I kept the faith and I kept voting/Not for the iron fist but for the helping hand/For theirs is a land with a wall around it/And mine is a faith in my fellow man

Newspapers in Australia sure are heating up over the as-yet-unannounced election.

Why? Beats me. The Broadband Issue is clearly firming up to be an election one. Kevin Rudd rather forced the hand of Team Howard/Costello on that point, announcing a plan to wire Australia with a Fibre-to-the-Node Network (and hence high-speed internet access, first-world technological awareness and competitiveness, etc.) – a plan that was not only reasonably well-received, but demonstrated that the Prime Minister had managed effectively bugger-all (apart from selling more of Telstra) during his Tenure of Opportunities Missed.

Which is not to say his plan is not also an Opportunity Missed, but we shall see. At its best, rural and regional Australia will be combo-wired in 2 years – a good deal after this election is held, and Howard has decided which of his promises to keep (hypothetically, because of course he will not win). Meanwhile, wiring urban and suburban areas is a venture as yet without a venturer.

Clearly we can look forward to Labor and Liberal throwing plans at one another, with the media going along as though they were expert in the issue all along, none of them realising that the majority of the country have no idea what in hell they’re talking about. I.e., an election campaign.

To another degree it could well be media boredom – what’s with all the polls, anyway? We all know Labor is ahead. Along came one poll giving a marginal turn-around to the government, and every body had a field-day for about a day, after which discussion of the flaws in the poll dribbled out (flaws including the question concerning who favoured whom).

Now we’re being told that most Australians have definitely, cross-their-heart-and-hope-to-die decided upon whom to vote, and will not change their minds:

More than half of voters have already locked in their choice for the federal election, a poll reveals.

A Newspoll in The Australian newspaper, shows 52 per cent of voters polled saying their current party of choice is the only one they would consider voting for on election day.

A further 33 per cent say there is a slight chance they will change their current choice come election day.

Was there a point to that? There’s only one poll of voters that can be used to describe all voters – it’s called the election. And I find it hard to believe those 52% are so certain about an election that is as yet not itself ‘locked in’ – will that 52% not change their minds, irrespective of the policies they see presented before them? Great. I’m so glad they will have a say in Who Governs Next According to Their Prejudices. Super.

I can’t complain too much. The media in general seems to have forgotten how journalism works. At least in Australia their making up for it with Newspoll’s to construct the slowest, strangest race ever seen. Here we have to put up with whether or not John Edwards is too pretty to be President, the cost of his haircuts, some idiot woman on youtube and how the Secret Service call Barak Obama ‘Renegade’. And that election is even farther away.


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