6. Jan, 2013

The Democratic ‘Right’ not to Vote

The political baboons in the land of the languid banana have emerged from their seasonal slumber with an uncharacteristic and refreshing public proposal, namely, the freedom of Queenslanders to choose for themselves whether or not they want to participate in the democratic process!


Attorney General, Jarrod Bleiji, released a discussion paper this week questioning whether the century old law compulsorily requiring all citizens to vote should be scrapped. This important proposal comprises part of a review and the proposed overall of the electoral laws of Queensland.


Queensland, together with every other Australian state and their federal polity, the Commonwealth of Australia, is one of the few democratic entities in the world that actively compels its citizens to vote. Indeed, it actively pursues and prosecutes those that do not.


This state of affairs, together with Australia’s preferential electoral system, has traditionally worked to the benefit of the Labor, leftist, progressive and smaller rump parties.


No sooner had the government announced its discussion paper than did the list of usual suspects jump up and down in a veritable paroxysm of predictable and orchestrated rage - one commentator, usually known for his fatuous comments on early morning television, declaiming that “we fought for the right to vote”. Not that he actually did any fighting on the subject and quite cheerfully missed the point that no one is actually denying him the right to vote!


Sadly, so ingrained is the principle of compulsion in Australian political culture that even conservative politicians, the so-called champions of political freedom, followed their étatist colleagues of the left in distancing themselves from the suggestion.


However, should Queenslanders accept the proposal, it would add immeasurably to the colour and flavour of Australian politics. Let’s hope that they live up to their reputation and might just be quirky enough to do so!