How firm is your election? Not very, if your name is John Brumby. Labor apparatchiks are running around Victoria like headless chooks, predicting the imminent fall of the sky, as polls point to a hung parliament (unlikely now that the Liberals are preferencing Labor ahead of the Greens) or even – shock, horror – a Liberal victory.
GLBTIQ community activists are wandering the streets of Melbourne rending their Calvins and prophesying woe, as they watch their potential salaries as community mouthpieces – oh sorry, that should read “funding for a peak community body” (as promised by Labor) – recede from their grasp.
Anti-homophobia and anti-bullying programs, suicide and mental health initiatives will all allegedly crumble to dust at Baillieu’s toxic touch. Even the Equal Opportunities Commission will be demolished, they claim.
This overheated rhetoric is supposed to frighten us into accepting Labor’s rather meagre package. $625k a year for four years for the whole GLBTIQ community is hardly serious money. To put it in perspective, Brumby spent thirty-two times as much – $20m – to put fairy lights on the Bolte Bridge this year.
Until the Liberals dropped their preference bombshell, there was always the hope that Brumby would get into a bidding war with the Greens for our votes, but he doesn’t need us now.
Any bidding war will now be with the Liberals, and so far they don’t seem to think they need us either. At the time of writing they had yet to announce any GLBTIQ policies at all.
Many people who might otherwise vote for them won’t unless they offer us something substantive, and ditch the likes of Shadow AG Robert Clark, who once confused haemophilia with homosexuality – presumably because we’re both bleeding nuisances he’d rather not have to think about.
The Greens, whose chances of a lower house seat now depend on winning a seat in their own right, are poorly organised and seem stuck on plans for a state equal marriage bill.
As for their other GLBTIQ policies, check their website. It says brightly, “These are the policies the Victorian Greens took to the 2006 State election. We are in the process of developing policies to take to the 2010 election. Full 2010 Victorian policy documents will be on this page when available.” Less than two weeks to polling, guys.
So far, so depressing.
The only bright spot is that progressive Labor members like Bronwyn Pike, who supports marriage equality and has a gay son, and Richard Wynne, are now safe, no matter how many vote Green. Unless, of course, lots and lots of people now decide it’s perfectly safe to do so.