The Eh Party
Travis Lucas (University of Adelaide, Australia)
They mocked us. “You don’t have a platform,” they said. “You haven’t declared positions on this or that.” — all topics that won’t matter in a week, mind you — “Aren’t you worried?” they asked, but we persisted. The Eh Party has your greatest interest at heart, to just keep things going! That is our platform. So come with us. If we’re in your local electorate, don’t expect to see posters or volunteers pestering you. If you feel Eh about the whole experience, go ahead vote Eh. We’ll quiet the buzz and leave you alone.
A man of indiscernible age is on the television. He wears a dark grey suit, the headline that crawls across the bottom of the screen declares his candidacy for city councillor. There’s an unassuming piece of fabric draped over the podium he’s standing at; dark grey and purple.
I would, with all sincerity, like to thank you, the people of my electorate and Australia, for your completely moderate response to the Eh Party and my candidacy. This is precisely what we’re out to prove, and how we know we’re doing things right.
If I go to a coffee shop, I don’t want to hear about how their warehouse is running, who was late for work yesterday, how their rosters are drawn up. I want a coffee and then I want to leave. With us, that’s how politics could be. Sounds pretty good to me.
Well Mitch, says the female presenter, onto politics now and there’s a party gaining traction that might get you and your family saying, Eh, what’s all this?
Mitch chuckles with the perfect amount of politeness.
That’s right, Kasey, The Eh Party has been steadily rising in the polls after announcing their candidacy for seats in council and now state governments nationwide. The curious thing is, they’re not declaring positions on any issues. Here’s what their unnamed leader said earlier this week:
No doubt you will have talked about my party or politics for at least fifteen seconds before introducing this clip. No real Australian is interested in discussing it longer than that. What do you want me to say? We’re just trying to get on with it.
The man steps away from the microphones with a shrug and the clip stops.
Seems like an odd strategy doesn’t it Mitch?
Indeed, Kasey. Now to Sports!
We’re talking to the newly elected mayor of Sturt Council, the first local representative for the Eh Party: Mr Yuron, what’s it like to be the major step forward for your party and what are your plans for the area?
Scott, I think you and I both know that everyone at home is tired of hearing about mayoral races. I’m getting ready to go to work on Monday, like everyone else. That’s all I’ve got for you.
There’s a man walking at the bottom of an indiscriminate CBD building; initially he looks to be hurrying away from reporters with questions about an embarrassing scandal.
Fine, he says, turning around to the crews. What is it you’re so desperate to ask?
Councillor Earnem, six allegations of sexual assault and nepotism have been filed against the state chambers today. What do you have to say about this?
Sandra, you know the Eh policy is not to talk about matters within 48 hours of them occurring. We can’t know enough about them at any point before that, and it ensures we only comment on things that actually matter. We’ve told you before, we won’t be part of the chatter. Not interested.
We don’t have the money or the inclination to put together long, expensive campaigns about this or that issue; here’s everything for the State election:
Footage cuts clumsily to a woman in a purple blazer with casual demeanour.
As far as I can tell you’ve got two choices, you vote for the parties that create scandals and blame each other and conduct decades-long media circuses that change nothing, or pick us, and we’ll keep it quiet while we keep it running. It’s up to you. I’m sick of all the nonsense. Don’t you want a break?
It cuts back to the black and purple logo, written underneath are the words
“No catchphrases for you to remember.”
The debate has lasted at least forty-five minutes. Michael Standour from The Eh Party stands on the right-most podium. He is doing his best not to roll his eyes as the other contestants speak.
Mr Standour, here is your statement: Australia is on the cusp of a decade in need of drastic change. Agree or disagree?
Michael takes a second, he looks to be swallowing some frustration.
Look, I’m not here to argue everything is perfect, but for most people, most of the time, things seem to be going alright. Tearing everything down and starting again just for a small percentage of the population seems to me and my party to be overly expensive and difficult. When you go to school you don’t have to get 100% on a test to do well, and in the real world it shouldn’t be the end of days if things aren’t perfect. That’s real. Aren’t you better off with a party with no agendas at play, where no-one’s being bought out, and everything’s designed to just stay out of your way? Doesn’t that sound better? That’s what I want to do for you; rock up, take care of whatever tasks need to be done, then punch out, just like you do. It’s about choosing what is the least stress for the most amount of people. I think that’s more than reasonable.
The new Prime Minister sits at the interview desk, Mr. Packer starts the questions.
Congratulations Mister Prime Minister Elect. How does it feel?
Thank you, James. I’m happy most of all for the population today, who’ve opted to make their lives that little bit easier. This moment isn’t about me.
First off Mr Prime Minister what are your plans for the first one hundred days—
James, James, James, it’s okay. We don’t have to do this anymore. I know for some people, especially you, it’s going to be difficult to not fall into old habits of the argumentative, competition-based system as we had it. Here’s what’s going to happen: things are going to pop up, businesses need permits, courts need judges, trades needs negotiation. But it’s okay, James, and…
The new Prime Minister, remembering he is in a broadcast, looks to the camera.
To you watching. You’ve earned your time off now. It’ll all happen. After all, whenever there’s a flood, everything gets back to normal eventually. For now, and for the rest of my party’s term, we’re not going to make a fuss. Every little decision isn’t going to be up for debate. It doesn’t matter which one of the members takes care of which task or portfolio, as long as it gets done.
Prime Minister, do you want to address the claims that your cabinet is unprepared to cope with the lobbying power of the financial sector?
The PM chuckles. James, your enthusiasm is much appreciated but unnecessary. He turns back to the monitor. You can all relax. Now is the time for you to reap the benefits of voting us in, so sit back and have a break.
Travis is a current MPhil student at the University of Adelaide working on ‘Tipping Points’, a collection of Australian-focused, politically charged, and ridiculous short fictions. He balances his time unevenly between taking cat photos, making money, painting triangles, and figuring out the rule of threes.