For a month leading up to now, I’ve had fliers and…

For a month leading up to now, I’ve had fliers and political rhetoric shoved into my face from every spectrum of the divide. Yes! It’s election time, well, was. The past two days were polling days, and after the massive lead up, the whole thing went a little like this:

“Wow! Voting day! I can’t wait! *ZOOM!* Wait? What was that? Voting days? That went quick.”

It’s over already! Huzzah! No more speeches from S.A.R.A.W. and Angus and The Greens …

Wait, not many people will really know who it is I’m talking about right now. But fear not, I have a way to remedy that.

Voting papers.

Yes, that’s right. In the ultimate slap on democracy that I can do; I lined up, I got my student card punched and I got my forms. All five of them. And I brought them home with the intent of totally bucking the system. Alas, making fake copies proved harder than I expect (damn those colour-coordinated papers!), so I dropped that idea. So, other than being useful for burning, paper-mache pigs and doodling on, I thought I would make it the focus of this post.

But five pieces of paper can’t really be the topic of this post. And it’s not. What is going to happen is I will prove the futility of these stupid University elections which, from the onset, are rigged.

But let’s start off with something that won’t make you lose all hope in the future lawyers (not that there was any hope for them anyway), doctors, teachers, McDonalds workers (aka Arts Graduates) and, yes, politicians. There was a referendum on as well, asking student’s their opinions of what the University should be doing about green energy and all that stuff. You can find that slip of paper here.

As you can see, I did intend on voting “Yes” for all those questions, and hopefully it doesn’t come down to one vote. This will probably be my closest interaction with the left-left in my entire life. I didn’t like the smell (the aroma of dreadlocks and bare feet was present) or the prospects I saw (glarey banners and posters, all funded by my dollars), but this needed Northcutt support.

Next up, the ballot for the Editor of Honi Soit. This University magazine/newsletter/political publication is the only evidence I have for my Union fees over the past few years. When ever one of my parents ask what I’m getting for it, I hold up the front page of the Soit (usually a savage mock of a current event, sometimes further than I agree on, but always with a left-left slant) and roll my eyes. In fact, weekly editions of the Soit might be the only thing I get from Sydney Uni. Either way, that slip of paper can be found here, and, as you can see, I have preferenced “Voice” #1. Why is that do you ask? Aren’t they all a bunch of pinko-commies? Well, most of these people are, but in last year’s elections, I voted for Mr. Simon Fontana (to the centre of the political divide) and Mr. Tom Watson (surprisingly not a closet Liberal, as I saw from his campaign last year (an excellent one by the way) and that you will see soon enough). I spotted those two names (and Sonia Lipski, which will explain itself in the next paragraph) and numbered accordingly. WHAM! received second preference, as current editor and President of something of other (perhaps the SRC) was supporting this party. I liked this year’s roll-out of Honi, so who ever the current team support have to be alright. Finally, Mosaic got my last vote for two reasons:

1) There was no one left
2) With all the names in that line up, not one of them included the letter ‘f’. The letter ‘f’ is very important to me, spiritually, politically and artistically, and any party that doesn’t have at least one person with the letter ‘f’ in it would not adequately represent my needs and wants in the Honi Soit. Check yourselves if you want, again, here.

Next up, Mr. President. Now I’ve known my fair share of stupid presidents in my time … ah forget it, Bush jokes have just got tedious these days. He’s on the way out, anyway. But who’s on the way in for the 79th SRC? Well, there were four candidates, which you can paruze at your leisure here. You will see that I have (shock and awe!) voted for one of those pesky women first. Sonia Lipski. Main reason? She’s backed by the Liberals! Yay, another Liberal candidate, though you wouldn’t know it, well, at all, unless you read the Election Honi that came out weeks ago. Second preference, Angus McFarland, well, there was no way I was voting for Alma Torlakovic (expanded on later), and Dan Jones’ photo on his campaign posters made him look like a used-car salesman peddling lines of coke in the trunk for fifty bucks a pop. Again I got a good whiff of the left with this slip as Angus is backed by the NLS and poor Dan is running with the support of the ‘rest’ of the left: that being the Greens, so-called ‘independents’, and any hippie not stoned off their face to write a vertical stick in a box.

Next up, we venture into A4 territory, in an effort to elect a whole 7 delegates to the National Union of Students. You can read this large, pink sheet here (though not the largest yet). Apologies that it is sideways, well, no, not really apologies, tough. I’ve filled out my three preferences, upholding my loyalty to Simon Fontana, and, once more (I’m just as shocked as you here) another foray into the left-side of things, and voted for Nick Wood, who appears to have been doing a good enough job with what his position is now, and Angus, because any votes for this dude are probably headed towards Nick anyway, as his name comes first. Now, you might see a few strange slogans, or think you are in some sort of time warp with Tom Patton’s slogan/party name “It’s time”. Well, fear not, for I shall bring, exclusive (in as much as no one else has nothing to talk about other than Uni elections) to you all a copy of (yes) the Gough Whitlam flier.

And, at last, we come into the dark, dangerous, deadly papers of A3, where your wills, wants and individual thoughts are all all confounded, mixed up and deceived as preferentials and phony candidates come out in force. Now, due to the monstrous size of this piece of garbage, I’ve had to scan it in here, here and here. And what is it for? Well, the SRC of course! The same group that’s supposedly representing me and my wants and wills. Good ol’ SRC. Give ’em a beer.

Then throw it in their face! Let’s take this apart, shall we? Come on the journey of politicking in politics.

Now, if you’ve been able to put together that puzzle of pictures, take a look at all those names. Then take a look at all those places that need to be filled. Forty-five places my friends. FORTY-FIVE! Every dog and his fleas could get in, much less his owner. There are two-hundred person running. One might think that a fair few. Think again. Because, well, party names give a lot away here. Let’s take, for example, WHAM!:

WHAM! for Freshers, WHAM! for Commerce, WHAM! for College, WHAM! for AUJS, WHAM! for SRC, WHAM! for First Years, WHAM! for Law, WHAM! for Arts

Eight party candidates. Eight! What’s worse, they have a total of 75 different people running! That’s roughly 38% of all candidates. And we know, we all know that the only party that counts out of all these is WHAM! for SRC: IT’S IN THEIR BLOODY NAME! Every other party is going on the naivety of those specific people, say, the Commerce students, to vote for them. Those votes are preferenced to the main WHAM! party, and then that bunch of loonies get in. Or perhaps, if a person got enough votes, and it was worth it, another WHAM! person gets on the board. What a crock. The laws of averages and statistics and all that crap math means that there’s going to be a WHAM!-stacked SRC now, not to mention all their allies from the left that are already there.

Then there are the “just stupid” parties. While they may stand for something smart (Abolish the SRC) or reasonable (Free Parking), everyone knows they won’t win anything. So what happens then? More preferences and more dodgy voting.

You might as well lump in all the parties who haven’t campaigned or put up one poster in the above group as well. Like any group that has “Voice” in it’s title (similar to WHAM!, no?), or called “Larry” (I do wish these people had campaigned, even though there isn’t anyone in the party called Larry) or Socialist Alternative Alternative (The Socialist Alternative is the extreme-extreme left, renounced by every other party, and, with that in mind, the name just becomes totally ambiguous in meaning) and Conservatorium Voice (The Conservatorium students are the butt of all jokes, even, yes, among the Arts students, especially since they ran Andrew Quah, who believes (at least in last semester’s campaign) that Bonsai trees are the cure to all the World’s problems (I do wish I were joking)).

So, in the end, we have a few serious parties, then “vote-getter” people running, then mock candidates. Why even bother if it’s pretty much pre-determined that the left branch parties will get elected and dominate? Sure, it’s supposedly the ‘democratic’ process, but less than half, I wouldn’t even think a quarter, actually vote, so for me, who isn’t represented by any side, but by the Simon Fontanas out there, it’s a futile effort even to think that my vote counts. And that’s what’s convinced everyone to not vote. Simple: they won’t be represented adequately after preferences, politicking and “alliances”.

Therefore the SRC is bunk, the Union is bunk and this whole process is bunk. If all this is supposed to get me represented and my voice heard and my thoughts considered, it’s a total failure.

And here’s me thinking that with ‘democracy’, there isn’t meant to be a loser.

Thomas.

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One thought on “For a month leading up to now, I’ve had fliers and…

  1. I wish tickets like “Free Parking” (Labor hack) and “Abolish the SRC” (Liberal hack) were serious tickets but of all the Honi tickets these are the ones which are the biggest joke of all. They’re fielded by Labor (Action), Liberal (Choice/Voice), Greens (Student Power) and Socialists (S.A.R.A.W) to attract any voters that their mainstream campaigns cannot. And, as you quite rightly pointed out, they’re invaluable for preferences in an election where only 17 votes decided the Presidency between Anus McFarland and Dan Jones.

    As for the bonsai thing, I was on Quah’s ticket and it was only a big deal because Quah owns a bonsai nursery.

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