It’s about Policy, not Popularity
If Australians were from many other nationalities in the world, we’d probably have had at least one revolution/civil action of some sort in the past ten to fifteen years. But we’re not, we’re decidedly apathetic, which means that politicians can pretty much get away with whatever they want.
Australians seem to either be apathetic, or jaded. “It doesn’t involve me, so why should I care?” or “Well, they’re all going to screw us over anyway, so there’s really no point fighting it.”
Which is how Labor manages to get elected with no real policies. They just play populist campaigning, and continue to cash in on lines that were exhausted last campaign.
“They’ll bring back workchoices!”
“Remember the children overboard?”
“Tony Abbott’s a chauvenist.”
– No, he’s conservative, catholic, and traditional. Are those good values for the 21st century? Not completely, but that doesn’t mean everything he says is automatically discarded.
And one thing Australians should have learned from Julia “Et tu, Brute” Gillard, and the assassination of Kevin Rudd, is that we vote for a party, not a Prime Minister. They should be looking at the parties as a whole, and seeing what they stand for.
I’m not writing this to suggest anyone should vote for any particular party. What I’m saying is that people need to remember that it’s a party we’re voting for on Election Day, not an individual person. This isn’t the USA, we don’t vote for our President, we vote for the party to lead the country as a government.
So instead of being cynical, apathetic, or just making August 21 another popularity contest, the only thing that I have to say in the upcoming election, is look at what the parties stand for – all of the parties, not just Liberal and Labor.
Because believe it or not, our voice does count. Tasmania learned that in March this year, when the Greens suddenly shot into prominence, and neither Labor or Liberal could try and sweep them under the carpet any more. There are more options out there, and when we start paying attention to that, well that could be a very interesting day in Australian politics.