Around 1.4 million Australian eligible voters are not registered to vote. This is why the government recently made voter enrolment automatic. The Australian Electoral Commission is now contacting unregistered voters to pressurize them into joining the electoral roll.
The AEC is ‘getting out the vote’ in traditional Labor and Green demographics, at universities, unionized workplaces, minorities, and indigenous communities. And before the election they will campaign widely to make sure everybody knows the penalties for non-compliance.
Rudd began his election campaign stating he would seek to motivate young people to vote. Well, the Australian Electoral Commission is doing his job for him. Who needs democracy when you have force?
In Australia’s Orwellian Democracy, where freedom equals to conformity, parties can win elections in two ways: They can either offer good policies, effective implementation, and quality leadership, or they can just say they offer good policies, effective implementation, and quality leadership. They can just lie, or use Newspeak. Ruddspeak.
Ordinarily, in a democracy, lies aren’t so effective because the people most vulnerable to lies – the ones who aren’t interested in politics – don’t vote. In Australia, this isn’t the case.
In countries like England, Germany, Canada, Denmark, New Zealand, Sweden and almost every other OECD nation, people are free to choose. Their decision to vote is democratic and not subject to government coercion. They aren’t forced to attend the polling booth and they aren’t threatened with fines for not voting. The choice is democratic.
And the irony is that these countries often have higher voter turnouts than we do. This is because in a democracy, leaders need to inspire people to vote. Here, our leaders only need to be slightly less repulsive than the other guys and compulsory voting does the rest. At 81% our VAP (voting age population) voter turnout is lower than Sweden, Denmark, Iceland and many others.
Ed Killesteyn, Electoral Commissioner at the AEC says, “more than three million Australians did not exercise their franchise at the 2010 election in the formation of our government, or roughly one in five entitled to do so.” AEC Website
So while the Australian Electoral Commission is out campaigning for votes, and the government spends record amounts advertising free cash giveaways, please don’t blame the Australian people if Rudd’s lies win him the election. Blame our Orwellian Democracy.
We should all have the same free and equal right to vote, free from government coercion.