Elections and Memories

What a whirlwind it’s been since 18:00 last night when the booths closed and the counting started … I spent the night glued to the ABC coverage,  #ausvotes on Twitter, the AEC Virtual Tally Room, etc etc and wishing I had more than my two computer monitors so I could keep up on all the changes. I fell asleep before the coverage finished for the night and consequently had all sorts of dreams and nightmares about the possible outcomes when I woke up this morning.

I’ve had ABC News24 on most of the day and have had a fantastic time drawing my own conclusions from polling data on the AEC website. It’s really interesting to look at the first preference breakdowns for individual booths (Auchenflower Booth for the seat of Ryan). I’ve compared the swings, the informal votes, the two-candidate-preferred results and more. Looking at the results on a booth basis can confirm what you already may think as the general political feel in that area.

I would really love to see the booth results mapped and to have the ability to toggle layers to show first preference votes for each party. There would be some very interesting gradient changes shown.

However, all this talk of polling data and the such does not talk about what has been on my mind the most since about 17:00 yesterday and that is of Pabbi; my late father.

Pabbi, normal face

For as long as I can remember on election nights, he was always glued to the TV (well glued in a Pabbi way, which meant going back and forth to the verandah for a smoke or a drink). When he was younger he was quite active in politics both in Iceland and in Australia. One of the things I remember most is the fact that in Iceland he was a member of one of the right-wing parties. When he came to Australia, he realised that right-wing in Iceland was closer to the left-wing in Australia…. He was a member of the ALP for some time and he would often talk about his time as a scrutineer or about ALP identities  from his era.

I would love to know what Pabbi’s views would have been on the removal of K-Rudd, the rise of Gillard, the shocking campaign that has been run, the numbers that have resulted and the hung parliament situation which we are extremely like to be faced with. In wanting to know his views on the current events, part of me is happy in a way that he is not here as I do not think he would have been impressed with the actions of the campaign, the way in which Australia has voted and well everything Tony Abbott has done. Pabbi was very much not an Abbott fan … and I am happy that he doesn’t have to even contemplate the possibility that Abbott might be the PM.

As a side note though, if you are looking for the most up to date results go to the AEC site. Currently the ABC says the ALP has won 72 seats and the Coalition has won 70 seats, Channel 7 says ALP 72 and Coalition 71, SBS says ALP 70 and Coalition 72….. The AEC, you know the Australian Electoral Commission, says ALP 70 and Coalition 72… ahh numbers

a word or two of advice

Tomorrow marks a very big day in the future of Australia. I won’t tell you who you should vote for as it is pretty darn obvious we need a change. As Tim Freedman said tonight, I wrote this song in 1997, I have never played it under a Labour government, I would like that chance.

A phrase that I picked up from Tim Freedman tonight is this. We have a country that is a society not an economy. Remember that. This builds on something that the Chilean president said “We do not believe in a society of consumers. We believe in a society of citizens”. When did it become the norm for Politicians to spend more time campaigning in shopping centres than they do anywhere else?

At the end of the day Australia is about the people, it is about you, it is about me, it is about of all of us. It is about knowing that the Australia that we talk so passionately about still exists. Bring back the ideology I say.

Vote below the line tomorrow and don’t vote thinking only about your hip pocket. Vote with your brain and your heart. The economy does, will and can look after itself. Vote for what you know is right in your brain and heart about the future of this country, not just the future of the interest rate. Vote for the future of the environment, for a fair go at work, for better healthcare and education.

Vote for something that you believe in. Let us all be citizens again instead of consumers.