Or as we in Australia like to call it – the day we head out and vote. I did my civic duty a few hours back, so now I’m waiting things it in tentative fear about the possible result.
Elections are always a time of fear for me. I’m a fairly moderate lefty whose spent most of my adult life enduring the seemingly endless reign of the Howard Years when the country routinely decided they preferred a very different ideology at work running the country. And I’ll be honest here – in most of those years I could at least respect the country’s choice on some level. One of the things that always struck about Howard was that he was the kind of idealist that people seem to think of as the exclusive domain of the left; he just idealised a very conservative viewpoint. Even when I railed against him for being an evil fucking bastard, there was at least the belief that there was some kind of thought and passion happening there.
I can take no such comfort should the Coalition win this election. There’s a visceral dislike there, but with the number of people on my blog roll banging on about Bret Easton Ellis’ trip to Australia recently I’ve finally put my finger on why he bothers me so much – I can’t shake the feeling that the main difference between Tony Abbot and American Psycho’s Patrick Bateman is that one of them bangs on about Huey Lewis and the News quite a bit and the other has a 50% chance of being PM of Australia by tomorrow morning.
I could live with a Right-wing idealist. I could live with a ring-wing idiot being managed by folks in the background. For a few months last year I was actually looking forward to an election that pitted Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull against each other, which was possibly one of the few combinations of major party candidates that meant I’d go into the election with a feeling of excitement rather than reticence. It’s the prospect of a national leader whose using a veneer of civility to cover a heart of grade-A, whack-a-mole crazy that’s filling me with fear at the moment, and I suspect that the traditional Election Night drinking will start any minute now.