Yesterday was Election Day in Australia.
It was one of the most uncertain elections in my memory. The campaign by the Labor party (formerly the opposition) was strong. Although, I found a lot of it to be misleading. All of the television adverts I saw misrepresented our government system. They seemed to summarise all the issues against the Liberal party/Coalition, without presenting any real facts. Then they said, “So you want us to vote for you and then you’ll retire and leave us with Peter Costello, who I never would have voted in as Prime Minister. I don’t think so Howard.”
Their campaign suggested that our system votes in Prime Ministers, or even parties. It doesn’t. You shouldn’t vote for a party (unless you truly know nothing about your electorate’s candidate), you should vote for the candidate you want in your electorate’s seat – their vote counts just as much as the Prime Minister’s when it comes to passing bills in parliament.
From what I can figure out, the Prime Minister is the face of the government and of the country. He doesn’t have any sole responsibility over important decisions.
I didn’t see much campaigning for candidates in our electorate, except for the minister we already had, Philip Ruddock, who was voted back in. I got one flyer for the CDP candidate running for Senate. Their immigration policies were rather disturbing, and not something I could get behind.
The television coverage after the counting started was appalling. There was so much speculation without real facts that we couldn’t understand what was going on. The updates on the website said that 75% of the votes had been counted, but they were saying with certainty which seats were won – including claiming that the former Prime Minister had lost the seat of Bennelong. However, there’s only a few hundred votes in it, and pre-polls and postal votes yet to be counted.
The main reporters for the television coverage seemed to be reporting from the “counting room”. Every time they crossed live to one of the candidates, people in the counting room would raucously clap and cheer. It was impossible to hear the presenters or the candidates. It was freakin’ ridiculous.
There was also an awful segment in which the names and photographs of previous members of parliament who’d lost their seats were put through the shredder. They actually had a picture of a shredder and made shredding noises. Talk about ungrateful and disrespectful!
The Next Day
Thankfully this morning seems to be a little less speculative. The Sydney Morning Herald published that the seat of Bennelong isn’t certain yet.
So, here’s hoping that this change in government is a positive change.