It’s the Day Australia Changes as a Nation (I Hope)

Yep, it’s that time of the three years again, well roughly every three years.

According to australia.gov.au we got to the polls roughly once every 2.5 years, is that too often or what!

What is worse is each political party will make a lot of promises they will enact in 3-5 years. How convenient they may never have to do the work they hope to get hired for!

To be honest this time round I’m not too sure who I am going to vote for. I know for certain who I am not going to vote for. But I’m torn between a few of the other guys.

I know it’s time for a change, and I believe it is going to happen today. I trust the people of Australia enough to realise when a serious balls-up has occurred.

But you see we have a crazy voting system that drives me crazy.

If I, for instance, vote for the Democrats or some other “minor” party then I’m not REALLY voting for them. Sure they may secure some seats in the senate or what ever, but where it counts, on seats to determine the major party that will lead the country I can’t be certain where my vote is actually going.

We have this thing called preferential voting, which means if the party I am voting for doesn’t win its seat it can give its votes to someone else and that can tip the balance of power.

Just like the US has a president who twice over has won not by popular vote, so do we (well we have a Prime Minister). It is through preferences that John Howard has gotten in. And I reckon that sucks a bit.

The worst thing about preferences is they are are not always up front about where they are going, or what they have agreed to so they would pass their vote.

Of course we have adopted one thing from the US (well many things, but politically) our search for a new Prime Minister is really starting to mirror a US Presidential race. Only they don’t have a year to campaign nor to they have to be voted as the Presidential candidate for their party. Instead we have a full month of no other ads but Political ads on TV, Newspaper, Radio, Internet and just about every light and electricity pole they could get a bit of duct-tap around.

Why don’t they just make it like Australian Idol or Big Brother? I’m sure we’re not too far away from that.

As a gay man hoping to one day marry my boyfriend I’ve been with for 10.5 years I need to be a little cautious of where my votes, and their preferences go. I want to be married before I’m 40 and I’m running out of time.

I’m seriously starting to consider obtaining my British Citizenship so we can get hitched in the British Consulate. Knowing it still won’t be recognised here we’ll then have to emigrate to the UK or Canada or some other Commonwealth country that has made reform to include us as equal citizens.

Oh well enough blabbering on about politics. I just hope that this time tomorrow we’ll be a different nation.

I still remember all those years ago, coming home in the wee hours after Mardi Gras, driving in the car and hearing that Paul Keating had conceeded defeat and that John Howard was the new Prime Minister of Australia. After a celebration of all things gay, it was a huge and fast fall to the ground.

May we put the last 12 years behind us and move on as a nation.

Welcome to the new Australia.

FYI

Who knew we were such a revolutionary nation.

  • Australia was apparently the first to enact the secret ballot in 1855, right here in Victoria actually, it then took the world by storm known as the “Australian Ballot”.
  • It wasn’t until 1892 that women were allowed to vote and also in the 1890’s Australia adopted the principle of one vote per person which brought an end to and made it illegal to vote more than once. Prior to this you were well within your rights to vote as many times as you liked!
  •  It was also Australia that pioneered electoral reforms removing bribery and intimidation from the political race. Our way of voting set the benchmark for all democracies in the world.

So there you go, a couple of fun facts for vote day. As polling booths open at 8am, I’m off to get in early so we don’t have to queue.

2 thoughts on “It’s the Day Australia Changes as a Nation (I Hope)”

  • wow…
    it’s dangerous to throw your colours out there in the political realm hey?

    so…. who did ya vote for?

    and do you *really* think the past 12 years are something to be put “behind us” – there is nothing good that has come about in the last 12 years of australia’s history? interesting….

  • Do you really think it’s so dangerous? Today I voted for the Greens, which pretty much means in our two party preferred government I voted for ALP.

    And to be honest I’m not proud about us as a nation of late. We’re too often following the US and with workchoices and the talk of pulling apart medicare we’re really starting to look at becoming a mini-America.

    Of course it’s 7:30 and they are saying only 2% of the vote is counted and Labor is going to take it out…. big call I suppose.

    While I’m on this topic I get really annoyed by politics because too many politicians are looking out for themselves and not enough about the people they are supposed to be working for.

    When they win it will be up to the ALP to hold true to their promises.

    All I want is for a government to perform the will of the people as best they can. To not lie to the people and to serve us as best they can.

    It is said that two party topics to be avoided is religion and politics. As you can tell by my blog I’m not that concerned about talking about either.

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