I watched the 2007 government election ritual with a cynical eye. I knew the Liberal Howard government would lose. They would have lost the last election if people were not so swayed by appearance.
Labour had a leader who was overweight and piggy looking at the time. People already view politicians as fat cats feasting on our taxes so it was no surprise they rejected someone who LOOKS like a fat cat.
This time the opposing party offered us a small, dapper, smartly suited little grey haired gent and I knew as soon as I saw him that Labour would win this election.
People have been wanting to get rid of Howard for a long time but there has been nobody to put in his place. Better the devil you know was the attitude.
According to a little poll that was on a news site soon after the election most people don’t really believe Australia will prosper under the newly elected Labour government.
They were just sick and tired of the Howard government.
Tired of his mistaken belief that we voted him in because we believe in him and his policies. Tired of his blind faith that “I have a mandate from the people” to shaft us over and over again.
I was one of the people who voted him in the first time around. I was ready to accept the need for a GST provided, as promised, it would replace all other taxes.
I naively believed, as a Christian, Mr Howard would not lie about something like that. I was wrong. He lied. He did not remove the existing taxes from cigarettes and alcohol – he simply added the GST on top of them. They went up in price instead of down as I had expected based on his pre-election promises.
It was a bitter pill but I swallowed it.
I’m not a very political person. I don’t follow all the in’s and out’s of the game. I just react to the things that impact on me and my life.
When Howard decided condoms were a necessity and menstrual products were a luxury I developed a hatred for him that continues to this day. He betrayed me with that decision in a way I will never forgive.
He turned out to be a man who thinks sex is a necessity and periods are a luxury. A man who added GST to products fertile women have no choice about using and exempted condoms, a product that really is a matter of choice, from GST thus declaring them as vital to our well being as bread and milk!
I’ll never forgive him for that and I have never voted since then.
I’ve trotted into the polling booths, written “When there is more to choose from than Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum I will vote” on my voting sheets, then walked out.
They call them donkey votes.
This time I didn’t play the donkey by braying my Hee Haw. I dug my heels in and refused to be part of the voting process entirely instead.
Australia has compulsory voting and when you vote you have to line up to get your name crossed off the list of people registered to vote. You apply to go on the register when you turn 18 and have to notify them of your change of address every time you move.
There are fines for not voting.
When I moved to this state I didn’t notify them of my change of address and I didn’t vote in this election. If they catch up with me and fine me I will not pay it. I will be stubborn about this and go to jail as part of my protest if necessary.
When I mentioned my intentions to a work colleague she was most unimpressed. She pointed out how much had been sacrificed to get women the right to vote and how much people suffer under dictators when they don’t have that right. She felt her vote was a sacred privilege. She felt she owed it to those who fought and suffered to gain her the privilege to use it.
I see her point but I think those people would feel defeated and betrayed if they could see the current state of affairs.
There used to be real differences between political parties and that meant voting had an influence on how things were done. Not any more. Democracy has been conquered. They have found a way to take the power back from the people.
They pay lip-service to the concept of democracy and tell us we have a choice but behind the scenes they make sure we have no real choices at all. They make sure both dishes are actually the same dish. They add parsley to one dish and call it Labour and add mint to the other and call it Liberal. The dishes are identical. Only the peripheral garnishes are different.
It was only yesterday that I saw how common this is in the history of the world.
Yesterday I watched a documentary on Russia’s communist revolution and realised the same thing happened there to them.
I came in half way through the documentary but the story was, I gathered, as follows.
The aristocrats were letting the people starve while they lived the good life in extravagant ways. “The Sailors” were a military group who backed the communist party and helped them into power.
Millions died for the cause but there was no change. Millions more died when the people objected to the evidence that the communist party leaders were simply taking over the privileged positions of wealth and power. The country was destroyed and brought to it’s knees by the communist party leaders efforts to quell rebellion and “The Sailors” were horrified.
Once in power the communist leaders simply took over the positions of aristocratic self-indulgence leaving “The Sailors” no choice but to try and overthrow them too.
In a final twist of irony “The Sailors”, backbone of the revolution and the power behind the change, became the final threat to those they had assisted into power and they were slaughtered.
Russia changed hands from the “Tweedle Dee” of the aristocracy to the “Tweedle Dum” of communism. Only the names were different in the end.
Democracy is supposed to be the answer to mankind’s selfishness. In a democracy you can get rid of anyone who tries to take too much for themselves. You can vote them out of office.
The problem is, over the years, they have ensured that their place in the opposition offices is every bit as comfortable and luxurious as the places in office. All they lack there is the public acclaim that goes with being the duly elected leaders. As compensation for that they are not subjected to as much public scrutiny or criticism so they can enjoy those privileges more.
Come election time all they are fighting for is the title. They already have the power and privileges!
If the communist party had won over The Sailors and made them into the “opposing party” then set them up with all the power and all the corrupting wealth and privilege Russia would not have had to kill them.
I come from a welfare background. My mother struggled to raise 5 children on welfare payments. I had never known what it was like to be anything but poor.
When I set up my own home at the age of 20 I went into debt to get furniture. I thought my cheap plywood bedroom suite was the height of luxury because all the pieces matched.
Then I married into the middle class and learned to appreciate real wood. I thought my real wood and velveteen lounge suite was the height of luxury because it cost so much. I learned the value of real wood and realised it was better to pay more for it than settle for the plywood and have to replace it when it fell apart.
My husband had money and it didn’t take me very long at all to lift my standards and get used to life with money.
Your needs change in accordance with your income. If you have never had quality furniture you don’t realise how much better it is so you are satisfied with chipboard. Once you see how much longer the quality furniture lasts you realise buying chipboard is false economy and a waste of money. You raise the bar. No matter how poor you may become in the future you know you won’t ever waste money on chipboard furniture again.
I have never been wealthy. I can’t understand how people could pay the outrageous prices for items such as Rolex watches and designer clothes but I have no doubt the only reason I feel no desire for such things is because I have never had them.
Based on my experience of moving from dirt poor to middle class I am sure, should I ever own a Rolex, I would probably realise it is false economy to buy anything else.
And that’s how it happens.
Once you become one of the “Have’s” you can’t go back to being a “Have Not” and you are corrupted.
Democracy was supposed to curtail that corruption. The “Have’s” would risk becoming “Have Not’s” if they treated the “Have Not’s” too badly. It worked for a long time.
It still works to some degree. You don’t get all that much more money when you are in power but, as the title suggests, you do get more power so neither party is willing to cross the line and do things that will get them voted out forever.
They both abuse their positions but not, I am certain, as much as they would do if they were in no danger of losing office.
There is no way to overcome human greed and selfishness. All we can do is try to restrain it a little. Democracy does that I guess and, on reflection, I suppose I really should vote.
It’s just that, to me, voting is like saying I approve of one of the parties. That’s what the parties believe.
“We have a mandate from the people!” They cry triumphantly when they are voted in. “The people want us to do what we have said we will do.” Sometimes that’s true but, more often, they just don’t want the opposition to do what they have said THEY will do!
Or, like this time, they just want to punish someone who has become arrogant and blind.
I’m just very tired of letting these corrupt pigs believe they have my approval when they do not. I don’t want to lose my right to vote I just want to use it to vote “NO!” to both parties.
I want them to know there is one vote available to a third party if one is ever created that looks different enough to be worth voting for!
Once upon a time I could have voted for an independent but they found a way around that too.
Each independent has to nominate who his or her votes are to go to if they don’t get enough to take office themselves. Voting for an independent is, therefore, just a vote for whomever the independent prefers.
Which brings me back to square one. I don’t want any of these pigs to think they have my approval!
The only power left in my vote is the power to reserve it for a time when there is someone worth giving it to. I plan to exercise that power and I bet they don’t fine me!
If they fine me I will force them to take me to court and I will make a fuss. If I make a fuss other people might speak up and say they are also waiting for a worthy candidate. If the word gets out that there are enough votes available to give someone a landslide victory someone might try to get those votes. If someone tries to get them they will succeed and both Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum will lose and have to fight each other for the perks of opposition!
It almost happened once.
Pauline Hanson led a party that almost overthrew the powers that be but she was just a little too naive and inexperienced and she came in just a little too tentatively so she didn’t quite make it.
The powers that be took fright and conspired against her to get rid of her. They threw her into jail and discredited her then tore her political party to shreds. They crushed her and nobody has had the balls to take up where she left off.
One day someone will and when they do I will register again and I will vote. Until then I am voting no to both parties by staying as a missing voter on their books.
I’m not the only one, of that, I am certain.
They have noticed we are voting with our feet. Why else did they run advertisements telling us how precious our votes are and how we should not let the chance to vote pass us by in this election?
They have never done that before but they are reduced to doing it now. It’s an indictment that should be making them think twice in my opinion. Our votes have gone from valuable to worthless and now they have to beg us to vote because threatening us no longer works!