct Democracy Tomorrow) / Libertarian Workers For A Self-Managed Society / People for Constitutional Human Rights / Reclaim the Radical Spirit of the Eureka Rebellion / Sedition Charter is running for the Victorian Senate again, urging voters not to. For either himself, or his running mate, Jude Pierce. The Age gossip columnists provide the good citizens of Victoria with this profile of the good doctor’s campaign:
FINALLY, an election candidate with a real point of difference between John and Mr Me Too, Kevin.
3CR’s left of left broadcaster Joseph Toscano, 55, host of ‘Anarchist World this Week’ and frequent letter writer to The Age and Phil Ruddock (they’re not exactly penpals), is standing as an independent in the Senate with Jude Pierce.
How’s this: Joe has never voted and is not even enrolled but he damn well knows his rights: “My favourite bedtime reading is the Australian constitution and the Commonwealth Electoral Act,” Joe told us. “Under the constitution, anybody who is entitled to vote is entitled to stand.”
Jude isn’t so bolshie because she votes. Joe, a veteran anarchist, has tried to become a senator seven or eight times — “I have lost count” — but it’s only a matter of time before his platform resonates with the weary public. The biggest selling point is The Power of Recall where voters can call elections to turf out “non-performing” MPs by signing a petition. The other planks are Citizen Initiated Referendum, and Direct Democracy not Parliamentary Rule, where voters make the decisions and elect delegates, who can be sacked for “non-performance”, with a fixed mandate to run the show.
As to where you’ll find Joe ‘n’ Jude on the ballot paper, that’s tricky. Because they’re not a registered political party and standing as a group, they’ll have a box above the line but it won’t have their name. Look out for their mystery space. Joe wanted “Independent” next to their box but the AEC said that’s illegal. To have “Independent” they have to stand individually and those candidates can only have a box below the line, where voters have to number every box.
To make it even more confusing, Joe ‘n’ Jude’s names will be below the line but given Joe’s research reveals only 5 per cent of people can be bothered numbering the boxes, they’re unlikely to be making victory speeches. That’s a shame. Imagine all the pollies who could have been booted out.
Tiocfaidh ár lá!
In any case, the winner was declared back in April: Rudd. The rest is just for show, and, with a few noteworthy exceptions, a pretty dull one at that. Thus as Dean Jaensch (semi-)correctly observes: “The fact that there is no sign of any favourable change to the Liberal Party in the polls suggests that the one distinguishing policy – WorkChoices – is looming large, and that personality, and the “new leader/team” approach of Labor is having an important effect” (Me-too tactics risk ‘why you?’ effect, ABC, October 31). In other words, while sharing the same fundamental political commitments and policy perspectives, Labor is identified as being opposed to an unpopular new IR regime, and is therefore attracting more support. Plus, HoWARd’s getting even more old and boring, so “It’s Time” Australian Politics received a new image. In summary, the only real, political opposition to the Tories is The Greens, and how they fare, especially in the race for Senate seats, is one of the only really consequential issues. Nonetheless, there are some questions remaining, most of which concern those on the margin of the margins. For example:
- Which right-wing Christian fundamentalist will the ALP back in the Senate?
Just how badly will the Socialist Alliance fare?
In WA, will a Socialist student and a laboratory assistant outpoll a racist consultant, company director, director and supply officer?
What do Women Want, and is It What Voters Want too?
Are the bizarros belonging to the Conservatives for Climate and Environment more or less popular than the bizarros belonging to the LaRouche cult Citizens Electoral Council? (Is the CEC’s message that “Greenies promoting windmills and solar cells would send us back to the Stone Age” actually getting through to the voting public, or not?)
Who will win the battle for last place in Murray: Diane Teasdale, Rob Bryant, Jeff Davy or Paul Merrigan?