Election '07 - 35 Days To Go

19 October 2007

Oh, dear Lord, the Coalition have had a poll bounce.

Sure Labor have been a steady 10 points (at least) ahead all year, but there's nothing like dangling a juicy tax cut in front of people to make them roll over and play dead.

Friends have been telling me this would happen, but I wouldn't listen. I couldn't bear the thought of going through all this again. Anyway, I really should have known better - if there's one reason why John Howard would never be turfed out of office, it's because the man never, ever underestimates the stupidity of the general public.

Who are these people, returning their wobbly minds to the Coalition? Don't any of them pause to think about where $34 billion of tax cuts are coming from? Heck, does no one watch Clarke and Dawe? I just hope they are in love, because they're getting screwed.

Well, I've said it before, and I'll say it again: compulsory voting must be abolished!


  1. Hi Nico,

    I'm a lurker of sorts with this blog - reading it many years but only posted comments a few times.

    Usually because you mirror my own left-wing beliefs, I quite like what you write. However I just can't fathom why you think compulsory voting should be banned.

    My general impression is that you strongly identify with the kind of sentiment The Chaser (circa CNNNN) used to show in a segment called "This person voted" - whereby they'd ask some druggo bogan a political question and see the hilariously stupid and ill-informed response they'd give.

    But you know what? I don't think instituting a form of elitist voting and barring dickheads will solve much. It reeks too much of Plato's idea of Philosopher Kings ruling over the populace. And even Aristotle noted that it's the very wealthy who tend to value their votes more than the poor do. It's for this reason why I think that the a Liberal backbencher will occasionally make some noise about compulsory voting - knowing that it will very likely benefit someone of his political persuasion rather than his opponents.

    So could you please give this idea a more thorough fleshing out and arguing in your next post?

  2. Hi Evan,

    First, thanks for reading :)

    I admit I am thinking partly in the spirit of that Election Chaser segment (although not normally a vox pop fan, I did enjoy that immensely). However, part of my reasoning derives as you say from the value of the vote; I think a major problem in this country is that people take their votes for granted and don't value the democratic process (whereas for political wonks, voting is an almost a sacred ritual...).

    It is true that any moves to abolish compulsory voting will politically benefit the Liberals over Labor, as those less likely to vote (the young, those with lower education levels) are more likely to vote Labor, whereas seniors are more likely to vote Liberal - and witness the high voter turnout amongst seniors in the US.

    Nonetheless, it is a principle I belive in - if nothing else, it offends my sense of order, the phrase "compulsory voting" being so oxymoronic. I will actually get to this in more detail in a post down the track..!

  3. keithmays1962@yahoo.com21/10/2007, 10:50

    sorry to leave a question on your comment page that doesn't relate to your post. i saw your name on a question page about how to insert polls on a blog: do you know if that will allow you to create a blog of just polls? again, sorry and i appreciate your time. keith mays. e-mail: keithmays1962@yahoo.com

  4. Tax cuts. Mmm, people do love their tax cuts.

    People want tax cuts, and the best tax cuts for the Liberals are the ones that make incomes in the $50k plus bracket happy. The lower income brackets are pretty safe ALP turf, so there's no point in making cuts there. If they could get away with it, the libs would institute a bread, milk & nappies tax to fund a nice big tax break for 'family' incomes over $80k.

    Interesting, the ALP is talking about reducing the upper tax brackets as well, so perhaps they're beginning to learn that a lot of their traditional supporters eventually grew up and got jobs. A lot of traditional ALP industry segments like construction pay pretty well, so tax cuts are beginning to speak to the guy driving the crane as well as the traditional blue-collar demographic.

    Labor has to work pretty hard to win the next election. The Libs could win it by having Howard committed, shot or incapacitated. Take away Howard and Costello and the Libs are looking like a remarkably better choice to the average voter - it's only the horror of personality that has them actually working at all.

    Me? I think I'll move country if Howard gets another term.

    On the compulsory voting angle, making voting optional in this country would pretty much bury the ALP for good. The US finds election results most heavily skewed by issues such as the weather. Do you want the next election result to ride on a sunny day?


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