On Sunday I set my alarm for 5:30am, desperate this week to beat my son to the lounge room and bags the television set so I could watch cartoons instead of his boring Insiders show. When the alarm went off I jumped out of bed, grabbed the doona from the bed, ran out to the kitchen, quickly made a bowl of Coco Pops, and flopped myself down in front of the telly on the beanbag. My plan paid off and I was the first one awake so I was going to have total control of the remote control until I let it go! Victory! While I was sucking the milk from my pyjama top that spilled when I dropped into the beanbag, Susan walked up behind me, slapped me over the back of the head, and tore the doona from my legs before storming back to the bedroom with it.

I found it difficult to concentrate on the television because it was so cold (I’m not allowed to use the heater after last time when I put the doona over the top of it and made myself a warm little cubby house but then fell asleep and only woke up when I smelled smoke) and when my son came out he wouldn’t share his doona, so I went back to bed and lay there staring at the ceiling. And after a while it suddenly hit me: this is probably going to be the most important week of my life and here I was laying in bed like a lazy layabout. It’s not every week that you have to fight for re-election to the Senate in the face of a sustained anti-family values campaign from a family-less government. Time to step up to the place, Steve, I told myself. Time to grab the bull by the handles, Steve, I told myself. Time to shut the f-ck up, Steve, Susan yelled at me.

I jumped out of bed and threw myself into campaigning. Over the next three frantic hours I joined Facebook, drew a poster and put it on the community bulletin board at the library, called every Victorian in my address book, and memorised the names of the five largest towns in my electorate so I could better endear myself to my conspicuents in these towns.

(By the way, those towns are Melbourne, Geelong, Murray River, Bendirat and East Brunswick.)

On Sunday night, exhausted from such a big day, I settled down with a notepad to watch 60 Minutes because Xzennophone bet me a Redskin that I wouldn’t watch or read any news that week and Monday was the day I had to prove to him that I did. The first article on the show was by a journalist called Mark Latham and it was pretty complicated but I managed to pick up that Julie Gillard and Tony Rabbit don’t deserve any votes and that democracy was sick. Good points, I had to admit. I turned to Susan and said that it was an interesting article and did she need me to explain any of it to her.

“As a journalist Mark Latham makes a great politician,” said Susan contemptuously.

“Sorry?” I asked, confused.

“The reporter. It’s Mark Latham.”

“Yeah, I read it on the writing at the bottom of the screen. So what?”

“You don’t remember Mark Latham?” she asked, arching one eyebrow.

“Is he from the bingo club?” I asked.

“Oh, he’s only one of the two candidates that ran for PM at the election you won,” replied Susan, dripping with sarcasm.

“Him?” I exclaimed. “The one who wasn’t John Howard?”


“What’s he doing on the TV being a journalist? Did he go to journalism school?”

“No. And it’s a disgrace to both Channel Nine and to journalism,” said Susan, before going off on a long rant about something or other.

But I wasn’t listening any more. An idea was forming inside my brain. Mark Latham used a be a politician but was now on the TV being a journalist and recommending that people vote for the Blank Party, and I am a politician, so maybe I could go on the TV and recommend that people vote for the Family Fist Party. I knew what I had to do.

The next morning after checking the Newspoll results (another snub for Family First in the 2PP question) and calling Xzennophone to find out what an asterisk means, I hit the streets to film my own television news article. I left the house in my best tracksuit and made sure my mobile phone was fully charged because my mobile phone has a movie camera built in — I bet Tony Rabbit’s special boat phone doesn’t have a movie camera in it. First I went down to the servo where the nice lady gives me a discount on Chicken Heroes and asked her what she thought of the election campaign so far. She looked into the camera and said that it was fairly uninspiring and that she wished she could vote for herself or something.

Next I went to the library and asked the librarian what she thought of the issues being debated in the campaign. She said that the focus on demonising asylum seekers was an insult to our country and she was insulted that her preference would end up with a party that would continue to do so. I told her that Family First would stop the boats so they wouldn’t need to be focused on any more. This made her angry for some reason and she sent me to the back of the queue.

I did about half-a-dozen similar interviews and then put my phone on the top of a wheelie bin and filmed myself walking slowly towards the camera like on the news. During my walk I gave my opinion on Australian democracy and said that there is only one party standing up for decent values and for Motel Christmas Island and for binge drinking and that party is Family First. I finished my speech by saying that next Saturday if you care about Australia there’s only one sensible thing to do, and that’s to vote for Steve Fielding ahead of Julie Gillard, Tony Rabbit, and Blank, and that if your ballot paper didn’t have Steve Fielding written on it just write it yourself and place a tick next to the name.

I was pretty proud of myself and made a mental note to print new business cards that have “journalist” written next to “accountant” and “engineer”. And now I’m just waiting for Channel Nine to call me back and for my son to show me how to get the video out of my phone and onto the computer. He wants $20 to do it but that’s half of my pocket money for this week. I’m going to see if I can bargain him down.

Until next time.