Horrific Apathy

Isn’t it a sign of both bad politics and bad public interaction that when it comes to a state election you feel nothing but disdain for either of the two major candidates?

This weekend saw a throwdown between Labor rep Kristina Keneally and Liberal bigwig Barry O’Farrell in a bid to secure power as the incumbent New South Wales premier. As of the time of this writing the polls are still open, but O’Farrell and the Libs have been tipped as having a landslide victory over Labor, due in no small part to Keneally’s antics late last year when she prorogued Parliament regarding an issue over privatising Australian electricity.

Now, I’m not the most politically-minded guy in the world – in fact, it’s fairly safe for me to say that my opinions don’t really shift majorly one way or the other, apart from Labor being fucking stupid for having that goddamn carbon tax – but I know bits and bobs about both candidates, and I find myself experiencing deja vu. We went through an election not too long ago between the same parties, this time at Federal level, and both at that election and at this one as I voted this afternoon, I asked myself the same question.

Why are these candidates both so fucking awful?

In instances such as this it really does come down to a case of the lesser of two evils being given priority vote; Gillard and Abbott are almost as bad as each other, just as Keneally and O’Farrell mirror different aspects with the same negative result. I found myself not really caring strongly about who got in, since they both appeared to have rather large negative qualities about them with little in the way of redeeming factors – Keneally prorogued Parliament, tried to sell off Australian electricity assets and is backing the job-destroying carbon tax, whilst O’Farrell blows a lot of sunshine around about how awesome he is without concretely telling us his plans, as well as the fact that he’s an education-hating Liberal.

Honestly, they really are as bad as each other.

Before anyone asks, no, I didn’t donkey vote because I didn’t care, and no, I didn’t get my name ticked off the electoral roll and then left the voting slip blank. I voted for a party, and it was one of the two big ones.

Researching both these people last night, given that I’m nowhere near as politically savvy and news-paying-attention-y as the rest of my friends are, I came to realize just how screwed our political structure is one way or another. Whether Keneally or O’Farrell sits in the Premier’s chair tomorrow, Australia is bound for detriment and possibly an early apocalypse. With fiery unicorns and low-fat German potato salad.

What happened to the good ol’ days, when Australian politics were black and white and you could really tell one candidate was better than another? Where are Bob Carr and Kim Beazley and John Howard? Where are Hawke, and Whitlam, and Keating? Where are the heroes and villains, the people you could distinguish from one another?

If that was the Heroic Age of Australian politics, it seems we’ve definitely gone backwards and entered a Dark Reign.


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