In the first week of the campaign, I thought it was just me. Maybe I’d seen a few federal elections and knew the pattern. But no, now I’m sure. This really is the most boring election in the history of western civilisation. Which is why I’ve written far less about it than I thought I would. It’s depressing.
I blame John Howard.
Not because John Howard is a sneaky, lying rodent who’s denigrated the fine reputation this nation used to have, who’s perverted the political process, who’s moved us backwards in vital areas like infrastructure and democratic transparency and human rights and whose time has well and truly passed — though they’re all excellent reasons to vote the cunt out of office.
No, I blame John Howard because the signs of voter dissatisfaction were sitting right in front of him — his own cabinet told him it was time to go! — and yet he had to sink his grasping little claws into those tasteful Kirribilli carpets one more time, try one last trick, then another, then another and another and another and another — pissing away a million of our dollars a day flogging a dead horse and, like a cat that doesn’t want to go outside on a cold wet night, screaming “Nooooooooooo! I don’t wanna goooooooooooooooooo!”
And then, when even his own little media cheer squad could ignore the obvious no longer, what does Howard do?
With public talk of “the team”, he gets everyone else to talk up the Howard-Costello duo while in his own electorate he edits his running-mate out of the script. It’s every man for himself and, as per bloody usual, Howard puts his own needs — hanging onto Bennelong — well ahead of the party.
The policy battle lines were drawn months ago. The voters made up their minds months ago. There’s only so many times Peter Brent can say this new poll is consistent with all the others. There’s only so many times Dennis Shanahan can pretend that some tiny sub-noise wiggle in Newspoll means there’s still a chance for the Coalition.
Antony Green said it’s the most consistent set of pre-election polls he’s ever seen — back in August.
OK, maybe someone, somewhere in the Australian political scene will pull a rabbit out of a hat and make something change in this election campaign. Something more significant than Peter Garrett being a cockhead.
There. I feel better now. I’m going to watch a race where we don’t know the result.