There will be many uncast votes on 21 May. There will be many voices silenced because those aged 70 or over represent 83% of the growing Covid deaths in Australia. Lest we forget.
I am in my 70th year. An achievement in some ways. My vote, and that of my companions, will not decide this election. This election will be decided not by the Some, the old and the poor and the unemployed and the disadvantaged, it will be decided by the Many, those who through their vote decide the future of this Nation, and who also decide the legislated future of all of us who comprise the invisible Some.
No political party is perfect, none of them have perfect answers. They are all a mix of visionary, and atrocious, ideas. They are all ego-driven, survival-minded, and once every three years they connive to bribe or buy our votes. $250 did not buy mine.
In my own electorate, Fairfax, I am presented with a range of choices – the usual duopoly of the Coalition and the ALP, the Greens, lunatic fringe parties like One Nation and Palmer’s latest iteration of the UAP, the Great Australia Party, Animal Justice, and some Independents who may be Teal or who may merely be stooges for the duopoly.
I will not vote for the Coalition. After they politically assassinated some of their best and brightest, like Malcolm Turnbull, and after the rest of their best and brightest jumped ship out of sheer frustration, like Julie Bishop, we were left over the last three years with sub-par LNP politicians who have presided over the most politically corrupt period in recent Australian history.
It is not hyperbolic to state that the Coalition has happy-clapped the Australian people to the depths of division and discord. The current Australian Prime Minister is not a good man for our times, and the party he leads is morally bankrupt, and has become the greatest threat to the future prosperity and security of the nation we call Australia. Their defense options have blown billions of dollars and their continual outsourcing of integral government services to ‘mates’, and their incessant monetary pandering to their base in marginal electorates, combined with the opaqueness of their no-tender granting of government contracts and projects shows them up for what they really are – criminally corrupt. It is no accident that they oppose the establishment of a full-bore Federal ICAC.
So much for the publicly evident Coalition of the Liberals and Nationals. But there is another Coalition in play, that of the ALP and the Greens. It is not a publicly stated coalition and both parties seem hell-bent on sledging their opposite number to electoral oblivion, and that is such a childish waste of time. According to Antony Green the ALP was languishing in second place on primary votes in 10 seats at the 2019 election, and only skidded over the line due to Green preferences. In your average election gaining 10 extra seats could well secure Government. To my mind the Greens are not traitors to the ALP cause and the ALP are not the be all and end all of everything good. Wouldn’t hurt the ALP to thank the Greens.
To my mind also, after many years of the ALP dodging and weaving on the issue of the raising of Newstart, their absolute refusal to consider any sort of raise of Newstart is a public betrayal of the disadvantaged and a public betrayal of their own founding social justice principles. Coupling that with their timid acquiescence, their very mirroring, of the Coalition’s draconian punishment of innocent refugees leaves me flailing slightly adrift from the great Party of Curtin, Hawke, and Keating.
Thoughts of coalitions, whether they be publicly stated or not, leads to an issue that makes our democracy undemocratic in my eyes. The National Party secured 4.89% of the national primary vote in 2019 and secured Ministerial positions in the Government, the Greens secured 10.04% of the national primary vote (and in doing so greatly aided the ALP) and did not receive one Shadow Ministerial Position in the Opposition. Where the unstated coalition is concerned it reeks of unfairness and ingratitude. Other minor parties who secured at least a reasonable percentage of the primary vote may well have their own opinion on this issue. And it does bring up the vexed notion of the appointment to Ministerial or Shadow Ministerial Positions of gifted but unelected to a seat candidates in any given election (with the Greens in mind) – but that is a vexed notion that I have no cogent answer to.
According to Sky News and the Murdoch Press I’ll either be voting for Scott Morrison or Anthony Albanese on election day. Well, I’ll not be voting for either of them. Neither of them are Candidates in my seat of Fairfax in Queensland. Neither of them are on my ballot paper. I’ll be voting for someone who is standing in my seat. I’ll be hoping that they mean what they say, what they promise, and that once they are elected I’ll be hoping that they don’t suddenly revert to becoming a brainless parrot echoing the Party Line.
But is this election just about the candidates we elect? Is it as simple as that or will it be a judgement day as well of the mindset and wants of a collective that is far larger than that represented by the politically aspirant pool of potential electees?
On the 21st of May the collective will of the Australian people will be on display. Who we truly are as a Nation, our ethics and principles, our intent for the future, our hopes, dreams, fears, hatreds, and what really resides in our hearts will be on display.
As a collective, even allowing for many dissenting voices, we damned ourselves at the 2019 election. Australia became less safe, the venality of our wallets reigned supreme, political lies were paramount, the old were discarded to death as collateral damage on the road to economic resurgence, the young were further removed from the ownership of shelter, corruption publicly flourished, and the Uluru Statement From The Heart did not become what it should have become – the Foundation Document of a fairer, more just, and more inclusive Australia.
On the 21st May I am weighing everything up, and I am accepting of the fact that every political entity, even those I am going to vote for, are not perfect and have many failings. I will only get one chance at this and I have looked within and questioned my principles and my hopes for the future of this Nation.
I don’t want the promise of change. I don’t want just words. I want real change.
I am voting ALP in the House of Representatives and GREENS in the Senate.
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