Open forum: the sweetest victory

Which federal election victory was the sweetest for you? Or conversely, which one left the sourest taste?

I remember how I felt about a few of them.

I was too young to vote for Gough Whitlam and until then I had no interest in politics, but it wasn’t hard to get swept up in the wave of excitement of his anticipated victory. I would have voted for him. The Vietnam War was still raging and kids my age and older were dreading their 20th birthday and the subsequent prospect of conscription. We didn’t like the idea of fighting another senseless war. I think we were the first generation to take that stand.

I stayed with Labor until the early nineties when I voted for Hewson and then Howard. Hewson’s loss disappointed me, probably because at the time I was not a big fan of Keating’s, while Howard’s victory brought out the champagne, as by this time I quite despised Keating. In my eyes Howard couldn’t do anything wrong.

In 2001 I went back to Labor as I considered that Howard’s politicisation of boat people was terribly wrong and I have stayed with Labor ever since.

After working closely with the Howard Government as a Public Servant I saw first hand what a mean-spirited, conniving, lying bunch of pricks they really were. Policies were formulated to ensure their own political survival while ignoring the needs of wider Australians. Lies were told to the media about how successful their policies were when in fact they were failing miserably. Public Servants were bullied into providing them with confidential information in order to secure a political advantage over the then Opposition.

His loss in 2007 was by far the sweetest victory. And capped off with him losing his seat.

On the Monday morning after he lost office, the sight of public servants going about their business with a spring in their steps and a smile on their faces gave Canberra a good feel about it.

I’d be disappointed if Abbott won this year but I’d still get on with life. I’d be disappointed for a few reasons: I don’t believe he would make a good PM and I don’t believe he has the policies that will move this country forward (which is what the current Government are doing). I also believe he has been given an easy ride by the media. Given that, a Labor win against a media determined to see the end of them will be exceptionally sweet. It will be just as sweet as 2007.

Photo courtesy of www.xenoxnews.com

44 comments on “Open forum: the sweetest victory

  1. Yeah after the lies and distortions that took our country to two unjust wars that killed thousands I was glad to see the back of Howard’s Liberals in 2007. They were dastardly manipulators of public trust with their ‘dogs on the dockyards’, ‘children overboard’, the bastard named ‘workchoices’ that took away choices! It was sweet to see howard pm lose his seat.

  2. I was also too young to vote when the Libs got thrown out after 28 years and Gough’s Labor Party won but I remember people dancing in the streets.
    The worst for me was when Fraser won in 1975 (only the second time I had voted) and the most disappointing for me was the when Howard and his cronies were voted in to power. I remember – I cried.
    The best for me was in 2007 when Howard (and the Libs) not only lost power but he also lost his seat! Sweet, sweet karma!

  3. For me it would have to be the return of Labor which brought about the end of conscription and the end of the born to rule mentality. A place where equality, the arts and workers rights were finally to be recognised.

    Rudd will have my undying gratitude for bringing an end to Howard’s rule. Under Rudd we entered the modern age whereas with Howard we would be still languishing somewhere around the mid 20th Century. No innovation, no forward thinking, for ever the sheriff’s little deputy. At least Howard had Bush to trail behind, but who will be pulling Tony Abbott’s strings..?

  4. I remember the euphoria when Whitlam got in. I can still feel it in my belly. I also remember the anger and rage I felt November 11 1975, and the disappointment in my fellow man after the subsequent election. I remember the feeling of “take that” towards Malcolm Fraser when he lost the election. I liked Hawke, and Keating, but Howard I came to loathe. I really believed he would not be re elected 2004, but he was. Disappointment is too bland a word, disbelief at my fellow Australians was strong, how could they be so blind? 2007 elections I did not see much change in the attitudes of those around me, but victory was sweet. To see that bastard knocked off his perch, and by a female, a female journalist at that, was such sweet revenge. His lies for taking us into Iraq still irk, his treatment of David Hicks, his vilification of Muslims, his strategy of dividing and conquering the community (which worked) children overboard and the subtle changes in the community towards Centrelink with replacing the word ‘benefits’ with welfare. Hollingsworth, Tampa, the anti Hanson slush fund, the list goes on and on, so Rudd was elected. What a surprise, not that my home state contributed a lot towards the Labor victory. And now we have Julia Gillard, and again I am despairing at my fellow man. I hope she wipes the floor with Abbott, and all the rest of the bastards, Brough, Alan Jones and that bloody Yank, Murdoch.

  5. Miglo, I seen you turned from Keating to Hewson. Have you asked where your poor opinion of Keating came from.

    History is writing this man up, as being the savior of our economy. Even Mr. Howard gives grumbling credit.

    At the time, he was hated and treated by the media, similar to what is happening this day. History has shown, the media misjudged the man.

    At least turning to Hewson, is not like what they are serving up today, with Abbott.

    Always felt a little sorry for Hewson.

    The PM is getting accused of much that Keating was. She has thrown out Labor values, and so on.

    I knew Mr. Keating, and more important people who were close to him. They never lost faith in him.

    Heard Crean explain why he loved those French clocks he was ridiculed for. It was not about cloks, but his love of French history and it’s place in developing democracy.

    No, Miglo, many listened to the media and changed at that time. It seems it si happening again. It matters little, as history has a way of sorting things out.

    Look at todays comments by Howarard on the Irk war.

    Miglo, we must see if we can stop the same happening again.

  6. One needs to remember, much of what Whitlam introduced, still remains until today. That is in spite of one being in power less that three years, and two elections.

    He did change the face of Australia. for the better.

  7. ….who will be pulling Tony Abbott’s strings..?

    I think we already know who Liealot’s puppet master is, Min.

    Bimmer, I have a similar experience wrt the sweetest and sourest victories.

    I voted for Gough and was very angry when he was chucked out and the Liars immediately started their usual heave people out of work solution to everything, culminating in that recession we didn’t have to have.

    I was not at all sorry to see the Fraser government given the boot and the Hawke/Keating government installed.

    I remember when the Rodent first chanced his arm for the leadership of the Liars and stabbed Peacock in the back. For me it was instant loathing.

    The rat black, beady eyes while the mean spirit, hypocrisy, untrustworthyness and dishonesty oozed out of his every pore making my hair stand on end.

    At the same time, I remember The Bulletin running an extremely flattering story about him, gibbering on about his honesty????? and f*cken integrity!!!!! while Peacock was on life support and the Rodent was still covered in Peacock’s blood, ffs!!!!

    Even then the msm was covering for a Liars scumbag, who couldn’t lie straight in bed if it was a rack!

    And that bullshit debate between the Rodent and Keating, where the smug Rodent had been worded up on the price of milk, as if he had any idea of the problems experienced by ordinary people.

    I could NEVER understand why anyone would trust him. It was the happiest moment of my life when his rotten, corrupt government was chucked out and he lost his seat. The pity was that Liealot retained his seat.

  8. Fed up, I also felt a bit sorry for Hewson. When I reflect, I think he was at least honest and really had the best interests of the country at heart. He was just misguided.

  9. Firstly, I acknowledge being a creature of my own experience (baby boomer, like many others here). In fact, today I was reading the memoirs of another bb, Raimond Gaita (in “After Romulus”), and I would like to pass on some of his wisdom about finding ourselves (pp 27-8): “Most forms of human interchange can turn into a conversation, and in all conversation we can unexpectedly find ourselves answerable to what I have described elsewhere as a ‘call to seriousness’….it calls her to an individuating responsiveness – to speak out of what she has made, and should continuously be making, of experiences that are her history and that make her who she is…(and) find the voice that reveals her distinctive take on the world, that reveals, as Kierkegaard put it, that she has lived her own life and no one else’s…To see someone as intrinsically unable to rise to them is almost always to see them as less than fully human…”

    So, after that long preamble, my formative (bb) experience was also the 1972 Whitlam win. It is important to add here that, while he is often deified by reformers due to his huge personality, he was largely surfing the wave of generational revolt, modernisation impulses, and anti-war/anti-conscription sentiment. Most of us on the Left judged him by what he’s done as a flakey, rightwing compromiser, but people afterwards tend to be seduced by the power of film, and see a confident, dominating figure which is part of the deception of political presentation -MSM did not begin recently!

    I don’t think I was eligible to vote in 1972, although I was eligible to be drafted to fight in Vietnam, and was an “underground” draft resister (not draft-dodger – we were very public about defying the law and I had a warrant issued for my arrest). When it was clear that we weren’t going to be put in gaol or stay on the run, we assembled at Jean McLean’s place (famous stalwart of Vietnam Moratorium and Save Our Sons) in Carrum, Melb. for a party with other “illegals”, and stayed all night before going to Pentridge Gaol before breakfast next morning to demand the release of our comrades, Bob Scates and Ken McClelland. Here’s my mini-memoir: http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=315

  10. Seeing Fraser shed a tear after his defeat by Hawke was sweet. Fraser’s victory in 1975 was underhand.

  11. I never liked Howard, I remember when I Stood in Martin Place in 1982 protesting against the privitisation of Telstra to pay , Howard’s debt. Howard hated unions and the feeling was mutual. I feel that the measure of a great PM is their legacy.

  12. I remember when Peter Garrett first ran and how he got dudded by the preferential voting system….. from then on I have taken an interest in politics……. I have voted below the line since 😉 …. for many a yar after I put every political party in the bottom numbers…. with Fred Nile as last number in NSW elections 😀 …… I voted Santa Claus and the Sun Rippened Tomato(e) party before I voted for any of the majors ..including the Greens….. remember the year there were 260 odd pollies below the line…. and yup I put Cults last … filled out every number… took ages…..I do it every erection ( there always a cock up 🙂 ). will do it again in Sept. ….. Libs last, but Labor first…… which can be read as the ‘Ungentlemanly Abborttion’ last…… and ‘The Lady’ first…… :bows-smiley:

  13. While the election of Whitlam was very significant and it heralded a new ‘paradigm’, My personal life was most effected and affected by the election of the Goss government in Queensland. I grew up in a Queensland that was infected by the Joh years and I never thought that infection could be neutralised. Even though the Fitzgerald Inquiry was exposing the corruption that underpinned civil society in Queensland, I thought the ‘gerrymander’ would still ‘win the day’.

    Thus it was an enormous relief and cause for celebration when a Goss government was sworn in. It effected and affected me personally when I received a call to become a ‘private secretary’ (albeit temporarily) to a Minister even though I was not a member of the ALP (and never was or have been).

    Never forgotten.

  14. Migs, your story is my story exactly although I’m a good bit older than you.
    The day that Howard announced that we were sending our service people to a war that we had no right to go to, got me along with the children overboard.
    I too, have not voted liberal since then. Will not be doing so for the near future.
    Our gov. & PM are doing a pretty good job under the circumstances and if we don’t agree with some of the decisions that have been made (Asylum seekers come to mind), then it is up to us to try and change things from within the party, not vote it out of office.
    I would just like everyone to stand strong alongside the PM. She and the party need our support.

  15. My first opportunity to vote was 1972 and I voted for Gough and rejoiced when he won. I was furious at the dismissal and so disappointed with the Australian people when Fraser got in. Rejoiced again with Hawke’s victory and was devastated when Howard got in. I was delighted when Howard lost his seat, pleased with Rudd and very happy with Gillard. But I think the best goes back to Gough. He changed Australia for the better and many of those changes are still not completely wound back, as hard as Howard tried.

  16. I have never voted Liberal in my life,but I have also protested against some labor politicians. It seemed whenever Hawke came to my electorate there be something to protest about and plenty of people to do it. I remember attending one about the Australia card,where Frank Hardy referred to him as that cockatoo headed bastard (he’d had the makeover by then) I have never thought of him as anything else since .. The worst time was when Keating lost.We were attending husbands school reunion,(political tragic that I am ) I faked a headache so I could go back to the hotel earlier, to watch the coverage. I had been a campaign volunteer and my fella won,but Keating lost – sigh . John Laws had run such an aggressive campaign against him. I hope the voting public are awake up to the media this time

  17. Fed up, I always liked Keating and especially his vision of Australia as a republic. Also because to me Keating did not fit the mould of what a Labor Prime Minister should be like..quite an anomaly, highly intellectual yet working class. In those days all intellectualism supposedly belonged to the upper class Liberal elite.

  18. My parents, Dutch immigrants of the early 50s, were told from the outset that in Australian politics Labor was for the worker and Liberal was for the wealthy, so they became Labor supporters, my mother fervently so and went on to become a deep Howard hater. So much so her wish was to see Howard kicked out of power before she died, a wish that wasn’t fulfilled.

    So in growing up that formed my political foundation though I didn’t take any real interest in politics until after I joined the military. In the military it was more a gradual growing awareness of the importance of politics than any real immediate insight.

    Contrary to the generalisations I found that the troops were mixed in their support for both major parties, with a number of swing voters of which I was one. Politics didn’t enter much into conversations that I can remember, but it was generally the Party that offered the most to Defence and Defence families that got the troops’ vote. That’s the way I voted throughout most of my military career and voted for Howard in 1986 for that reason alone, though I had met Howard when he was opposition leader and didn’t think much of him as a person. He was instantly dislikeable.

    I quickly became to dislike Howard as the PM and the Coalition government as I saw the underhanded way they were governing and Howard’s divisive tactics to remain in power at all costs, even to the cost of the nation. It was Howard that consolidated me away from the conservatives, something that is only reinforced now days.

    It was a happy day for me to see him kicked out of power.

    Having said all that I mostly vote local and not for a Party, which is why I voted for a local Liberal member when I moved to the South Coast of NSW but voted for an Independent where I lived in Victoria previously in a safe Liberal seat, where Peter Reith was my local Liberal member.

  19. My point is that much of what he achieved was also misinterpreted by the media. He was also demonised. That is Keating I am talking about.

    Not that he was perfect. That would be impossible. All are only human.

    All have to work within the cards they are dealt.

    No-one has the ability or crystal ball, to know what the future brings. Things are always better in hindsight.

    This PM has been demonised from the day the caucus decided that they could no longer work with Rudd.

    I cannot recall a PM from the right treated in this way.

  20. That just reminded me of all the scrutiny which Rudd’s policies used to receive from the MSM when in opposition. I wonder where all that scrutiny of opposition policies has disappeared to these days? Surely they can’t be so Picture Perfect as to not warrant any scrutiny whatsoever. *sarcasm alert*.

  21. Fed up, I think that it will take history to give both Rudd and Gillard the acknowledgement which they so richly deserve, for forward thinking policies..certainly not perfect by any means, but going forward. Abbott has told us that he will be doing nothing except repealing and cancelling as much as possible, that plus a few token gestures will be the hallmark of any Abbott prime ministership.

  22. It is that same Howard divisiveness that Tony Abbott has fostered that scares me Mobius. It is dividing communities and encouraging hate and aggression.

  23. When I think of “intellectualism” I think of Tony Abbott, Troy Buswell, Warren Truss, Peter Dutton, Sophie Miserabella, Joe Hockey, Campbell Newman, the list goes on….

    {sarcasm alert} 😀 😀

  24. It’s more than just dividing the community teddysea.

    Howard was a master at using a handful of tactics to remain in power, most of which Abbott nor his minders have the acumen to undertake, but one of Howard’s tactics at the forefront was individualism over community and social well being. This is one tactic Abbott will fully utilise.

    Remember Howard’s aspirational voters?

    WorkChoices was all about self as was just about every other major policy and reform Howard implemented. It’s why the right wingers are so ideological blinded to the failures and shortcomings of their Party and its leaders, for at their core they put their individuality above all other considerations and see other political parties as a threat to that. It’s why they detest Unions and want them smashed.

    Abbott will go into the election putting up individualism as the core and playing on that as much as he can. He will be all about scaring the people that to not vote for him will be to lose their individual freedoms and entitlements he will so generously hand out to them. All a lie of course, for just like Howard was, he will actually be about taking away individual freedoms and entitlements whilst throwing out a bone of appeasement every now and again.

  25. I’m with you Fed up and Mobius. I get frustrated knowing people who have been suckered. Pensioners who’ve worked hard all their lives! I know the shows they watch and the rag they read so I know where their misinformation comes from. If the media reported the truth the LNP would be decimated.

  26. “If the media reported the truth the LNP would be decimated.”

    Ain’t that the truth, it’s why they are all out telling lies and spreading misinformation.

  27. Mobius, and your comment about the cult of individualism..with Howard it was all about the upwardly mobiles, Howard’s so-called aspirationals. The psychology of it all was that private health care, private schooling, half a dozen investment properties (all negatively geared of course) was something everyone should “aspire to”. We were therefore all meant to compete against each other, against our friends, against our neighbors in a never-ending battle to have *more than* anyone else. Issues such as social justice and the environment did not enter into it. There was no money in it, so what good are things when it does not equate with wealth creation?

  28. MED @7.33am, snap. Although my parents were1st generation Aussies, both were lifelong Labor voters as have I been. My father, in particular, loathed Menzies with a deep and abiding loathing and had the same opinion and detestation of, the Rodent that I have. Ditto my mother.

    My mother’s father came from a wealthy family, a natural tory, you’d think, but not so. Her mother, from a comfortably off family, was also a Labor voter.

    My father’s parents, Irish and Scottish, hated the Liars with a passion.

    Grandma lived in a street, which in the fifties had changed composition significantly to Mediterranean immigrants, was told by one of her new neighbours that when they arrived in this country were told by immigration officials that unless they voted Liars, they would be deported.

    An early example of Liars corruption.

    WRT to the Liars divide and rule tactics, i couldn’t agree more. For the Liars it’s every man for himself and to hell with the rest.

    That’s why they can strip funding from public hospitals, schools and other programs which benefit the community, with a clear conscience. They loathe public institutions and the less well off, despite mouthing platitudes.

    In a way, I think that is also part of the opposition to NBN, Gonski, BER, HIP and other Labor policies which benefit the whole, not just the individual.

    The most ironic thing, imo, is the number of these jerks who claim to be Christians, when their every action gives the lie to their professed “faith”. Mammon is their real god and an abiding contempt for the weak and vulnerable.

    Min @7.49am, in fairness to the msm, you can’t scrutinise what doesn’t exist. 😆

  29. Take what happened in Victoria because of Liberal government cut backs and multiply it exponentially for an Abbott Federal government.

    http://t.co/VeOrj5ray0

    Note by the way this was given to the media as a release and they didn’t publish it. Absolutely no doubt if it had been Labor in power it would have been front page headlines and a first item TV News bulletin. Same will happen with Abbott if he’s in power and is happening with O’Farrell, where much of his failures and the hurt his cutbacks are causing are being buried by the media who are more than happy to have front pages and leading bulletins of O’Farrell swanning around in a stunt.

  30. Migs, I’m embarrassed to say I can’t find it myself. I’ll try and track down the link and resend it. I should have just posted it in a comment here. 😳

  31. Jane, they loathe those less well off because they do not want anyone born with less than a silver spoon to become uppity and expect a first rate education. And they have proof of the damage that this does, the once hallowed halls of universities turned into hotbeds of dissent during the Vietnam War era. Evidence: Howard banning Student Unions.

  32. Min @4.36pm, absolutely right. They want to teach them peasants their manners and their rightful position, with Gina’s hoof firmly planted on their necks.

  33. As a single working parent who has been in the same job for 12yrs, I know how hard it was to make ends meet under Howard ‘n Co….. and I know that under the Rudd/Gillard govt. how better off I and mine are now, even with the cost that my now young teenagers accrue 🙄 …..I don’t want to go backwards to the ‘dark days’ of a rodentesque like govt. I don’t want to be one of the ‘working poor’ again…. I guess thats the message that needs to be put ‘out there’…. every ordinary Australian like me ‘must know’ that they are better off now than just a few short years ago…..they must realise that their dollar goes futher now…. they must realise that every mortgage payment is less/or goes further than before…. they must realise that MSM reporters are now traitors to their nation and its people for backing their Masters to try and keep their jobs, which has no secrurity and will be less so under a Gina/Rupert puppet govt…….. its like good v evil here in OZ….. we have the Wicked Witch of the west v’s the Good Witch of the south. 😀 …and I know which witch we need to ditch. Gina the bitch witch of the west…. just ask her children which witch is which and we know whom they’ve ditched… even Daddy ditched the bitch for being an evil witch……… ‘Its Time’ for us to put our ‘red’ boots on and start *clicking* those heels 🙂

  34. In my (Proud) opinion Gough Whitlam created modern Australia. Before Whitlam we were a British colony unsure of our place in the world and with no clear idea of who we were.The seventies saw the flowering of a new cultural awareness and by the end of the seventies we were Australians without doubt or fear. From that election forward, I have never doubted I’m a Labor man, and I’m proud of it, I’m a progressive
    and proud of it! I’m a multi-culturalist and proud of it, I’m a 64 year old white male :-)and I’ve seen a lot and nothing has changed two views I’ve had since my first politicization. (1) that this one of the great nations on Earth and (2) that the Liberal party is a party devoid of imagination and vision!

  35. ” Which federal election victory was the sweetest “
    As l don`t really like the political `duopoly` in Australia, as it seems to be too much like the yanks style of duopoly politics, Of course 2010 is my favorite result. And while Lefty`s seem to believe the `its-all-over-for-joolya` message from the noise-polls, l still can`t see anything worthy of voting for Mr-Rabbit. Sep-14 might just return another `watermelon` govt.

  36. I am living in hope that the next one will be. The worse in my opinion, was seeing Howard elected.

    I want to see the media bill passed and Abbott disperse to fields far away from the parliament.

    My reason for wanting this is the same for both. I eant to see bullies defeated, so we can reverse back to a more civli society. A society where good over rules bad.

    Is it funny to want a fair go for all?

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