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?