Vote 1 – The Beach!

Folks, we’re at the pointy end of the election now!

Or, if you prefer, the blunt end of the stick is getting closer to our eyeballs…

Anyway, regardless of who wins this Saturdays’ election, life will go on; particularly the life in our lawns, dams, forests and fields which have enjoyed a thorough unseasonable soaking and a spell of warm weather.

So, on the weekend, after the rain bombs had slid southward to wreak havoc, I followed the sun and hit the beach.

Or what was left of it.

The combination of big rain, huge tides and massive waves had removed most of the beach offshore; to the delight of the surfers skilled, brave, crazy or dumb enough to risk life, limb and board riding the huge swells over the newly created sandbar.

The tide was out… and so was the beach

After what could laughingly be called our swim (more of a frantic doggy paddle against the strong sweep and crunching surf) I spotted a broken surfboard, but couldn’t see a broken surfer in the murky chop.  I’m sure they’re fine… probably. 

Anyway, while I was fighting for my life in the ‘Not So’ Pacific Ocean, our Dear Leader was telling the nation that he was ‘Just warming up’ after three years of barely turning up to work and that he might be a bastard, but he’s the only one who can protect us; or words to that effect.

I idly wondered if our PM realised many of us think he’s the gaslighting, lazy, rorting, lying, aggressive, bullying bastard we need protecting from?

Not that I cared much either way because, you see, I’ve already voted. 

So for the next few days I’ll be doing ‘a Scotty’, i.e.: basically, idly scrolling on my phone while keeping half an ear open to the blathering’s around me. 

Thinking I was being devilishly clever, I’d decided to get in early to beat this Saturday’s democracy sausage rush, but was stunned to discover half my town had had the same idea! 

The one pre-polling booth open within cooee, was swamped with eager voters.

Carparks were at a premium within a one kilometre range of the booth!  On a Tuesday afternoon… in Gladstone?!  What the…?!

A volunteer handing out ‘How to Vote’ cards admitted they’d been stunned by the turnout last week.  They were clearly not used to this level of enthusiasm for the democratic process. 

But not so stunned they couldn’t ham it up for a photo!

Traditionally this is not a good sign for incumbent governments, as it usually means quite a lot of us have clearly made up our minds and want to put this mob out of their misery.  So this weeks’ dirty tricks campaign (if unveiled and let loose on an unsuspecting electorate) will be completely wasted on us.

Maybe I’m wrong (I often am).

Anyway, the deed is done, and I won’t tell you who I voted for (although, I’ll happily hint who I placed at the bottom of the pile: Ronald McDonald’s evil twin sister and No Jabby ‘The Billionaire Miner’ Hutt).

But for those of you who haven’t cast your vote yet, I want to tell you who you should vote for. 

(NOTE: I wrote that last line in order to give Anna,  our Editor, a slight heart attack! 😊 )

To put her mind at rest, I’m not going to promote one party over another, that would be unethical; apparently. 

It would also mean a certain nasty party won’t take offence and mete out their special brand of payback, i.e.: possibly suing our small, independent, media empire into oblivion and beyond, or sending the AFP and the Anti-Terror Black Ops Squads crashing through our ceilings in the dead of night.

So, with that in mind, who should you vote for? 

Think of the most vulnerable person, or people, you know and vote for the mob who have policies in place for their best interests.

Because a strong economy which benefits the top end of town is one thing, but deliberately cutting holes in the safety net and watching impassively as the broken and vulnerable members of our communities (and environmental processes and protections) fall through the gaps, is quite another.

Of course, this election, like all the others, is not the end of our involvement in the political process for a few more years. Regardless of who gets the big chair and who is sent to the naughty corner, it’s up to all of us to maintain the struggle to keep the bastards accountable.

But it would be nice to have a breather from constantly battling through the swamping, political ‘spin cycle’, surf and enjoy a little rest on what’s left of a once great beach, before we get back to work fixing up the mess.

A slightly edited version of this article appeared in the Regrow Queensland e-zine. Check it out!

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