So Australia’s finally got a government, and I’d like to take some time to talk about what I’ve noticed from my first experiance at the polls.
This was a fairly disappointing election from the start, I didn’t think either major party was really worth my vote, and I consider voting for the minor groups and independents to be a waste of a vote (especially considering the strong seat I live in). The only issue that caused me to vote for the Liberal party was the question of the proposed internet filter that I’ve mentioned before, amoung other minor things. And I think that the people’s voice was a resounding garble of unintelligible sounds.
Also, during the whole event I’ve noticed that very few people were paying attention to the issues at hand, or even who’s running for the seat. Between being asked ‘who should I vote for?’ by several people, watching the people around me in line studying the papers given out by the volunteers outside like they were cramming for an exam, and the various comments about not voting for such and such because they look strange. As one of the people that did pay attention to the issues (at least the ones that were important to me) I find that really offputting, and I think that a democracy doesn’t truly work unless people are educating themselves (or are being educated) about the issues. I’m sure that there are some people in the country that voted for one side because they always have voted for them, and so have their parents and grandparents right up until the formation of that party. Democracy doesn’t work like that either!
I don’t know how anyone could change the current system so that people interact with the issues, and vote according to their position on those issues, but I don’t think that the current set up works as a reflection of the voice of the people. (which can also be a reflection on people as a whole – not the system – as people can generally talk a lot of crap).
So while I don’t agree with the decision of the 4 independants who currently hold the swing vote in the lower house (3 of whom sided with Labour [nominally] with their vote), I’m looking forward to what will obviously be an interesting few years on the political level.