Will the real voters please stand up?

I read an interesting post by Carli at Tiny Savages (a lady who I can always count on provoking my thoughts and making me look at my assumptions), called Will ​the real politicians please stand up?  Carli talks about disillusionment with our political representatives, but what it brought up for me is my disillusionment with voting behaviours.

Two incredibly frustrating yet seemingly common voter behaviours in Australia are:​

Voting because that’s the way their family always voted

Deliberately voting incorrectly so your vote doesn’t count

​Both get under my skin because like it or not your vote is important, why would you not want to stop and think and vote for a party / independent that you believe is going to be the closest fit for your values.

Why not take the time to peer past the media and PR spin that clouds this issue? Why not reexamine whether tradition is in this case valuable or just easy?​

“Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay.”

Jiddu Krishnamurti

Why throw a vote? Do you consider yourself to be so unimportant that you passively let others choose your destiny? Or are you tragically unaware of what others went through to secure your right to vote?​

​Is it all too much effort?  Is it just too much time to take out of your life?  Annoying enough that you might waste a whole morning at the polling station as it is? You know our peaceful polling stations where the worst thing that happens to you is being harassed by people flapping how to vote cards in your face or maybe the person you’re waiting behind farts.  Is it just too much for our privileged selves?

While people in Kenya risk and lose their lives in order to vote,*
we baulk at research,  we whine about hitting a few keys and sifting
through information in the comfort of our home or office?​

​Sadly we’re a country who’ll queue for an iPhone or relentlessly bash the keys to secure concert tickets, but secure a thoughtful considered vote not so much.

Tell me I’m wrong, tell me you care about your vote? Or if you didn’t this year you’re going to?

*Yes in the article someone had a whine about waiting in line, I’d not be too happy hanging out in line there either it’s a just ​a little​ less cushy than we’re used to.

While we’re waiting

It looks like an election outcome is a little way off.
It feels like it has been forever already with a long boring lead up and having been at the polling booth at 8am yesterday.

I can only hope in the meantime that whoever gets in really thinks about what people want.  I know what I want.

No broadband filter. As others have said it’s my job to monitor my childrens internet access not anyone elses’. I am the one who should teach them to develop their morals and , to know right from wrong and how to process information to separate opinion from fact.  As a parent it is my job to help them to learn to cope with the horrible things that this world produces and to push against those things, not to hide them and pretend that they don’t exist indefinitely.

Equal rights regardless of sex.  I know both parties fall short on this but Labor are heading my shit list in this one for two reasons.  Penny Wong, the openly gay minister who is happy to ignore rights for other gay people just to tow the party line.  And a Prime Minister who doesn’t know the difference between culture and heritage.  The excuse Gillard gave for not supporting gay marriage is that it is our culture.  If culture didn’t change and adapt then we would still have a white Australia policy in place and there would be no inter-racial marrige. Anti gay sentiments belong as part of our heritage like those shameful policies that have now been abolished in response to changing cultural attitudes.  Gillard should have no personal issues with equal marriage rights as she is an atheist and therefore has no godly wrath to fear which says to me that she is hiding her homophobia behind inherited beliefs.  Clinging to outmoded societal attitudes and claiming to be “Moving Australia Forward” means I will never trust a word that comes out of her mouth.

I’m also disappointed in Tony Abbotts point of view here (although he does have religious views which while I don’t agree with do inform his point of view) he has openly admitted he is uncomfortable with gay marriage.  The next step Tony is to become informed and remove your discomfort, the decision is not about you.

The main thing here is for all politians to remember that it isn’t your personal views that are the issue, it is what the Australian people want to see in our country.  Polls have shown a consistent increase in support for opening the institution of marriage.