The Election – My View

Is it just me, or is this election campaign totally different to any that have gone before it?

I’ve been trying to work out why this is.  Maybe it is because I am older and I have more of a political interest than before, therefore I am paying a bit more attention?

It could be due to Twitter which, has unbelievably given me a thirst for all things political. I can attribute this newfound interest to Latika Bourke a Political Journalist who has embraced Twitter and does the most amazing job keeping her Twitter followers up to date. In fact she has won a Walkley Award for her brilliant Twitter action during the Malcolm Turnbull spill.  If you don’t follow Latika, you should.  You can find her on Twitter @latikambourke.    There is no denying Twitter has brought a totally new and exciting element to politics.

I believe my “shift” in interest does play a part, but I also think that the campaign itself is a lot more personal than previous campaigns.  It doesn’t seem to be about the parties so much, but more about the leaders.  Many people vote purely for the party, regardless of the leader, but just as many people who aren’t that interested in politics vote based on the person they like the most.  They don’t really understand what the parties stand for.

This is particularly prevalent with the thousands of “new” voters this year.  My son is one of these and he has been very vocal from the beginning that he is voting for the Greens because he doesn’t like Tony Abbott or Julia Gillard.  I questioned four of his friends, all first time voters, and you might find their answers very interesting.  I did.

Do you know who you are voting for? Yes

Do you want to tell me who? Yes, Greens (all of them)

Do you know about preferences? No 3  Yes 1. The 1 who understood then said “I’m going home to look at who the Green candidate in this electorate is giving preferences to.  If they are going to Labor, great.  If they are going to Liberal, I’m going to vote for Labor.” I have to admit his understanding of this impressed me no end.   The others looked at him blankly.

I then explained (briefly, so as not to lose them) what preferences meant and asked them my next question.

Who do you prefer out of Labor and Liberal?   Emphatically all said Labor.

Why? All of them said “if Tony Abbott gets in he will bring back workchoices and we will all be screwed.”

Wow, if there is one demographic the “scare tactic” advertisements are working on, it’s the new voters and new to the workforce 18 year olds.  I have to admit I was quite surprised at their answers.  We ended up talking about the election for at least half an hour.  It was animated and interesting as well as illuminating.

Today I’ve been listening to our current Prime Minister make her final pleas for our votes. To be honest I’m not impressed.  I’m also sure I’m going to feel exactly the same way about Mr Abbott’s pleas when I hear them.  I really want to hear positive ideas about the future of our country, their plans and how we are all going to work together.  I don’t want to hear all the negative stuff about the other party.   I really don’t.

I already know who I am going to vote for, and to be honest, the campaigning hasn’t changed my mind at all.  If anything it has probably made me dislike them all just a little bit more.  I just want it all to be over, so these people can get on with the job of fulfilling their promises and making our country great.

Does anyone else feel this way?   Or is it just me?


About Annieb25

A mum to 2 teenage boys, would be writer, thirsty for knowledge, Radio Solution solver on Radio 1116 4BC and so much more!!
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16 Responses to The Election – My View

  1. Annieb25 says:

    Thank you to @nomiept for her blog post suggestion last night. xx

  2. Cate Bolt says:

    What? No post on puppies??

    Yes, well… the election. “Are we there yet, are we there yet, are we there yet?”

    I’ve always been reasonably interested in politics. I don’t share the disgust for work choices because I’ve seen it as an awesome thing from a small business point of view. Sure, there are bosses who don’t do the right thing, but it did make life for those of us who did AND their staff a lot better. I’d be very surprised if anyone who had worked for me under work choices would have a negative reaction to it.

    I have never in my entire life been so undecided about who I would vote for. There is one major factor why I will not vote for Tony Abbott and that is his comments on homelessness which I can’t and won’t ever forget.

    Under Labor I lost my house, became homeless and my husband lost his business. Not all the government’s fault but a lot of follow-on effects from decisions that they made.

    I have never been a fan of Julia Gillard, possibly because she was associate with Kevin Rudd who I have nothing but complete disdain for. BUT having watched the way she has developed over the past 2 months and watched the way she has handled herself I’m leaning very stronly in her favour and the one thing that is pushing me that way is the thought of “who would I most like my children to grow up with as Prime Minister”.

    I grew up in a era when Margaret Thatcher was on TV – and Diana Princess of Wales. I grew up seeing strong women making big changes and I think that is sadly lacking today. I would very much like my daughter to grow up seeing a strong independent woman leading the country.

    And sorry, that was far too long.

  3. MsDovic says:

    I have rarely been so interested in politics – and it’s happened right smack in the middle of the most boring, uninspiring campaign in my memory.

    So how will I vote?

    I have always loved JG, loved – having followed her and TA since they were both health ministers. She was clever, articulate, witty, strong, intelligent (I already said clever but there’s a difference). TA, to be frank, came a across as a whiney, conservative, ineffective twat. Every debate was a JG -9 / TA -1 score in my head.

    And then the last few weeks happened.

    I just can’t reconcile myself with what happened to KRudd. Perhaps necessary from a party perspective but certainly tasteless to someone who helped put him in that position (ie those of us that votes). Sure it happens, but a PM in his first term? If their mistakes, or his ineffectiveness was going to cost them, then let it cost them. FWIW I found him inspiring pre and post the last election until the ball was dropped soon after. But hey, I could handle it if JG came out with guns blazing, saying all the things I want to hear – ie how it would be better and with a good dose of inspiration. But something must happen when someone becomes PM – marketing spin becomes bigger than the individual and it was the individual I had grown to admire. And now I can barely find her underneath all that spin and all that nothing talk. Still articulate, still clever but so much of a party shell the rest is MIA. I can barely keep myself from falling asleep or throwing something at the telly.

    And TA? Well he’s gone all open and warm. He says stupid things but it’s now almost endearing if you can get over the fact that he’s actually supposed to be PM material. By all accounts he’s charming, and sure I could invite him over as a dinner guest – if no other reason that to grill him about his archiac views. But now he’s surrounding himself with chicks, so looks all warmer and fuzzier by default and it’s getting easier to forget his jumping around, like a rabbit on heat, on all his policies. Any trust there? Um, no. Not at all in fact.

    So who will I vote for? JG. Not because she’s earned it. She hasn’t (not in the last few weeks, not in in this campaign). Which saddens me. For me it will not the better man (or woman) but the one that’s pissed me off the least.

    There just happens to be no way in hell that I would vote for someone, or a party, that puts ‘stop the boats’ as their number 4 priority. I’m so mad about that I don’t even remember what the other 3 work.

    What about health, education, disability services. What about the homeless, the disadvantaged, mental health, aged care. Stop the boats?? Fuck off.

    If that’s your number 4 go peddle it from your seat in opposition.

    Annie, apologies for what might be my longest post in history.

  4. MsDovic says:

    PS I meant to add I know politics is a generally a no no topic amongst friends but I am so glad you posted this. I love hearing what everyone thinks. So looking forward to all the comments. xxxx

  5. Bern Morley says:

    I am so disillusioned. Where the hell were the policies? Like D said above, disability services, mental health, housing.

    What good is this country or it’s people if we don’t have our mental and physical health?

    They fact that they say they will throw money at Education means fucking nothing. Show me what you are going to do at a school. Employ more Special Ed Teacher Aids? Train up more teachers (how about free of charge) for that extra year so the children can be in mainstream schooled. What about making sure more teachers are employed so the teacher to student ratio is lower in all schools. How? I want action plans, not money amounts.

    They were both so scared of frightening off the majority by putting themselves out there that they’ve done exactly that.

    I literally do not know what I’m going to do tomorrow when I walk in there. Am going to look at their websites tonight though so I am better informed. x

    Great post Annie and so interesting to see what your boys and friends think.

  6. Maxabella says:

    100% agree with you. I say this every election, but this election has got to have been the worst for slagging off the opposition and not putting forth a proper platform. Turns me right off the lot of them, frankly. I’m pissed off that this is yet another election where I feel like I’m about to vote for the lesser of two evils, rather than a party I truly believe in.

    What has happened to Australian politics? Anyone who still thinks that Labor and Liberal are any different to each other is barking in my opinion. I think it’s madness that people are still staunch Labor or Liberal voters. In my opinion, they are exactly the same. It makes me want to vote for the Greens because at least their platform on at least one issue is crystal clear!

  7. cookbookfan says:

    Hey Annie

    I agree this is a great post. One of our kids at the studio is voting for the first time (at 22). We were just talking before about one really positive thing, which is what a privilege it is to live in a country where elections are peaceful – opportunities for P&Cs to make some money with a sausage sizzle/cake stall, not to be murdered, have your vote bought, be threatened, intimidated, etc.

    But very personally, the thing that amazes me this time around is how *disinterested* I am in the outcome. Disclosure: I come from an extremely politicised family. Great someone or other on Dad’s side was Labor senator in Queensland. Only time in my life I can remember my Dad crying is when Gough was dismissed. In 1983 as an 11 year old I stayed up all night with Dad watching the coverage of Hawke’s win. At uni I was a student polly (yes I was – scary huh), I handed out how-to-votes in 1993. Etc etc. Even as I got older and the rest of my life has grown to fill some of the space that politics used to take, I was motivated by a real loathing of Howard and his meanness. To the point that in 2007 I was physically sick with fear that Howard would be re-elected. Seriously, I vomited. (no really I’m not a complete weirdo!!)

    Now, with the way that KRudd was summarily dismissed – yes I do understand the intricacies of our political system – I have been really disheartened. Like Di, I find JG impressive at a personal level. She’s smart, she’s not married, she’s an atheist, she has worked her butt off – all of that impresses me greatly. Just the strength to ‘buck the system’ iykwim. But now, the way she has been sucked in to the party machine – wow I hate that. Where is the leadership on things like “stop the boats”? And then all of that said, despite his social conservatism, TA doesn’t bother me in anything like the way that Howard used to. Same for Malcolm. Is that cos I’m getting more conservative? I don’t think so – just a wish for some genuine bipartisanship. There are smart, funny people right across the political spectrum. Where is the positivity in this campaign? All that stuff I said at first about what a privilege it is be an Australian, to be able to cast my vote freely – who’s talking about the positives? Far out. So the end result is that for the first time in my life I will *not* be watching Saturday night’s election coverage. I will be at the SCG watching my Swannies hopefully down the Dogs. And I will be taking a deep breath and hoping that whether it’s JG or TA “in charge” on Sunday, they will wake up hopeful and positive.

    Sorry for such a massive response!! (just like Di)

  8. Tenille says:

    It has been a very ordinary election campaign; I’m really quite disgusted with the whole boat people diatribe being dragged out again. I don’t think that any party has presented an argument that makes me want to vote for them. I’ve actually posted something about it this morning; I’m picking the least-worst option.

  9. Nikki says:

    I love Politics & elections and enjoy following them – not living in Aus for the last three federal elections (but still voting) as well as having always lived in a seat that would require three quarters of the electorate not to vote to change the sitting member makes me a little more detached and very cynical. I have enjoyed this election from afar – with only online news & Twitter to go by, although it seems noone in Aus has enjoyed it at all. I always think Australia tries to emulate a US style election campaign, usually coming off a very poor second best even though we have a different political system.
    Annie – great work for teaching those boys about preferential voting – it always frustrates me how many people don’t understand it & why there isn’t more voter education on it with simple & engaging advertising by the AEC.
    I will watch with interest tomorrow!

  10. Kylie L says:

    I don’t want the boats stopped, per se. I hate the idea of Abbot’s boatphone and I hate the scaremongering about what, in 99% of cases, is terrified people trying to make a new life for themselves. I know I’d do whatever I could to get out too if I lived in somewhere like Afghanistan or Iran etc.

    I am not thrilled with the way Labor has copmported itself in this campaign, but that “Stop the Boats” just makes me ill. Whatever happened to compassion? I cast my vote 3 days ago (living interstate) and this latest TA promise of “only three boats a year” makse me wish I could vote against him again tomorrow.

  11. Annie,
    thanks for caring enough to post this.
    When I went to vote for the 1st time in my life, I approached a member of the party of my choice to take a how to vote card.
    My father took me aside & reminded me ‘men died on the beaches of Gallipoli’ that I might have a free & secret vote.
    He pointed out that by my actions I had essentially given that up.
    We walked out & came back in.
    This is something I have taught my children & I hear them, when asked, telling their peers etc ‘men died…’
    It is a wonderful thing that we have the right, not to mention the responsiblity to vote. No one will threaten to kill us because we do.
    No one will force me to vote a particular way.
    For me, this time, there are policies from one party I would vote for; & then others from the other leading party. I need a 3rd option.
    So who will I vote for?
    sorry ‘…men died on the beaches…’
    PS I agree Twitter has made it interesting as has the ABCs QandA.

  12. Naomi says:

    I have always been a political junkie. I was so excited the first election I could vote in (1990). I have always voted below the line, numbering every single box. Every state and federal election.
    My views have shifted slightly, and it was not until the first state election I could vote in that (in the state I was living in at the time) the Greens were a real force. I lived in Bob Brown’s electorate and was always proud that I could vote for him.
    I vote with equal parts head and heart. I have voted certain ways due to environmental reasons, war, education, humanitarian grounds, economical ideals.
    I find is difficult to believe that once again the fear mongering over a very small percentage of desperate people arriving illegally on boats has become main message.
    I find it equally difficult to think that a party may or may not be voted in on the back of one person, J.G or T.A. I have also found the cries of what have you got for me a little too much… I like to look at things from a community, social welfare stance, and it’s how I make my vote.
    Yeah, I’m a bit of a leftie tree hugger! My vote goes to the Greens, they have policy on environment, education, health and a range of other things in line with my own views.
    Tomorrow will be an interesting day… and I’m looking forward (with trepidation) to seeing the outcome.

  13. I’ll say only that I agree wholeheartedly with so many the theme of the comments already here: bored, disillusioned, choosing the lesser evil. And a real let down as I was able to be involved in a great (if not too-bloody-long) campaign in the US.

    Whatever the outcome I feel pretty sure I’ll be evenly disappointed and pleased with policies that come out. But that said, I could never support someone who might even consider backward steps with regards to abortion, health or education.

    In the US, the lines are clearer, but the Labor and Liberal parties truly seem to be mere centimetres apart on either side of the centre line of the political spectrum.

  14. That was very interesting Annie. To be honest, I;m with you- this election campaign has been so negative, on both sides. The advertising has been aggressive and the “stop the boats” and ‘four hard working boys dieing in insulation fires’ grates one me.

    I’m actually still undecided and considering voting Greens, with Labor preference. The lesser of quite a few evils. The campaigns haven’t changed my mind except to eat away at my faith in politicians even further.

  15. Corinne says:

    To be honest, I haven’t been to involved in the campaigning. I will be voting Labor, primarily because of Tony Abbott’s track record and his beliefs. I’m not anti-Liberal, but I’m anti-Abbott-led Liberal.

    I actually blogged about why I think Tony Abbott is dangerous.

    I really liked hearing the 18-year-olds comments, thanks for sharing.

  16. emlykd says:

    I could not care less about the election. Truly. No less. Honestly. I appreciate you posting this Annie. But I truly don’t think it matters who I vote for. I don’t think things are going to change. You might (and I use the word you in the sense of all people who disagree with me) think this is a negative way to think, but I see it as realist… I don’t think things are gonna change one way or the other.. And I think that if it were a true democracy that the choice of voting or not would be what we get. I don’t like the fact that because I am in the eyes of the law an adult, therefore I need to vote. In actual fact, I don’t. I can show up there and mark my name off the roll and put a blank paper in the ballot. But I think there are plenty of people who are passionate enough and learned enough about it to vote. Why do I have to vote? Don’t get me wrong, I don’t complain about the government either. Whoever is in.. I deal. So why do I have to vote?

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