Monday, November 19, 2007

Voting for the first time

From a democratic viewpoint, I've never expressed my political opinions officially, neither in my native Australia nor in France, since I've never been called upon to vote. During my relatively short periods of residency in Australia, there were never any elections on the horizon. And in France, of course, foreign residents cannot vote. This morning, at last, I got around to voting for the first time in life. That's to say, I posted my ballot papers to Australia for next Saturday's federal election. In the Sydney electorate of Kingsford Smith where I'm enrolled, I was able to vote for an unusual guy: 54-year-old Peter Garrett, a former singer in the Australian rock group Midnight Oil, who has been handling environmental questions for Opposition chief Kevin Rudd.

To be truthful, I've never been impassioned by the political concept of voting, although I can't imagine any preferable method for choosing leaders. In the case of Australian elections, in particular, I have little personal enthusiasm to vote, because I've always been dismayed by the Australian political scene, particularly during the dull Howard epoch. However, in the context of my visit to Australia last year, I thought it wise to enroll myself as a voter. From that point on, once your name is on the lists, voting is theoretically compulsory. Let's be positive. Maybe, after next Saturday's election, things will pick up and I'll start to become interested in Australian politics.

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