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The Two Horse Race: The Illusion of Democracy in Australia
Australia is a dictatorship. Usually when I make that statement I get funny looks. That is because we are bred to think of a dictatorship only as a country with less freedoms than our own. We aren’t in the maximum-security prison yet so as long as there is another prison with greater restrictions than ours then we must be a free people. Well they are building the walls higher.
The Two Horse Race
One reason why it is hard to convince people of the reality of the Australian dictatorship is because of the two-horse race that gets run every few years. Yes I am talking about elections. Now there are lots of horses in the election race but everyone knows the red horse and the blue horse are the favourites. Most bets are placed on these popular horses. Nobody likes to lose, better a small win with bragging rights than risking a bet on a non-finisher.
Now the election horse race does have the appearance of a legitimate competition and so there is an illusion of choice created for the average Joe in his participation of betting on this sport. When Joe’s horse wins he is satiated by the idea he helped it win. After a few years when Joe is sick of that horse he gives the other favourite horse a go. And when it wins, Joe is again satisfied by his win. Joe believes he stuck it to the other popular horse, “run better next time hey”!
Joe is a moron. To see through this illusion of Australian democracy is to recognize that the two favourite horses are owned by the same racehorse owner. Go ahead, vote red horse, vote blue horse, it doesn’t really matter that much to the race horse owners. The owners are fully invested in both the major horses and so they win first place every time. And Joe helps them win. The only person he stuck it to by switching favourite horse, was himself, what a dummy!
What about the other horses in the race?
There are horses in the race specifically designed not to win. Rather these horses are trained to place second or third. The same owners of the red and blue horses are invested in the runner up horses, especially the green horse. These runner-up horses enter the race to ensure the favourites keep on winning by cutting off the other horses from entering the finishing line-up.
Few people bet on underdogs, but some bet on runner-ups in with a chance. People that bet on the runner-up horses think they are a legitimate threat to the favourite horses. But that is only the illusion of competition these horses create. In reality the runner-up horses race to ensure the winnings keep flowing to the same racehorse investors.
If you want to understand some of the logistics behind this you can read my recent article "Why Your Freedom Party Vote May Help Elect a Green to the Senate and How to Stop It!
Then there are the horses that enter the race because without enough horses the race looks rigged. The popular race horse investors will find some worthless horses and just pay the race entry fee. Whatever bets these horses attract ensure other legitimate racehorses receive less attention. And if the worthless horse snags a lucky place all the better for the popular race horse investors.
Then finally there are the horses not owned by the popular race horse investors. Some are fantastic horses, others are try-hards. But either way these horses receive A LOT less attention, because the popular race horse investors not only invest in horses. They own the racecourse, the betting centre and the publishing house that prints the race guide.
And it is hard to ignore the “race experts” advice in the race guide. The popular horses we are told are the champion horses, they have a long history of winning. Whereas the other horses receive disappointing reviews. They failed to finish the last race and are hopeful troublemakers to the sport.
The two horse election race reveals the not so illusive Australian dictatorship once you understand the common investment base in all the major parties. The corporatocracy backs the race, funds the major race horses1 and owns all the broadcast rights to the race. And they will continue to do so for as long as their two major horses keep on winning. It is time for change, as difficult as it may be for that change to come.
There is presently a movement afoot to “Sack the Majors” or put the Put the Majors Last. This movement is based on the recognition that it is not the competition between the major horses which matters, rather the competition between the investors in the race! It is the power brokers behind the major political parties in Australia that are running this country. If you keep betting on their horses they will keep taking you for a fool.
This election I encourage you to see through the illusion of the democratic process in Australia by treating the two major political parties on your ballot paper as though they were non-runners.
"There is nothing which I dread so much as a division of the republic into two great parties, each arranged under its leader, and concerting measures in opposition to each other. This, in my humble apprehension, is to be dreaded as the greatest political evil...." -John Adams, Letter to Jonathan Jackson (2 October 1780), "The Works of John Adams", vol 9, p.511
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Further Reading in the 2022 Federal Election Series
Don't Vote for Christians! (20th April 2022)
The Two Horse Race: The Illusion of Democracy in Australia (13th May 2022)