With the 2013 Federal Election recently announced for September 14 this year, I started wondering, who actually cares? Sure, I may be a politics enthusiast who harasses my friends (and often random strangers) to take the voting process seriously; but the majority of Australian citizens just don’t seem too phased by the prospect of electing a new leader. Given the state of the political system at the moment, I can’t say I blame them.
Once upon a time there was an era in which the Liberal Party was the champion of small business owners and the middle class and the Labor Party supported workers’ rights and stood up for social welfare. In the 21st century however, these parties have seemingly amalgamated in to one puppet like façade backed by big business corporations. Additionally, both Labor and Liberal politicians appear more focused on generating short term media spin than developing solid policy platforms.
Despite the huge challenges that we face as a nation, both major political parties spend their time and money finding fault with the opposition rather than cooperating to address issues such as climate change, unemployment, healthcare and immigration. Exuberant sums of money are wasted every three years on crappy election campaign ads, so despite my inherent faith in true democracy, I am a little fed up with the political process.
In saying this, it has been asserted that a government is only as good as its electorate demands. It is public apathy that in many ways keeps the leaders of this nation complacent. Despite voting being compulsory in Australia, the number of people enrolled in the electoral system has fallen dramatically in past decade. This is representative of a growing indifference that has permeated recent attitudes towards politics in this nation.
Therefore, it is time that we stood up and demanded more; more accountability, more action and more comprehensive and cooperative dialogue. Only when this is achieved will we have a nation which represents a truer form of democracy: of the people, for the people, by the people.
Although it is unlikely that a marginal party such as the Greens will win a significant portion of the vote, it is possible that they will win enough seats to keep the government on their toes and sway the balance of power in the senate.
Consequently, in order for this year’s election result to herald any positivity and change, it is up to everyone to stay informed and make rational, educated decisions come September.