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The Forum > Article Comments > A rancorous mood overtakes the country > Comments

A rancorous mood overtakes the country : Comments

By Don Aitkin, published 15/8/2013

When 'none of the above' is the answer, where does that leave Australia?

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I might have voted if limited preferential voting had not been proscribed.

Then, I had planned to attend a polling place, have that registered and then leave without submitting a ballot.

Now I intend to create and tick a box on the ballot as 'none of the above' (or 'those below' as the case may be).

Then, whatever happens won't be my fault.
Posted by WmTrevor, Thursday, 15 August 2013 8:17:55 AM
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In the coming election people should remember that the Electoral Act specifically provides that in the event that a person fails to vote, and is sent a letter asking for the "true reason" (I love that) for their failure to vote, that if the person replies that he did not vote because it was against his religion, that response must be accepted as final and no further action will be taken.

Far from me to advocate that people should not vote or should cast an informal vote, as that would be against the law. But I can only say that any person who pays a fine for not voting is an idiot.
Posted by plerdsus, Thursday, 15 August 2013 8:33:11 AM
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I am in the camp that wants a return to optional preferential voting. In the absence of that, all I can suggest is that How to Vote cards are ignored and that a few minutes be devoted to voting below the line for the Senate.

Given the low standing of politicians in lists of trusted professions I find it odd that so many of us apparently think it is a good idea to have our vote controlled by a political party through a how to vote directive or above-the-line Senate preference deals.
Posted by Candide, Thursday, 15 August 2013 9:19:46 AM
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<< I might have voted if limited preferential voting had not been proscribed. >>

My thoughts exactly, Wm.

If we had the democratic optional preferential voting system in place instead of the disgusting and complete anathema to democracy that is the compulsory preferential voting system, I might actually see fit to register a vote!

But as it is, with a system that can take your vote and make it count where you specifically donít want it to count, by way of compelling you to mark every square in numbered order and thus register preferences that you specifically donít want to register, you can forget it!

Iíll be registering a blank ballot paper, which I have for many elections now, as I will NOT allow my vote to trickle down and count for either Labor or the Coalition, both of which I specifically wish to vote against!

I canít understand the lack of concern about our voting system!

It really is just about as rank as some of the antics we see in various pseudodemocratic elections around the world Ė votes recorded by dead people, people rolling up to election booths and finding that a vote has already been registered under their name, etc, etc.
Posted by Ludwig, Thursday, 15 August 2013 9:31:51 AM
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Dear Ludwig,

I don't think there's a lack of concern about our voting system at all. I think the attitude is more, "What's the use? We can't change it."

I would like to see us have a representative democracy where the views of constituents, the conscience of the legislator and the good of Australia and the world can override the decision of the party room except for those issues specifically mentioned in the party platform. I would like to see our members generally connected with their electoral districts having the experience of living and interacting with the residents for at least five years before running for office. I would like to see Montesquieu's separation of powers with an elected executive to execute the laws, a separate elected legislature to make the laws and an independent judiciary to adjudicate the laws. I would like to see political parties that tackled basic issues such as peace, the environment, uncontrolled population and other growth rather then focus on less important but emotive issues like boat people. I would to see a ballot with 'none of the above' as an option. If that choice got a majority then new candidates must be put forth. I would like to see political advertising eliminated and the candidates obligated to face each other in debate with no moderator as Lincoln and Douglas did. I would like to see an informed electorate who would not need how-to-vote cards. Such an electorate could be created by having school children required to read or observe the media and discuss the issues in class. That is done in Norway.

What's the use? We can't change it.
Posted by david f, Thursday, 15 August 2013 10:10:14 AM
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Six years of LABOR has exposed their deep flaws, and Campbell Newman has shown us in Queensland just what the Coalition will do across Australia if they are elected!

This election is a farce, a choice between the lesser of two evils, and, largely, the fault for this has to rest at the feet of Julia Gillard and the factional fools. She has gone but the fools are still there!

I am so tired of the lies and promises and insults engaged in by both parties as they seek power and glory. The Greens provide the only relief but they are too extreme.

What to do? How has it come to this?

Democracy is dead!
Posted by David G, Thursday, 15 August 2013 10:18:39 AM
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