Dirty Politics and shit sheets

November 7, 2006 — Leave a comment

It’s been interesting watching and reading the US mid-term elections this time around, perhaps more so because these days I’m not involved in politics at all. That might sound strange given that I’m in Australia, but I’ve found in the last 12 months, after having spent my entire adult life involved with the Liberal Party of Australia, or even actually working for it as a staffer, that my sense of right and wrong is actually returning, and it was really lost previous to this. You see, if you sell an idea or policy to someone enough, even if you believe at first that it’s wrong, eventually you start believing the lies you tell. In the past I’ve always looked at US politics through the eyes of Australian politics, and hence I would have been an unashamed Republican, they are, after all, the party aligned in the United States with the Liberal Party here in Australia. Where as once I would have looked at dirty tactics by either as being justified in the race to win (politics is only about winning, people who think it’s not never get elected) now my perception is different. Looking this time around at the issues in the US, and the tactics, I shake my head. There’s little doubt that the Republicans are in the gutter when it comes to doing anything to win. This shit sheet is a good example. Australian readers should take note, you see this rubbish from the Liberal Party at every election, and you’ll see it again next year. Now before anyone jumps up and down about the language, that’s what they are called here: shit sheets. They’re used against your competitors for preselection, and they are used against people you are running against, and yes, I’ve designed and created shit sheets in the past, something I’m not proud off. But I digress, the second page of the shit sheet (here) is more nasty politics, but here’s the thing: for every person who’s ever told me that Australia is behind the United States in campaigning technique, you’re 100% wrong. Look at shit sheet again. Look at the fonts and the drop shadows. Clear as day: they’ve been designed using Microsoft Publisher. I know because I used the tool for years in creating campaign material. Thing is, certainly I know head office campaigns for the Liberal Party don’t use publisher anymore, and I certainly didn’t use it at the last Federal and State Elections, everyone here has pretty much switched to Adobe InDesign. Great tool for flyers…brilliant even. And yet the Americans are using Publisher. 1 up for Australia 🙂

One last thing, that probably won’t win me any friends, if I was American I’d be voting Democrat this time round, although admittedly they are the better of two evils. Two reasons: they believe more strongly in liberty and freedom at home, secondly they also believe in a secular society. We’re fortunate that god doesn’t play a significant role in Australian politics, and I feel sorry for my American friends that religion now plays such a strong role there. Free nations can, and do have as their basis for laws Christian morals, and there is nothing wrong with that, but those very societies will only remain superior to other countries if they remain free and therefore neutral on religion.