It is hard not to get cynical. We are in the middle of an election campaign. The politicians from either side are quick to point out that the other person's policies are wrong. No one really is offering a new vision of where our country should go. No one is really saying that they have an idea which will make the country better. Only that their policies are certainly better than the other side. The other side is completely wrong.
We are lucky in Australia though. Our elections only last some few weeks instead of months. This election was official called in early May and by July we will have a new government. Oh sure one could argue that really we have been electioneering since last spring when the spill happened that changed who is our Prime Minister. But even that is short compared to American politics when people started running for president in early 2015 for a job that is not even vacant until January 2017. Billions of dollars will be spent on the American campaign all to prove that the other man or woman is not fit to be president. And when the votes are all counted this November, people will already start gearing up for the midterm elections in 2018. Elections in that case are not about making policies that work for people but endless fundraising and advertising in order to be elected again. How can one not be cynical in the midst of endless campaigns where the only goal is to maintain or grab power not govern the people wisely, fairly, or justly?
From the start, let me say that I have always considered it a great privilege to vote. It is part of being a member of a democratic society. Even though voting was not mandatory in Canada, I always made sure to cast my ballot. I always felt that I had no right to complain about how things were going in the government if I had not voted in the first place. I have always spent a great deal of time learning about party platforms and reading many different commentaries- it is part of being a good citizen to be informed. As I am not a citizen of Australia yet, I just get to sit back and observe this election. It does seem strange knowing that on July 2nd, I won't be voting.
If I could vote though, I wish the politicians would be more concerned about their own platforms and policies and not so much the platforms of the other side. I am an intelligent person after all. I have read up on the statements of all parties. I have the ability to discern what I feel is good about a party and what is not so good. I don't need to hear from the Liberals what is bad about Labor, and I don't need to hear from Labor what is bad about Liberals. I have already read about these things myself. What I do need to hear about from all parties is what is good about their platform. Give me a reason to vote for you rather than a reason why I should not vote for the other man or woman. Maybe then there would be less cynicism about Canberra, Washington, and London. Blessings.