After yesterdays spray over cabbie bashing, I’ve decided to conduct my next CABPOLL surveying women passengers, of whom 33 percent feel vulnerable in taxis at night. Fortunately it won’t be as intensive as this election survey, which has eliminated the opportunity for personal passenger stories.
Honestly, this election CABPOLL is boring me and I wish it were over. Actually it will be tonight, as I now have Thursday night off work, as well as Friday. On Friday I’ll present a summary of CABPOLL plus a few observations...
First up last night I carried a 30 something woman from a City office to Stanmore. She often feels vulnerable in cabs at night. Namely, from 'sleazy and aggressive cabbies'. I asked her, ‘Do you always sit up front ?’. ‘Yeah’, she replied. ‘Why ?’, I asked. ‘Oh, I guess I don’t like the feeling of being driven around’, she said. I left it at that.
She will be voting Labor due to their ‘health, education and social justice policies’. I ask her if she has family but she didn't. Labors promise to do for more mental health is a big voting factor for her. Not necessarily to have the mentally ill institutionalised but to see more money given to ‘helping them’.
Of the Governments $600 handout to wage earners over $50,000, she labels a ‘bribe’ and totally unnecessary. She laughs how she didn’t qualify for it. She’s ‘sick of Howard’, and would consider voting for Costello but definitely not Crean. Security is not a voting issue for her as she thinks, ‘we’re at their mercy’.
A 40 something, anorexic looking prostitute travels from a brothel in Surrey Hills to Oxford Street. ‘Howard has heaps of conservative support’, she states, ‘but he’s a lying bastard, like all politicians’. When asked what issues would influence her vote, she unhesitatingly nominates, ‘Drugs policy’. She wants the law changed to classify drug addiction as a health issue, rather than a criminal issue.
‘Maybe 90% of people in jail are there for drugs’. she says, ‘If they decriminalised drugs, it would stop the lawyers, cops, judges, criminals from making heaps of money from the system. Then we could go to the chemist to get our gear, rather than being hassled by the cops, eh ?’. After some prompting she agrees the Greens are probably the only party who support such a policy. She then decides she'll be voting Greens. At Oxford Street, she hasn’t got the $6.70 fare so I wait for her to go into a pub and get it. A sleazy character, who looks like a pimp, comes out and pays me $8.
A female barrister around 40 or more, travels to Joe Hockey’s seat on the lower North Shore. She doesn’t like either of the choices on offer and is sick of the whole thing. Thinks Latham ‘is a bully who is doing a good job hiding his true colours’, yet states Labors health and social justice policies are more enlightened than the Coalitions.
‘Ultimately’, she states, ‘the Coalitions ability to manage the economy, keep interest rates under control and their tough security measures are a winner. She tips Howard by a whisker. She will decide on Saturday who to vote for and believes in compulsory voting. Surprisingly, she volunteers she’d vote for Simon Crean but reckons Kim Beazley is totally unconvincing.
A South African businessman travelling to Bondi Junction won’t be voting. He’s been waiting two years for his citizenship and expects it soon. Howard’s economic management impresses him, along with our independent Reserve Bank and general tolerant society. He states, ‘Howard lacks personality and is no Bill Clinton, though he has an undoubted steely resolve and is a firm decision maker’.
In Kings Cross, a trendy dressed bloke takes me by surprise. On approach, I picked him as a Labor-voting theatregoer. Not only does he know the latest on the taxi industry, but he insists he’ll never vote Labor on ideology reasons. This alone is worth a whole discussion but the trip is too short and I drop him at the Mens Gallery in Pitt Street. Later, listening to the news, I hear Howard has just outlined the philosophical differences between Liberal and Labor.
Immediately, I’m hailed by a fella about 30 years old, who’s off to Glebe. Working in the financial investment industry he reckons the election result will have no impact on his industry. Furthermore, he insists either party can manage the economy and the Coalition has done nothing special in 8 years for the economy. It’s health is due to changes made by Keating.
He especially likes the overnight announcement by Labor regarding saving the old growth forests in Tasmania. Conversely, he doesn’t like Latham’s attack on the funding of elite schools as it creates class issues. Finally, he hates the Greens and thinks they are a joke.
A lawyer around 40 years old travels from a City office to Woollahra. For him, Latham looked really good last week after the Medicare Gold announcement. However, he thinks it’s all unravelling with the news the Aust. Medical Assoc. is disputing the funding and financial viability of the policy. ‘Equally’, he states, ‘the same applies to the Tasmanian forest policy’. With so much Labor criticism he reckons it’s becoming a ‘dogs breakfast’.
He can’t predict a result in his electorate of Wentworth and considers it very close. He tells of a 'strange' letter from Independent Peter King, who’s supposedly not distributing preferences. The letter suggests to avoid the seat going to Labor, voters should nominate Malcolm Turnbull No. 2, after him. He laughs how this is a blatant concession he, King, has jepordised the seat for the Liberals.
My passenger also received a letter from Lucy Turnbull extolling the virtues of her man Malcolm and supplying a phone number to contact her directly. He thinks Janine Latham has done more good for Mark Latham than anything else. Before alighting, he predicts a Howard victory by 6 seats.