Thursday, July 22, 2010

Australian politics explained for American readers

The political system down under can be a confusing thing to get a handle on for Americans. Having studied the issue extensively for a couple of minutes during my lunch break today, I believe I have figured out the basics.

Australia has what is known as a “parliamentary system” of government, which it inherited from England, which is a country inhabited by “poms” – or, as they are sometimes affectionately called, “pommy bastards”. Parliamentary government in Australia, however, has undergone significant changes from the original template. The government is headed by a “Prime Minister”, who is selected from among the members of the majority party of the House of Representatives. This is accomplished in the following fashion:

All of the majority party representatives climb into the beds of a convoy of Holden Utes, which are driven at high speed down a bumpy dry-wash. The convoy proceeds back and forth until all of the representatives, save one, have fallen off of the vehicles. The person who has succeeded in clinging on to the end becomes Prime Minister.

The last Prime Minister was Kevin Rudd, whose experience living in a car during his youth is thought to have given him an advantage in the selection process. He was best known as an avid consumer of his own earwax. One day, he had finally eaten so much earwax that he regained his hearing. But his happiness was short-lived, because, by the time he could hear again, practically the first thing he heard was the clamoring of his fellow party members for his removal. This was accomplished by means of a “deal” (not, as one would expect, as the result of the Ute selection process) under which Julia Gillard – chosen by her colleagues because of her ability to distract voters from noticing her Party’s mistakes by virtue of her mesmerizing red hair and peculiar accent – replaced Kevin Rudd as Prime Minister. She has, I believe, called for an “election” (which involves two Ute convoys – one filled fill with Labor Party candidates, one filled with Liberal Party candidates – playing a mass game of chicken).

Cricket and bandicoots figure into the business somewhere, but I haven’t quite worked that out yet.


Anonymous said...

LOL. Have you told Tim Blair?


Paco said...

Oh, no. I'm sure Tim already knows how the system works.

JeffS said...

The convoy proceeds back and forth until all of the representatives, save one, have fallen off of the vehicles.

Who drives the Utes in the convoy? The Pommy bastards?

Anonymous said...

As usual Paco you have cut right through the bullshit.

Best description of a Labor Party spill ever.


Paco said...

Jeff: I think they're driven by illegal aliens.

Robert Blair said...

Joolya's accent is an artefact of her Bogan heritage ... Tim Blair, while also of Bogan stock, has largely lost his accent from his years of productive employment.

Joolya of course went into politics instead.

"Bogan" roughly translates into Murrican as "Redneck", or maybe "Redneck Trailer Trash".

Paco said...

Robert: Geez, that makes us kin folk!

Yojimbo said...


Yojimbo said...

Seppotastic should be sufficient. I have no idea where that other stuff came from.

mojo said...

I just go for the barbie.

bruce said...

Yes I think you've nailed it, except for the drop-bears.

According to Kipling, Aussies in the Boer War were known to the Sikhs as 'Durro Muts'.

'They said on all occasions, "No fee-ah," which in our tongue means Durro mut ("Do not be afraid"), so we called them the Durro Muts'

- Kipling, Sahib's War.

cac said...

Stunningly accurate Paco. Does raise one question though. I get my knowledge of US politics, such as it is, from the documentary series "The West Wing". What Australian TV show is the source of this information? Neighbours? Home and Away?

Minicapt said...

Needs more kookaburras.


Merilyn said...

Thank you!! You have made my day, will now go around with a smile on my face as I think of those Utes, and all of those people falling off.
The cricket bats are need to hit the for six, [over the fence, and they are out].

Paco said...

cac: No television sources for me! are the result of scores of seconds of research, along with some logical deduction.

Merilyn: We're all about education here at PE.

Old Sailor Man said...

Toni Yabbott...demanwiddaplan

Paco,maaaaTE!!.....Youse forgot du Queen, whose air Hedda State, an one of air pardy leeders

bingbing said...

Spot on... but I wouldn't mention the bandicoots on a G rated blog. The current PM isn't married so.just.don't.go.there.

Paco said...

OSM: I was saving the Queen for the next installment.

Old Sailor Man said...

Sorry, sport...didn't mean to steal your thunder re Her Australian Majesty. I await your explanation with anticipation.


bingbing said...

Kinda on topic...

Why's it called the Commonwealth of Massachutsus?

Didn't you guys shoot a bunch of Brits to quit that kind of stuff?

bingbing said...

And why is Massachusetts so hard to spell?

Anonymous said...

Now that's an explanation of our parliamentary system that even the boganest bogan could twig to.
BTW, did you know our new PM is also a ranga?


Skeeter said...

Careful, Sandi. Some of our best friends in Blairistan are rangas and they can be dangerous when aroused.
Aliens should be aware that they will need to understand the following before applying for Australian citizenship:
Because of their hair colour, male rangas are often called Blue.
The new PM is a taffy ranga.
She is a taffy because she was born in the princedom of HM the Queen's number one son.
Although we have always spelled it labour in Oz, when the PM's party was formed last century they spelt it Labor. To save the costs of changing letterheads, they have preserved the misspelling to this day. They can somehow cope with the paradox of the Australian Labor Party being the protectors of Australian labour folks.

WV: comee. Another apt descriptor for our new PM.

Bob Belvedere said...

I've been schooled.

Quoted from and Linked to at:
Australia, Australia, Australia, We Love You - Amen!