September 7: The Election. Photo: Chris Hopkins
Don't stand between an Australian and an election-related whinge. Complaints about the record Senate ballot sheet are as predictable as a Today Tonight obesity story. Indeed, surveying the Times Roman landscape of its 44 parties and 110 candidates is a heady tonic. Something approaching a lost manuscript by Lewis Carroll, possibly; barometer of a healthy democratic genome, certainly.
One Nation's Pauline Hanson may yet shimmy via the pantry window into the NSW Senate on a delicate web of preference deals with fringe right groups including Shooters and Fishers and Online Shoppers for Jesus.
Some coalescences have been mildly unexpected. Katter's Parallel Universe Party will get a total of 11 second or third preferences from other debut groups, including the Save Our Tax Havens Coalition and No More Midsomer Murders Party. The Tea Party has an informal mutual preference arrangement with the Chai Latte Party.
Medicinal Marijuana Party did not make it onto the ballot as organisers could not recall where the registration forms were. Keep Australian Cricketers Out of Australian Cricket Party is splitting its preferences between Labor and Liberal.
Self-imprisoned global conscience independent Julian Assange has established a sobering regime of hacking into the Electoral Commission's computers and changing the ballot listing order on average twice a week.
Friends of Eddie Obeid Alliance have broken new ground by directing 100 per cent of its preferences to itself.
Tech heads within the Electoral Commission have organised magnifying glasses to garnish voting booths throughout the land. So, celebrate eclecticism, embrace unrelenting variety and, on the luminescent coat-tails of this billowing sail of participatory democracy, let us all march proudly forward into the 21st century.
Heckler wants readers to focus their infuriation on electoral matters until polling day. Send your 400 words of ballot bile to email@example.com