Axver (axver) wrote,
Axver
axver

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Today was election day here in Queensland, so I went and did my legal duty and voted. Talk about an uninspiring election. Peter Beattie's Labour government is rather tired and worn and needs to be kicked out, but the Liberals and Nationals can't get their coalition in order and I find their policies repulsive anyway. And for my seat, we had the most dismal choice of candidates. While some other seats have people representing various minor parties or running as independents, the only non-Labour or Liberal choice in Indooroopilly was the Greens. But I decided not to follow through on my intention to write "give me a decent candidate and I'll give you a decent vote"; sure, they haven't given me any decent candidates, but I can still give a decent vote if I must.

What amused me was the how-to-vote cards. For those unfamiliar with the Queensland system, it involves preferential voting; you put a 1 next to the name of who you wish to vote for, and then, if you wish, you can distribute preferences to some or all of the other candidates. The Liberal how-to-vote cards told you to vote 1 for the Liberal candidate and give no preferences; the Labour how-to-vote cards told you to vote 1 for the Labour candidate and give no preferences; but the Greens were actually nice enough to distribute preferences to the other candidates (2 to Labour, 3 to Liberal). Well, in any case, the Greens got my vote as a protest against the major parties, and I imagine they've picked up a fair few protest votes this election.

The result of this election really is a foregone conclusion though. All the Liberals and Nationals had to do was create a solid, unified front and they probably would have won this election on the back of people becoming tired of Beattie, but they well and truly failed. The complete disorganisation of the Coalition camp gave Labour so much fuel for their propaganda that I think they will have swung almost every swing voter in the state. I didn't really see the point in voting in the election, but Australia has this bright idea known as compulsory voting. Now, personally, I was under the impression that the right to vote included the right to express your discontent with your choices by not voting, but evidently the lawmakers here have a different opinion. It cracks me up when people suggest that compulsory voting is necessary to ensure a good turnout. No, it's not. Let's have a look at New Zealand's political history, shall we? Over the last 100 years, with elections every three years, only two elections have had a turnout below 80% (the lowest being 77%), and we have often achieved a turnout higher than 90%; the record was in 1984, with 93.7% turnout, not far shy of the 95% turnout figure that last night's news claims that Queensland achieves with compulsory voting. So I definitely do not see the necessity of compulsory voting.

Now, back to working on assignments. Woo. Hoo.
Tags: 2006 queensland state election, compulsory voting, elections, politics, voting
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