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I mean, how else do you explain Vegemite?
At least that was the opinion of the arriving British. In 1788, after planting an unsightly flag on the Sydney harbor foreshore, the uniformed members of the First Fleet almost literally started beating the local Aboriginal race to death with leather bound books full of British common law.
Essentially, this is how Australian law continued to function until 1901. Boats would wobble their way across the ocean, glide past the dragons, stop for ice cream, and then dump a steaming hot load of 18 month old British statutes in one of the colonies that now covered the continent. Within another one of the crates, clothed in the most official regalia orphans could sew, would often be a new Governor appointed by the Crown.
As leaders of an important agricultural export market, Colonial Governors were good for exactly one thing. Blindly obeying the whim of their superiors in England. For instance, if a Lord told Western Australia to jump, the whole goddamn colony would jump. If a cabin boy needed a new sock, then the entirety of New South Wales would start farming the hell out of sheep to give him that sock.
The scenario was exactly as painful as being a personal maid to Austin Powers, only with more Union Jack underwear. The stress of being carer to a nation with delusions of grandeur of the scale displayed by 19th century England is clearly visible in the constitution. Indeed, Australia still prides itself on a smooth, ten year transition to self determination, rather than having a nervous breakdown and beating the British Isles to a pulp with a wombat, like any other group of self identifying peoples would have done.
Australia was conceived in the manner of most nations in the British realm. That is, as the illegitimate child of six former colonies lead astray by a group of men who bore a striking resemblance to Santa Claus. Indeed, the miracle of birth on January 1st, 1901, drew every important world leader of the time.
Yes, all one of them.
Queen Victoria was present to sign Australia into being, and so unimpressed with the constitution was the Queen, she banished the first Australian parliament to the most dismal place imaginable. Melbourne.
Despite these deficiencies, Australia was a popular figure in the region. The infant nation was best known for helping out with the sugar cane farming, wool production and general exploitation of foreigners, before peaking athletically at about 3 months old and beginning the slow decent into indecency, chronic alcoholism and everything else associated with the democratic process.
edit First election
The 1901 Federal election was mercifully simple, a straight fight between the Protectionist Party and the Free Trade Party. The first stood for the protection of local industry via tariffs on imports of canned goods, cast iron and tariffs. The second didn't. Democracy couldn't be easier if you had a damn fairy telling you fifty times about your abilities as a voter.
Secondary concern was given to the status of indentured foreign farm laborers residing in Queensland. In a move that would be entirely alien to contemporary Australian political parties, both parties in 1901 sought to deport those poor brown people with no home country.
Thanks to some shadowy lobbying by the Australian Nationals Association that would make damaging Jewish stereotypes proud, the issue of protection was framed as one of national loyalty. Voting for free trade was seen as morally equivalent to choking a kangaroo and drop kicking a baby koala, hence the Protectionist Party was swept to power on a wave of patriotic fervor that would never overcome another group of Australians at a sporting event, ever. Honest.
In the spirit of Avatar, the main 1901 economic concerns of government hand-outs, taxation and slavery (later known as WorkChoices) would be replayed at every subsequent federal election, only with slightly better graphics on the fliers.