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Swing with Me… Please? 23 March, 2007

Posted 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.

Swinging voters

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 USnot 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.

YOU can make a difference. Come join me on the swing!

Brad & Phil #18

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.



1. U.S. elections » U.S. Elections March 23, 2007 6:56 am - 23 March, 2007

[…] Blog Posts Swing with Me? Please? Most democratic nations hold open elections regularly – usually every three or four years. Most […]

2. tobeme - 24 March, 2007

Excellent article. This a great reminder to us all. We have the right and opportunity to affect change. We should use our wisdom to do what is best for the country and not for the party. We should not except lower standards simply to support our party. Agree, swing and do the right thing!

3. paralleldivergence - 24 March, 2007

Thanks tobeme. Voting is an important privilege that many countries don’t have. While it’s optional to vote in many countries, it’s also a right and it’s how everybody can have their own voice. Unfortunately, too many see it as an inconvenience. We shouldn’t be throwing our voice away or blindly voting for the same party our fathers voted for. We have our own thoughts and should use them when voting.

4. Steve Madsen - 24 March, 2007

Lots of implied things. Do we vote for a party that is having its branches stacked with the religous right? Do we vote for a party where the party doesn’t follow their Leader’s recommendations? Do we vote for a party whose former leader attempted self harm due to his party’s lack of progressive thinking? Yes, let’s swing.

5. paralleldivergence - 24 March, 2007

Hi Steve, bad things can be said about the other side as well. I think you’ll find the previous leader’s stupid action was more due to his own stupid mouth in making fun of his opponent’s wife. Nothing to do with any lack of progressive thinking. The point is in twelve years, the government got nowhere and there’s no evidence they can turn things around in a fourth term. You have to accept the umpire’s decision when the votes are counted (unless you’re in Florida of course), but the electorate will be accepting a lowering of standards if a bad government is returned. There can be no more complaints about trains, hospitals and roads because their past record has been endorsed by the majority. The argument is the opposition has “no experience”, but so did this government when they were elected 12 years ago. The state would only have to endure through 4 years if the government is thrown out and it would give the ousted government the strong impression that the community will not accept poor services and management, making them work harder next time around. The question is now, can NSW survive 16 years of this mismanagement?

6. mark - 25 March, 2007

In our electorate we have a high level of political literacy and a focus of most people is to keep em honest, by exerting the power of the ballot.

Seems to work, get a different party every four years, but the member knows they will be held accountable, and works accordingly.

Ensures hardworking, community based members. Pity this doesnt tranlate to other electorates.

7. paralleldivergence - 25 March, 2007

Thanks Mark, you’ve proven my point exactly. If sitting members are given the impression that they’ll be out if they don’t perform, they perform. Simple as that. It then extends across all electorates to the government. Governments that feel they are “safe” can relax, and do.

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