Clapping The Carpet Bag Shut And Running For The Steamboat

A guide for the unsuccessful candidate in Federal Parliamentary elections.

a. If enough people voted for you, you can have your monetary deposit back. Otherwise the Electoral Commission retains the $ 2000 deposit and buys slabs of beer and Cheezels with it.

b. If you find that you are being bested during the vote counting by such a margin that even your party supporters, second in command, business manager, and the pizza boy are being savage, you would be wise to be prepared to concede defeat.

If your electorate has 29 people standing for that particular seat and 28 of you are still standing when the music stops, you might not even have to go to the trouble of conceding. Someone will be N0. 2 in the poll, and they might need to burst into tears and evoke the spirit of some long-dead leader, but if you are No.26 you can just go home and put the kettle on.

c. If you are so unwise as to make rash statements about the electorate that has rejected you, consider whether it might be wise to leave the district. The speed with which you do this repends upon how rude your remarks are.

People may not have taken the least notice of you as you campaigned, but you can be goddamned certain they’ll remember every last word of bad temper spouted by a bad loser. And the papers will leap on it – that’s what we reptiles do.

d. If you wish to cry, do so. Just be careful about who films you crying and what you are wearing at the time.

e. Vowing vengeance upon the enemy is fine, if you wish to stand for election in the Game Of Thrones. Doing it on the grounds of your local primary school is a mistake. See ( c. ) above.

f. Do not decamp with the spoons. Make sure that when you retire from the arena of public life, that all what you touches is yours. Disappointed supporters have a way of curling round your ankles and biting deep. If there is any farnarkeling to be found, you will pay the complete legal price.

If you are the winner, this does not apply.

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I’MMA UNFRIEND YOU…

After every election – no matter who gets elected or rejected – the social media pages fairly sizzle with outrage. This phenomenon is unique in that the heat generated is inversely proportional to the distance between the anger and the event that has produced it.

Or, to put it another way, WE WUZ ROBBED!

This is the cry of every fan in the stands at a baseball game when their team loses. They generally fasten upon the decisions of the umpire instead of the fact that their team played poor baseball. In some cases they yell that the other team are bums.

And the scoreboard has the same numbers on it when they turn the stadium lights off and sweep out the popcorn boxes. The outrage does not affect the actual score one bit. The disappointed fan goes home with no way to extract revenge upon the other team, the other team’s supporters, or the umpire.

But in the social media page, it’s always extra time. If the actual election result cannot be changed, the unhappy voter can always search for those amongst their acquaintance who did not vote as they did – and heap abuse on them. Then after that tirade, the offender can be excluded from the herd by the unfriending process of the social page. The angry voter can prowl off growling and baiting to see if there are more chances for revenge…

And the election results stand, as before, as they sweep away the popcorn boxes…

I often read of elections held in the 19th century that resulted in duels, murders, fistfights, and riots. I am amazed at this, given the fact that there were far fewer electors for each seat, and in many cases did not include women as either candidates or voters. I guess, having no social media to relieve their tension, they resorted to closer combat.

Election 2019 – Leave A Deposit

Preferably of money…

A question arose on Saturday afternoon – after everyone in the room had done their various voting chores – about the business of standing for election in Australia. Goodness knows we stand for lots of things; buses, pop concerts, and really bad biscuits at most meetings. How do you go about standing for election?

It appears that you need to be a part of a party – either a big one that makes you or a small one that you make yourself. The first alternative generally requires you to be of like mind with a great many other people, a self-advertiser, and the kind of devious politician that can act like a devious politician…

The second alternative means you have to corral a smaller group of nutters – but you still have to find a considerable amount of money to make the thing work. There is advertising, promotion, telephones, lawyers, etc. and not least the deposit of money with the Electoral Commission to guarantee that you are a real person – not a Bedlington Terrier in sunglasses. That you will become a real person who is sneered at and pushed into the gutter is another thing, but if you want to form the ” I Order You To Respect My Authoritah Party ” ( apologies to Cartman ), you have to expect it.

Let’s face it – no-one respects your authoritah outside the cardboard polling booth, so don’t expect that to change once they’re in there with the tiny pencil.

The barrier of a substantial monetary deposit – $ 2000 – is nothing to a major party but can serve as a way of keeping the worst of the nutters off the increasingly long ballot paper. This is a blessing in the cardboard polling booth as the thing seems to get larger each election.

I note that this year that as we were not required to number every single candidate in preference – there were some 25+ of them – we were given permission to mark our first 12 and let the rest go. For myself, I get some amusement with the weirder parties and independents but that sheet of paper is taking on the dimensions of a ship’s sail. I should welcome the raising of the deposit to reduce the number of loons let loose.

Evidence Of Collusion

The BGA wishes to call for submissions from concerned Australians that can be used to allude that Scott Morrison colluded with the Royal Ruritanian State Security Service ( RRSSS ) to influence Saturday’s election.

We are particularly interested in any packets of letters sealed in wax that may have been couriered between Canberra and Strackenz in the period leading up to the polls. Pencil sketches of hooded riders galloping along dark roads in the dead of night will be particularly useful.

We have selected Red Green to act as Special Investigator as soon as he finishes his Lodge meeting. While Mr. Green is not an Australian citizen, we feel that his name alone should be sufficient qualification to put him in good standing with at least two of the disappointed political parties – the Greens and the Socialist Alliance.

During the period of this investigation we will be issuing calls for writs of impeachment, impearment, and …in honour of Queensland…impineapplement. As well, we will be including macadamias and the chief produce of Kingaroy in the mix.

Think of it as a fruits and nuts campaign.

Well, That’s The Sausage Sizzle Over For Another Three Years…

You can collect up the tiny pencils, Beauregard, and count the votes. The cardboard polling booths can be stacked away and do remember to pick up the coffee cups before you lock up.

Oh, and the How-To-Vote cards, too. I know they are officially the responsibility of the parties that gave them out, but some of those parties have clapped their carpet bags shut and jumped aboard the steamboat. They are not coming back to help with the clean-up.

Yes, I have a headache too. I put it down to the coffee…not the cask of cheap red wine I drank after the polls shut. It’s part of the risk you run being a Electoral Returns Officer in an ethnic neighbourhood. If I never see another Rananjstasavaramaputirian family with 56 cousins who live in the same street in my life it will be too soon. I heard a rumour that one of them wants to marry into the eastern European  Czchxüczbratoviltistianiççu family and hyphenate their name but if they do I am going to run over them with a lawn mower.

It’s been a good election. No tank fire for several kilometres and this year the Cossacks were riding Shetlands. Bit sad about the UN observer being boiled alive and eaten in Mirrabooka, but at least they have grasped the idea of the food stall at election time. And you have to love the losing candidate conceding defeat gracefully, though I think he might have briefed his staffers not to throw flaming bags of dog poo at the winner – or at least not on national television. That stuff sticks.

Anyone want the last sausage? Anyone? Didn’t think so….

Well, whatever you do, Beauregard, do not lose that cardboard ballot box. It’s not the sacred flame of democracy I am concerned with – I saw the flames on those paper bags they were throwing – it’s the thought of it unraveling and having to do a by-election all over again in a month.

I don’t think my tiny pencil is up to it.

Bait

Bait is there for a reason.

It is to lure you to bite. Whether you are a fish looking at a tempting worm with a line attached, or a yokel looking at the sheriff’s 14-year-old daughter in a miniskirt, the bait is being presented to lead you to destruction. But these are easy examples – here’s more sophisticated ones.

a. Free Stuff One – ” The 45th click on this website will win a holiday or a caravan or a blender. ” In reality, the click will be collated and sold to advertisers who want to know what your email address is and how to get through it to your bank account.

You click, you lose.

b. Free Stuff two  – If you vote for the Star Spangled Green Social People’s Love And Fairness Party they might get a seat in Parliament. They’ll try to get your vote by promising you free stuff. And then they'[ll try to stay in that seat long enough to qualify for the Parliamentary pension scheme while collecting contributions from the faithful. All the while brating at you to give more.

You vote, you lose.

c. Outrage – you are presented with some dreadful images and tales of outrageous behaviour and are invited to react in a similar fashion. If the post succeeds you identify yourself to the watchers and they watch more closely. And they send ever more outrageous images to either lure you or drive you. Ultimately they look for money from you.

You react – you lose.

The best thing you can do with any of these fishing situations is do nothing at all. Time will reveal whether or not they have ever had any validity – in most cases the bait will shrivel up and disappear. Presumably jerked away by the person or organisation that dangled it, to be replaced by the next thing calculated to sucker you in.

The bait tin is full of worms…

An Australian Brag

If you were born in Australia you have been subject to The Brag all your life. If you emigrated here you picked it up as soon as your feet touched the ground. Either way, it has become so engrained that you would be hard pressed to notice it.

The Brag? Well, it really involves a lot of Sub-Brags. We’ve just had this year’s April 25th Brag. We’ll have more Brags whenever the cricket starts up again and all through the football season. If a local cinema actor is nominated for an award…indeed if anyone is recognised with some sort of gong, we’ll add another Brag.

And we are just about to have a federal election – Federal parliament will be replacing its House and Senate members in the next month or so. And it is time for the Election Brag. And I’m proud to be able to enunciate it:

The Federal Election will be honest.

The individual members of both houses that contest the seats, their advisers, and their party organisers may have consciences that could be used to scrub pots…their parties may be collections of bigots, zealots, and ne’er do wells – they may have devious money-grubbing  schemes…but…

The Federal Election will be honest.

No stuffed ballot boxes, no stand over militias, no bought votes, no midnight disappearances. No seizures of power. No bribing of judges. No tanks, armoured cars, or riot police. No burning buses. No dead people.

Instead, we’ll get a huge ballot paper, a tiny pencil, and a funny little cardboard booth to figure it all out in. Our choice will be complex to make and be tabulated in a complex fashion – but it will be done cleanly. Some electorates will declare quickly and there’ll always be one at the end that takes jolly weeks. If some mistake happens that results in the loss of a ballot box, there will be a by-election for that seat and it will all clank through again.

We’ll all get a vote and our vote will count. We’re the luckiest damn country in the world for this – because we can buy barbecued sausages and lemon slices and scones to eat while we are waiting to vote. And smarmy Facebook memes that suggest our vote is worthless are a damned insult us and to something this country does very right.