Facts speak louder than statistics

Sunday, 21 October 2007


It's election time and the usual rhetoric is spouted by all and sundry, the opinion polls postulate and the negative people talk negatively.

About time some overlooked points are pointed out and some cynicism addressed.

Some people placed their votes for sale on eBay to show how we've been conned by the political parties and how the political parties have sold out.

On the point of the parties selling out, I don't think they have, selling out suggests going against your principals or philosophy for your own gain and they are doing all the things they intended to do, you could say conning us or misleading is part of their philosophies so they actually haven't sold out.

And as far as selling votes on eBay, does anyone really think that the major parties are gnashing their teeth and wailing in distress about it? Doubt it.

So what we really need to do is learn about the electoral process and how it works and discredit some of the mistaken beliefs people have about elections.

"Oh the politicians don't really want us to know how it really is but they should be telling us" some lament. Maybe they should but as a voter in a democracy you also have a responsibility to find things out for yourself as well, the idea of having rights and freedoms also carries the responsibility to use them properly. And so what if the politicians don't want us to know how it all works, that's no reason why you shouldn't find out for yourself. "Oh but they should tell us, they should, they should etc etc"

Forget the world of should and live in the world of how it really is. And don't wait for the politicians to do it for you, look after yourself. If they have to do it for you they will do it to their own advantage.

And now after all that a look at some other misconceptions. "I only have one vote, what's it possibly do?" All any of us have is one vote, it will do the same as everyone else's 'one vote'.

"If I don't vote for the party that's going to win, or how the polls say or how my friends vote or if I vote for an independent I've wasted my vote!" No you haven't. You've wasted your vote if you vote for someone you don't want to win. A few years back someone asked me who I voted for and when I told them I voted for a single issue party they laughingly told me I wasted my vote. "How so?" asked I, "That party will never win." came the response. Bewildered by what I saw as a bizarre response I mentioned that they won't win if no one votes for them to be met with the response that no one else is going to vote for them. I pointed out how others vote is none of my concern, the polling booth is not a betting shop where I go to pick a winner to win a prize and because of preferential voting I actually in essence got to vote twice as this minor party was directing the votes to the major party I supported so they would get my vote and would in theory see where some of their votes came from and take a look at the issue I originally directed my vote to.

Naturally the person who said I wasted my vote didn't openly concede the point as it showed that person as uninformed but they knew I was right.

So to cap up, learn how the electoral process works, it's really quite simple and you can use your vote more effectively.

Look at what a political party stands for so you won't be surprised by some of what they do that they didn't promise during their election campaign for example the Liberal Party privatising Telstra, it wasn't an election promise but it's been part of their policies for years. No surprise, betrayal or sell out that they did that.

If you don't vote for who wins you haven't wasted your vote as it's a polling booth for you to have your say, not a betting shop. The major parties do look at where the votes go and what issues people are supporting to help formulate their policies.

Decide for yourself who you want to vote for, forget the opinion polls, forget who anyone else is voting for, vote for who you want to.

If more people were better informed, not apathetic to the processes and a lot more vocal about everything then the parties would be more inclined to straighten up and be less likely to take the people of this nation and the promises they have made so lightly.

It all starts at the polling booth. Vote wisely.