Soon there will be a by-election in my ward. The candidates and their flag waving minnions are out in force, not giving any reason to vote for them but highlighting perceived failures by their opponents. None have anything positive to say about the area. MPs should be championing and campaigning to improve their town, but increasingly they are pawns of as yet unwritten party policy and unable to say anything remotely positive.
The by-election is occurring because the incumbent MP was expelled from Parliament for conveniently forgetting her dual citizenship. Having renounced her British heritage, she’s allowed to stand again, despite her last opponent getting more votes. Australia rewrote the democratic principle of majority rule and awards seats on preferences to the least disliked candidate, or rather party, as most voters don’t know anything about the candidates. Some believe it is a two-horse race that could change the government.
In an expensive exercise, funded by the taxpayer and likely to repeated within a year, voters must rack eleven people in order. They include a woman who lied to get her job, a self-proclaimed Neo-Nazi and two other representatives of anti-immigration parties. The likelihood is that one of the two main parties will win, and I use the term loosely, and proclaim it as a national victory. Perhaps it’s time to ignore the rule of compulsory voting, at least until we have a system, and people worthy enough to serve local needs.