Polling Day in Surry Hills

24 Nov

Just past 8am and the polling booths will have just opened for today’s election. There will be no surprises in Surry Hills where Labor is 100% sure to win. But nation-wide? There were those at last night’s meeting still saying “landslide to Labor” but it does seem it will be a very close thing.

I have to say I thought Noel Pearson’s dummy spit yesterday was impolitic. He could have saved that for after the election. I really wonder too whether he bothered to look beyond the campaigning hype (on both sides) at actual ALP policy on Reconciliation and Indigenous Affairs, particularly Constitutional Recognition Of Indigenous Australians. All he has done is tarnish his own reputation for a degree of balance and originality — for which I have up to now tended to respect him — and made life difficult for himself if Labor gets elected.

Here in Surry Hills it is a grey morning and the sound of crows fills the air. Is this ominous? If so, for whom? I go coaching in Chinatown shortly and will vote either on the way there or on the way home, depending on the crowds. Meanwhile I note, if this relates to anything, the relative readership figures for the past 21 hours on my blogs here at WP:

English/ESL 313
This blog 209
Oz Politics 142
Old Teachers Never Die 6 (Blogspot/Sitemeter)


2.30 pm

Duty done at last. James O’Brien (now using the latest WP template I see) has given his account of voting in Surry Hills. Like him I was called to the head of the queue as a “local”, but whereas he voted at Bourke Street Public School, as in his picture below, I voted in Riley Street at the special school for disturbed adolescents.


I didn’t see anyone take a Liberal Party how-to-vote leaflet.

My Senate vote was much less interesting than Jim Belshaw’s, but I did have a problem. Who should I put last? It really was difficult as at least one third of the candidates were hotly competing for the honour.

Where’s Wally?

M is here according to today’s email and heading back into Argentina on Sunday/Monday.



Jim Belshaw has predicted at about 6.30 pm a Labor win by 10-20 seats, and at around 7.30 that Howard has gone from Parliament. At 8.20pm Channel Nine has given Bennelong to Maxine McKew, the Labor candidate and John Howard’s opponent. But it isn’t really over… Definitely not, as postal votes may affect the outcome.

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24 responses to “Polling Day in Surry Hills

  1. Kevin

    November 26, 2007 at 1:35 pm

    That’s why I added a ‘heh’. It’s standard operating procedure to blame America. You’ve provided some good examples, but there are thousands more.

  2. ninglun

    November 26, 2007 at 2:36 pm

    So that’s what “heh” means… 😉

    …standard operating procedure to blame America… Not “blame” necessarily. I am just suggesting that in light of the effect of what happens in America (and elsewhere) you really are attributing to Kevin Rudd rather more power to make or unmake Australia than he actually has; the same was true of John Howard, who probably took more credit for what were in fact the actions of others than was wise. However, it is true that so far as the economic settings and policies governments can apply do have an effect Howard/Costello — both gone by the way — did a pretty good job, even if it was essentially a continuation of what Hawke/Keating had been doing. People have pointed out that Rudd is unlikely to overturn the reforms Hawke/Keating began.

  3. Kevin

    November 26, 2007 at 3:28 pm

    First, let me say I wish you the best. I love your country and its people and don’t want my prophecy of doom and gloom to occur. That said, let me be honest.

    In a free society, economy is all that matters. In a good economy, anyone can work and be happy if they want to, or work and whine if they want to. In a bad economy people can actually not find work. You are old enough to know what that’s like.

    And here’s the problem. Australia has had 20ish years of good economy. That’s no mean feat. History shows us over and over that it takes conservatives to keep that going. But now you’ve lost yours. You will not lose money if you short National Australia or the Commonwealth Bank.

    You can blame America if you want to, but it won’t change things. We’ve been borrowing ridiculous amounts of money for decades, so why do you believe it will come to a head at this moment? Blaming America First might make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, but it won’t solve anything.

    side note – ‘heh’ is like a ‘snicker’ or ‘haha’. It usually means ‘I just said something funny’ but can also have a sarcastic meaning like ‘the previous statement was utter bs’. It’s closest relative in the interworld is a wink ‘;)’.

  4. ninglun

    November 26, 2007 at 4:17 pm

    20ish years under Labor AND Liberal (Conservative). I really think you are just wrong about the new Australian government being socialist; that is a US prejudice which would not pass scrutiny here or in the UK or NZ, where we know what modern Labor parties are. Whether the new government will be an excellent one does remain to be seen.

    In a free society, economy is all that matters. That many here in Australia regard 1) as barbaric 2) what’s most wrong with America and 3) simply not true. I might add there are many Americans who agree.

    We must agree to differ, as it would take a lot more than a comment thread to settle that question.

    I did not say I blame America. I am saying that Americans should not be so quick to tell the rest of the world what is best for them. I am saying that as the most powerful country and economy in the world at the moment the USA seems in great danger of trashing itself with unsustainable wars and enormous waste of resources; if the USA implodes economically — which I hope won’t happen — we’re all screwed…

    I have posted on this today.

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