It’s been quite a while since I last wrote something here, I had been busy consistently writing and rewriting an essay for the Nine Dots Prize in an effort to win a book deal (drawn in May, fingers crossed). What better way to return to the legendary TTB than with an analysis of the Western Australian State Election (March 11)? No better way! Let’s get to it!
Where should I begin? WA is in all sorts of shit; our unemployment is at 6.9% the highest level of any State in the country, the current State government has had numerous fiascos ranging from; the resignation of the Treasurer who liked to drive home drunk, often. The Transport Minister who wanted to shut down late night trains and buses because the number of people using the was too low, he later admitted that he calculated these numbers by including the empty trains and buses returning to the transport hub after service had ended as “services in use”, if the idea of counting a train that legally can’t take passengers as “in use” sounds ridiculous to you, well it sounded ridiculous to everyone. There’s also the intention to sell off the publicly owned electricity supplier (I’m torn on this one, because Western Power have been fucking abysmal ever since I arrived in Perth but also privatisation of public services has a pretty terrible track record in Australia) and the Roe 8 highway controversy (I honestly don’t know how to feel about this one, I genuinely find both sides of the argument to be shit).
Reading all of this you’ve likely come to the conclusion that I do not like the State government…Congratulations that’s very true. So surely that must mean I’m voting for someone else? Well probably, but unlike last year’s Federal Election, where I had a fairly easy choice, this year’s State Election is a gigantic clusterfuck of garbage. Presenting the opposition; The WA Labor party looked to have the State Election in the bag six months ago, but as only Labor can do, they’ve since managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by making a bunch of ridiculous public statements. My personal favourites include; extending the Perth train lines to Yanchep, Ellenbrook, Byford and a connecting line linking Cockburn to Thornlie. Funny story; the cheapest of these extensions is Byford, in part because it is the shortest distance from an already existing trainline and also because all it needs is electrified tracks, as in the rail line and station have already been built and are currently used by diesel powered cargo and passenger trains, so guess who’s last on the list? Yeah, Byford.
If it sounds to you like putting the cheapest and easiest extension last in line is idiotic, then welcome to WA Labor! Added to this idiocy is the reality that none of it will come to fruition; see Labor intends to reallocate federal funding for the Roe 8 for the train upgrades, one tiny problem there; the Federal Government is not a Labor government and the same situation happened a few years ago when the Victorian Labor State government tried to reallocate highway funds to trainlines and the Federal government told them to fuck off, the same thing will happen here and with it Labor will shore up support claiming that it’s the Federal governments fault rather than admitting that they promised something they couldn’t deliver. Added to this colossal fuck up is; promising to repurpose 100 WA Police officers to a special Meth Border Patrol except Federal Border Patrol and Federal Police are already doing this job and WA Police is currently struggling to address standard police duties without losing officers to an unnecessary task force.
So that’s the major parties and their shit show out of the way, surely the minor parties have something to offer? Hah, good one. The WA National party who traditionally sides with the Liberal Party as a coalition have been shafted by the government in part due to supporting a tax on mining, and also due to the rise of populist right wing party One Nation. Theoretically this could mean the Nationals would side with Labor and the Greens party but their multi-decade alliance with the Liberals has effectively made them a leper party, add to this the expansion of the libertarian-conservative Shooters & Fishers party into the Shooters, Fishers & Farmers party the Nationals could very well lose their country and rural foothold.
The WA Greens are in a holding pattern, in part due to the internal conflict at a Federal level between the Victorian and New South Wales Greens and also due to the WA Greens struggling to really offer much in the way of State policies. While semi-effective on a Federal level, the State level Greens tend to just parrot policies of the greater party, which flies in the face of their opposition who often have major disagreements with their interstate and Federal associates. The inability for the WA Greens to actually appeal to WA voters on a State level has led to accusations that the party is little more than an arm of the Victorian Greens establishment and has little interest in supporting WA itself. In addition the mighty backlash against “Social Justice” policies pushed by the Vic Greens and Vic Labor parties has led to the Greens being characterised in the media as authoritarian social engineers with little to no real world experience. Negative press has always followed the Greens however the accusations of being drug addled hippies were much easier to shrug off than accusations of being out of touch middle-upper class yuppies who think they’re smarter than everyone.
Let us not forget One Nation, that’s the anti-immigration party founded by the lady who once said “The yellow race must be stopped”, they’ve made a few changes; no longer showing disdain for Asians they instead target Muslims and while rational discussion about the place of religion in a secular society is always worthwhile, the people who believe dual-citizens to be guilty of treason, food certification to be a source of terrorism and single mothers to be lazy welfare abusers aren’t typically rational. This party is all over the place in terms of policy; on one hand they want to make it easier for New Zealanders to become Australian citizens, on the other hand they consider multiculturalism a failure. They want to lower taxes, yet increase pensions. At times it seems as though most of their policies were drawn out of a hat at random, the funny thing is they were; if you look into One Nation as a party you’ll find that messages on migrants, muslims and welfare cheats make up 99% of their media output, as a result very few of their voters have any idea about their promises to increase pensions and support rural university students, which is why no one calls them out when they go against their own policy. One Nation are the worst of the worst.
There are other minor political parties contesting the WA state election and I can’t be bothered writing about them. Should they win any form of seat on the Legislative Assembly or Legislative Council I will happily dedicate an entire post to their party. Until then; WA Politics is so awful that for the first time in my life I have become a lethargic voter who doesn’t care which party wins. For a lot of people that probably means nothing, but for me the idea of being so burnt out by politics to no longer care is a very sad day indeed. Perhaps it is time to form a mighty Galactic Empire, I nominate myself as Emperor.