Saturday, November 24, 2007

Take me to your leader!

Actually, that might be a bit difficult at the moment because we are going through a transition period at the moment. We have a new Prime Minister elect, so the old Mrs Prime Minister will be frantically packing up her personal items so that she can get out of the Prime Ministers house as soon as possible, and the new lot can move in!

Kat has posted a list of some of the more interesting aspects of Australian elections. When I was living overseas the one that provoked the most interest was the fact that it is compulsory to vote in elections here. I guess that that is not strictly true. It is compulsory to get your name crossed off the electoral roll. In most people's case that means rocking up to your local polling station and getting your name crossed off. I guess though,if you are there, you might as well vote for real.

The worst thing I think about going to the polling station is having to run the gauntlet. There are people representing all the various parties and candidates there with their literature trying to get you to vote for their particular candidate. Talk about wasting paper!

Oh well....our civil duty is down for the next 3 to 4 years (for Federal elections anyway). Now let the broken promises begin!


  1. I've always found it ironic that the Greens hand out pamphlets!

    In the past, I've been too embarrassed to refuse pamphlets from any parties. This year, I only took the 2 I was interested in. I also asked to see the group voting booklet (as advised by a large poster behind the polling officials) and was referred to several different people before I found one who knew what I was on about. It made me feel special. *lol*

  2. I find it sad that in America, more people don't vote and in Australia it is "mandatory" to vote. People should never underestimate the power of their vote.

    In the big city near where I live (almost 1 million people), the incumbent mayor was booted out by a guy who few had heard of, had little money and did no real media campaigning - he did it the old fashioned way, word of mouth and door to door. It really was considered a grass roots campaign and the margin he won by was not huge. A few more votes (relatively speaking in a city that size) could have made the difference.

  3. I *think* that shilling for votes is not allowed on election day - all the days leading up to it, have at it. So we don't have to wade through anything on the day of thankfully!

    Do you know when voting became mandatory in Australia or has it always been?

    Also, I'm looking forward to the Advent Calendar this year. I did one last year and decided not to hog the lime light ;)


  4. Cindy, voting has been compulsory for federal elections since 1924.

  5. Voting's compulsory in Uruguay, too, at least for presidential elections. Though of course, like in Australia, what's technically compulsory is just going to the polling station and having your "civic credential" booklet stamped. You can always vote blank, which is basically what I did in the last election, since all three parties with real chances of winning were unacceptable for me (actually, I did vote a tiny green party with no hopes of winning even a parliamentary seat).

    Fortunately, we don't get people handing out pamphlets on election day. Elections are always on a Sunday and by law, all political campaigning stops the previous Friday at midnight. It's such a relief! You can actually watch TV without having to mute the commercials, lol!

  6. Gah, forgot to say: I wish you guys the best of luck with your new PM!

  7. Radio and TV ads are silenced on midnight on Thursday, but they can all still appear on programs and things like that.

    The first thing on the new government's agenda appears to be ratifying the Kyoto Treaty which is a good start!