When I was young -- maybe four or five -- I remember very distinctly my mother implementing a form of radical democracy in our household, whereby everyone would vote on a continuing basis about everything our family would do: the food we ate, the clothes we'd wear, the games we'd play, the adventures we'd go on.
It was a horrible experience. My sister and dad quickly formed a loose coalition with mum, and suddenly I found myself outvoted on even the small issues. We suddenly started drinking only grapefruit juice; tinned asparagus and sardines on toast became our main form of sustenance; and visits to 'El Cabalo Blanco' -- a Spanish horse riding academy -- became the only adventure we'd do on the weekend. Looking back, the decision to oblige me to wear my sister's hand-me-downs was just plain spiteful.
It was a horrible experience, but it was also a healthy lesson in the perils of being on the sidelines, in a minority. It is why I now live in Eden-Monaro and always vote with whichever party seems likely to form government.
The mistake I made was only wanting one thing. I wanted the household to spend all our savings installing a travelator between my bedroom and the family room. It was going to cost $100,000 but it would reduce time between getting out of bed and playing with my toys to just a fraction of what it had been beforehand.
After a few weeks, however, I began to adapt to the dictatorship of majority rule and started cutting my own deals. I made a deal with my dad and my sister that blocked supply of mum's favourite chocolate, and then I blamed that decision on my sister, so that mum voted with me in favour of a ban on the colour pink.
My coup de grace was at a household meeting a few days later. I pointed out that my father was suspiciously swarthy and convinced mum and my sister to strip him of his democratic privileges in case he turned into a terrorist and place him in 'protective custody' for his own safety.
As far as I know, he's still locked in that basement. But we're all safer as a result.
Thankfully, Australia's system of government is not an experiment in radical democracy. Even so, it's important to remember that our democracy is formed through coalition of interests that comes together to form a majority.
That's why most people vote with the major parties that at least have a hope of forming government. While single-interest minority parties hold appeal for some people, most people recognise that government requires a broad platform. That you've got to cut deals to survive, and only having one interest allows the others to gang up on you.
Even within a majority, there are constantly shifting coalitions. For example, Malcolm Turnbull formed a coalition within his party room that agreed that he should be Prime Minister just as long as he betrayed everything he'd said before that point. Nobody can win all the people, all the time.
This election, however, is different. There is one party that has a set of policies that will satisfy everyone all the time, across the broad range of responsibilities of government.
The Bullet Train for Australia Party's position on Medicare, for example, is that we should have a bullet train from Melbourne to Brisbane. On education, its position is equally clear: we should have a bullet train from Melbourne to Brisbane. On every issue their moral clarity is refreshingly clear. Be it about marriage equality, people who seek refuge, or workplace relations, the answer is to build a bullet train from Melbourne to Brisbane.
(The only place that they fall down at all is their policy on public transport, which they believe is a responsibility of the states.)
This is why the only sensible choice in the lower house this election is to vote for The Bullet Train for Australia Party. If they form a majority Government, then it will rewrite the books on how democracies can function by satisfying all of the people all of the time. Plus, we may even get a bullet train from Melbourne to Brisbane (although I wouldn't count on it -– that particular policy does seem a bit unrealistic).
The election issue of The Chaser Quarterly is in bookstores and newsagents now.