Australian Federal Election

I wonder. So many times I have voted now and so many times I have been  bemused by voter response. Currently I am reflecting on my own month long polling of voters, being as my vocation puts me in touch with so many people I am able to canvass their views. The only concern I have, not withstanding that their vote is absolutely their vote, is that no one could actually tell me why they voted as they did other than that they did not like either Rudd as PM, or that they did not like Labor as a party due to all the leadership issues. Set piece issues that were raised such as the Carbon Tax, elicited no real understanding other than “it’s destroying business” or “stop the boats” did elicit how people still believe the myths  that have been perpetuated by several groups about asylum seekers.  My question is: did any Australian know what they were really voting for. I’m not talking about the shallow personality view of life where we simply pit one ego against another as a leadership contest (somewhat immature in reality).  I am talking about having some basic knowledge of the policies on offer. I felt that people were voting in a negative reactive way to personality rather than from an informed base, especially comparatively. My general unease about this comes from a further reflection that such voter behaviour simply perpetuates a constant cycle of rebound voting which only serves a two party focus.

Paul

7 Comments

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7 responses to “Australian Federal Election

  1. Brett Guthrie

    This is why voting should not be compulsory, because of the views you’ve stated. People have a very norrow view of humanity, to personality.

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  2. You provoke much thought, Paul. In Australia it is compuslory to have your name checked off at a polling booth: what you do with the ballot paper is your business. The law was introduced largely to make it more difficult for election candidates to bribe people (for example with a keg of beer, barrel of pork and a free ride to the booth on a cart) to vote. The odds are that such people’s vote would favour the bribing candidate. Not a good electoral process.

    Paul, I understand your frustration. It often seems to me that much of the electorate treats parliament as an Aunt Sally stall: shove someone up there so you can make them a scapegoat for all the bad you’ve done, thought or wished; knock their stuffing out for a few years until they collapse; and then elect someone else so you can repeat the whole process. And all the while whinge about what THEY are doing to US.

    Yes, I know there’s more to it. Worth further thought …

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  3. Colin

    The system may not be perfect but at least we live in a country where we can vote and in some way have some input. Let’s be grateful for what we do have.

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