Posted by: peterhact | February 27, 2012

How does my vote count?

Voting in australia is compulsory. No vote, cop a fine.

So we trot down on election day, past the party members who ask for our vote, who press “how to vote” literature into our hands (it is always how to vote for them) and we line up, cast our vote and get the Prime Minister of choice. Right? Wrong. we elect our local member, who joins the caucus, who then decides who is the leader of the government. Far cry from “Kevin07”, isn’t it?

How is the caucus deciding what is right for australia fair? Why don’t I get a say in the leader, just in the member who will cast their vote for a leader that is deemed suitable? By whom? Who decided that Kevin Rudd was better than Kim Beasley, Julia Gillard, Simon Crean, etc, etc? Certainly not the voting public, obviously.

So I voted for my member, and Kevin Rudd became PM. That seems right, that is what I wanted to happen. A year and a bit later, after the GFC, Kevin is out and Julia Gillard is in. NOTE: After the GFC. Why not during? why not before? Because Kevin could sell the policies, Julia couldn’t. Because the party was riding on a monster wave of popularity. Kevin was the poster boy.

When did that change? Well, it didn’t. Kevin was still polling high, up until the bit where the caucus changed their minds and we got a new PM, Julia Gillard. Why was there a change in PM? why dump Kevin07 for a new face? why not allow the australian people the chance to vote as to who should or shouldn’t lead us?

It is politics, I am told.

Up comes the election. Julia gillard is returned to power after negotiations with independent members, and the greens. Not a majority victory. remember, there was no doubt in 07 – kevin07 blew the opposition out of the water, none of this pandering for votes to the greens.

Business analysts out there, here is a fun exercise. have a look at how many businesses went under in the GFC in australia. Then, compare the number to the amount of businesses who went under after the mining tax & the carbon tax was announced. The trend isn’t a happy one. There have been more companies closing after the GFC had ended. The carbon tax has forced business to become mean and lean, cutting jobs, initiatives and spending. The only employer not affected (yet) is the federal government.  It is only a matter of time.

How does my vote count? Buggered if I know. But come election day, I will join the sheep and line up again. I need the money for better things than a fine, like food.

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