“Is this the first time that you have voted today?” asked the man at the polling booth as he crossed my name off a list.
Surely it ought to be a bit more secure than this, I wanted to say as I meekly took the absurdly large voting papers and wandered off to my wobbly cardboard ultra private electoral commission approved voting cubicle.
Of course, I didn’t say anything of the sort as I am programmed like everybody else not to upset or challenge the stony face of public service officialdom. Well, probably not so much programmed as bludgeoned in to an acceptance that it really is a complete waste of time to question or argue with public servants.
But what about my identity? I wanted to ask. If I so much as try and renew a dog license I normally am asked for sixteen different forms of personal identification with at least five of them requiring a photograph and two with recent DNA, fingerprint or laser scanned retina pattern evidence. All that happens here is that they ask who I am. Surely they’re not going to just take my word for it when it comes to something as vitally important as voting.
Or is this a clue that there is an element of the fact that everybody knows that our ridiculous democratic system is a complete farce and so there isn’t any point in doing it really properly?
It seems to me (although I am prepared to admit that I might be being a bit simplistic here, it’s intentional, bear with me) that voting is one of the few opportunities that we have to be completely ethical and idealistic. The decision process then becomes very simple. All that is required is for each voter to decide if they have a social conscience or not.
I don’t think that it’s too unreasonable to summarise the basic ethos of the left of politics as ‘the idea that there should be a fair go for everyone regardless of birthplace, birth date or birthright’ (at least, that’s how the ALP phrases it) and the right as ‘if you can get away with it, it’s alright to walk over and exploit other people if they’re not smart enough or strong enough to fight back’.
That said, all that remains is for each voter to decide if they are a complete bastard or not and vote accordingly. In fact, if this system is accepted then there is no need for all those who vote ethically to actually vote at all as it is unlikely that their basic moral values would change over the relatively short period of an electoral term. What’s wrong with people registering a semi permanent political persuasion (and therefore a voting preference that could be counted) and saving all the time, effort and money that voting costs.
On the subject of cost, a bit of Googling on the price tag of elections in
OK, so who are the swinging voters then, the ones who actually make a difference to the outcome of the election? It’s not all that hard to see that these must be the people who are too stupid to realise that nearly all the hype before an election is usually nothing more than a load of psychology that is carefully engineered to sway public opinion for just long enough to get in power. Probably not the best group of people to rely on to determine who is put in charge of the country.
“What about confidentiality of voting”? I hear you ask. Well, I don’t think it is necessary or even advisable. It seems to me that all those who support an ethical party wouldn’t be ashamed to say so and all those who don’t should be pointed out to all those who do as a matter of public safety awareness. Perhaps secret voting should be totally banned. After all, the voting that is done in parliament is not done secretly.
It certainly would be interesting to see how the liberals would portray themselves as moral, fair and ethical and what sort of basic principles statement they would put out. I doubt there would be much in the way of ethics in it. In fact a search of various net based liberal sites failed to render anything much in the way of an ethically based basic statement of philosophy.
On the other hand, it probably wouldn’t be all that much of a surprise. Organisations like the catholic church have been openly supporting the liberals for years whilst at the same time pretending that they are ultra ethical and getting away with it. The ability of people to simultaneously hold two logically conflicting views is a never ending source of amazement to me.
I suppose there is a possibility that some of our esteemed politicians might lie to us (surely not!) and that they would put in print a deeply convincing basic set of ethical principles and then fail to follow them in practise. I find this very hard to believe. After all look at how well and fairly things have turned out in the
So, that’s that all sorted out then.