Saturday, August 21, 2010

Who I Voted For...

Today, for the first time in my voting life, I didn't cast my vote for the Australian Labor Party in either the house of reps, or the Senate.

And, I'll be honest, it hurt. It wasn't an easy decision.

I'm also sitting here now, at 10.40 on election night, looking down the barrel of a Liberal minority government, with Tony bloody Abbot as Prime Minister, and wondering what the hell happened to common sense in this country.

But, and I want to be totally clear on this, I don't regret my voting decision - not for a moment.

When I stood there in that polling booth this morning, Imogen was in the booth next door, and Toby was standing between us, holding our hands. And when I looked at those ballot papers, I just couldn't do it. I couldn't vote for a party which backflipped on the CPRS, which stopped processing of refugees for political gain, which is committed to coal power at the expense of funding alternative energy sources and which has, during the last couple of months, proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is more concerned with winning government - at whatever cost - than it is with governing. But mostly I couldn't vote for a party which is so utterly ruthless in regard to environmental policy that it didn't have the moral fortitude or political courage to set an ambitious, or difficult emissions reduction target for this country.

And, of course, the only alternative was the Liberals. Might as well vote for Kerry Packer.

So, for the record, I voted for the Greens in both houses, and preferenced Labor. Neither of my first preference candidates managed to get up, but that doesn't really matter, because that's not who I was really voting for.

This morning in the polling booth, I looked down at my son standing there, and I voted for my grandkids.

And, from the looks of the voting figures, most notably the first preference figures for the Greens, I wasn't the only one.

As we sit here on the verge of three years of complete parliamentary shitfight, I just hope to God the major parties get the message that I, and a lot of other Australians, sent them today, in no uncertain terms.

4 comments:

  1. Oh my god for a moment I thought you were going to say you voted Liberal.

    I am a lifelong Greens voter (well, not sure about the first election - think I must have voted Labour or Democrat, but I helped vote Bob Brown into the senate in my second ever election). I kind of fell into voting for the Greens by default, probably based on a few local issues (homosexuality laws in Tasmania, environmental issues), but I am so proud of being a Greens voter this year. As well as, you know, actually having policies, having a vision for Australia, just the individual candidates were SMART. They had their own individual positions, not just tired party lines. And their policies are so compassionate, so human. And they seem quite feasible too.

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  2. Vote liberal? hell no - they'd have to bury me at a crossroads if I did that. I've voted green for the senate in the past, for both ideological reasons and also because I'm a firm believer in the senate being a house of review, rather than a rubber stamp for either side. But this was the first time I've ever voted against labour in the reps.

    I should say, I'm feeling a lot more optimistic about the result today than I was the other night. It's nice seeing such a strong electoral message sent to both the major parties and, with a bit of luck, they'll actually pick up on the signal they're being sent. It's just a pity that a borderline madman like bob fatter suddenly has so much clout.

    But, on the bright side, at least Wilson Tuckey is now just a bad memory...

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  3. And, just to clarify, I actually meant to type Bob Catter, but my dodgy iPad keyboard had other ideas. But it was a genuine mistake. Seriously.

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  4. When I read "...I voted for my grandkids" I got a shiver all up the back of my neck (and I just went back to check I had quoted you correctly, and read it again, and got the shiver again!)
    Too right!
    I'm sick of media and pollies focused on today, and the next big story/soundbite, and not appearing think about the future.
    I'm glad you wrote this post. I'm glad you voted for your grandkids.
    So did I.

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