The Political Doust

Jon Doust has run unsuccessfully (on more than one occasion) for a seat in parliament.

Jon’s book, “How to lose an election”, is no longer available, but is considered a major political masterpiece by three people who are no longer with us, or anyone else.

Jon would like to personally thank everyone who voted for him – and as there were only 428 of you, he plans to! Please email Jon your contact details so he can get in touch with you!

(It is probably important to note that the seat of Forrest is home to approximately 5731 Dousts, enough to make up a small town all on their own. And indeed they do. Bridgetown, a place full of Dousts, almost Dousts, soon-to-be Dousts, the exDousts and the well Doust.)

For all of you who have been asking to see Dousty’s famous “How To Vote” card, here it is:

Jon wasn’t really taken seriously as a political candidate – which was exactly what he was hoping would happen! As always, Inside Cover (The West Australian Newspaper followed his progress with great enthusiasm).

West Australian, Monday Sept 14 1998

FULL-TIME comedian and part-time political aspirant Jon Doust believes he has solved one of the great uncertainties dogging our great democratic system.
“Why take the risk of having a protest vote for someone who turns out to be an idiot?” the 49-year-old argues.
“Give it to me. I am an idiot. In fact, I am a professional idiot, so I know what I’m doing.”
After giving Curtin MHR Allan Rocher a run for his money at the 1993 Federal election, Mr Doust is returning to the hustings with a new target in his sights – Geoff Prosser’s blue-ribbon Liberal seat of Forrest.
More than 400 voters conspired to ignore his 1993 campaign slogan – “Put me last!” – and he hopes a more positive campaign this time around will attract at least the 4 to 5 per cent of the poll he needs to have his $350 nomination fee refunded.
A self-appointed authority on crushing electoral rejection, the stand-up comic wrote a book after his last Federal campaign titled How to Lose an Election, a copy of which he presented to defeated Liberal leader John Hewson.
At his Lesmurdie home yesterday, he said he decided to re-enter the electoral fray this year because of concern about the level of anger in the community. Like a safety-release valve, he offered some comic relief and allowed people to cast a protest vote for a non-politician whose incompetence was obvious.
“Have fun and make up your own bloody mind”, was his campaign mantra with T-shirts showing slogans such as “Why not vote Doust? He hasn’t got a clue either”.
In addition, he wanted to brighten the electoral process, which he believed should be a time of celebration rather than a dull and solemn affair.
“There should he clowns, jugglers and idiots at the poll booths and politicians should have things thrown at them – nothing that would hurt them – like rotten bananas that would let them know what we really thought of them,” he said.
If the electorate did mistakenly send him to Canberra, he said it would he his duty as a stirrer to buck as many parliamentary rules as possible.
“I’ll get suspended every few weeks, I’ll take my teeth out, I’ll do anything to get a laugh,” he said.


The West,Wed September 16 1998

WE’VE been doing a bit of a survey – asked a couple of people, anyway – and we’ve come to the conclusion that this is the most boring election we’ve had in a long time. Boring candidates, boring policies.

So thin on the ground are the genuinely entertaining elements of this election that even that seriously under-talented comedian Jon Doust can attract a bit of attention for his daft slogan “Why not vote Doust. He hasn’t got a clue either”.


The West, Tuesday September 22 1998

WITH mates like Todd Shilkin, who needs enemies?
The self-confessed Scarborough funnyman was livid at our treatment of dubiously titled comedian Jon Doust who is having a tilt at Canberra with the witty campaign slogan: “Why not vote Doust. He doesn’t have a clue either.”
Now we think Doust is about as funny as piles but we restricted ourselves to describing him merely as seriously under-talented. That had Shilkin firing back with terms like “outrage” and “personal friend” and “Professional acquaintance.”.
“I don’t believe (you) have seen enough of Jon Doust’s work to label him seriously under-talented,” he blasted. “I’d appreciate it if Inside Cover left the belittling of Jon Doust to those who know him best.”

N.B. For non-Australian viewers (or those of you that have wiped John Hewson, and the election he couldn’t lose from your memory), here’s an explanation of this photo!

The man standing beside Jon is John Hewson, would-be Prime Minister, the then leader of the Australian Liberal Party, loser of the unlosable Australian election of 1993, gone and almost forgotten, cake lover, promoter of the never to be introduced, nearly introduced, let’s have a go at it, GST (Goods & Services Tax, or Get Stuffed Taxpayers!).

The photo was taken by world famous cyclist and excellent photographer, Bruce Hunt, who is still hard at work for the Community Newspaper Group. It was taken one wintry morning in Kalamunda (West Australia). Hunt and Doust waited for Hewson outside the Kalamunda Hotel, a respectable establishment frequented by naked bar-staff and suitable for meeting Liberals.

As Hewson made his way to the meeting place, Jon rushed forward with book in hand, title well to the fore and on a pre-arranged angle. Hewson looked shocked, disoriented and confused, but when Jon showed him a letter he had written to Jon, Hewson smiled, and, like the professional he is, at that precise second, Hunt danced out from behind a bush, camera ready and clicking. The rest is history.