Swing with Me… Please? 23 March, 2007Posted by paralleldivergence in Brad & Phil, debnam, elections, iemma, Life, My Thoughts, NSW, Politics, voting.
Most democratic nations hold open elections regularly – usually every three or four years. Most democratic nations also only have two major parties vying to form government. As democratic nations mature, the two major parties tend to move from a traditional left-wing/right-wing battle to an almost converged state where on many platforms there is little to distinguish the parties.
In countries where voting is optional, most of those people that do vote are lifelong single-party followers. They are either Republicans or Democrats. They are either Labour Party or Conservatives. In countries such as Australia, voting is compulsory for those eligible to vote. This brings about another class of voter, the Swinger. Australians don’t have to urge (or beg) people to vote like is done in the U.S. and Britain, instead, politicians campaign to convince the swingers to vote for them.
Many people think swinging voters are indecisive, but this is far from the truth. In fact, swingers are probably the more intelligent voters who care more about the future of their nation than the future of any political party. On Saturday, March 24, the state of New South Wales (NSW) in Australia is voting in a critical election. Not so much critical for party politics, but critical for democracy and for the future of Australia.
The most important lesson any democracy must learn is that they must never re-elect a bad-government. Democracies have three and four-year terms of government for a reason: to allow for change, when change is necessary. The current NSW government has had three terms to prove itself, and over this time the only thing it has proven is it’s a bad government. Services have been continually eroded and the state’s economy is no longer the jewel of Australia – it now runs second-last. Public transport, health, education, water, policing and infrastructure are all in decay following twelve years of neglect and wasteful management. But while these all sound like clear grounds for a change of government, the spanner in the works has been the less-than-convincing campaign by the opposition. A strong and sustained negative campaign aimed at the opposition has also raised doubt in the community. All polls leading up to the election have indicated that this election will result in a fourth win for the incumbents.
OK. That’s democracy. What’s wrong with that?
The point is, if NSW re-elects this government on Saturday, they are validating and endorsing their previous government’s record. They are forgiving and willing to accept a lower standard of services for themselves. Elections are there specifically to throw out bad governments and maintain a high standard of services that we all expect. By voting to oust an obviously bad government, voters are saying what we have is not good enough and we expect better. We are also saying, “Mr Opposition Leader, you’d better fix things like you say you will. If you don’t, we’ll throw YOU out in four years’ time.” This is the only way we can keep our politicians accountable and working for US – not for THEMSELVES.
People of New South Wales: DON’T LOWER YOUR STANDARDS AND EXPECTATIONS from your Government.
To the world: WE MUST THROW OUT ALL BAD GOVERNMENTS wherever they are, no matter which party they belong to. Nations should always work to improve standards of living for their communities – not to lay down and accept lower standards. We are quick to invade non-democratic nations that have bad governments to get rid of them, yet we hesitate when it comes to simply voting out our own bad governments.
NSW Election update: The sitting government needed a swing against them of over 12% to be ousted. In the end, a swing did eventuate, but it was not far enough at only 5%. It looks like community expectations in NSW just declined.