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This website is in imminent danger of being shut down. It has been online since 1995, but the personal circumstances of the owner, Malcolm Farnsworth, are such that economies have to be made. Server costs and suchlike have become prohibitive. At the urging of people online, I have agreed to see if Patreon provides a solution. More information is available at the Patreon website. If you are able to contribute even $1.00/month to keep the site running, please click the Patreon button below.


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Melbourne: Two Kinds Of Politics

It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m standing in front of Melbourne’s State Library. A large crowd has gathered for the Equal Love rally in support of gay marriage.

It’s a motley crowd. Many carry placards, one of which reads, “I can’t believe we’re still protesting this shit”. Others demand amendment of the Marriage Act. There are calls for equal rights and many challenges to the conventional definition of “family”.

My interest is to see how the election candidates fare. In a week’s time, the electorate of Melbourne will have a new member in the House of Representatives. This Federation seat, established in 1901 and represented by the ALP since 1904, may be about to reject the Labor candidate in favour of the Greens. [Read more…]


Day 27: What Are They Thinking?

Day 27 of my election campaign began with a hair-cut.

The salon I visit lies close to the boundary between the safe Liberal electorate of Goldstein and the safe Labor electorate of Hotham. The local members, Andrew Robb and Simon Crean, are leading lights in their respective parties and one or other man will be a senior minister after the election.

Paul, my hairdresser, tells me interest in the election has tailed off in the past couple of weeks. The political talk around the time Gillard deposed Rudd has been replaced by other concerns.

A lot of people are annoyed with both sides, Paul says. Some are saying they won’t vote or will vote informal. I tell him the electoral statistics show that most of these people won’t do what they say they will. Nevertheless, he says they’re disillusioned with what’s on offer.

“It’s as if two apprentices are after a craftsman’s job,” is Paul’s interpretation of the mood. [Read more…]