Showing posts with label Australian elections. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Australian elections. Show all posts

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Start of a new epoch

This victory of Labor and Ken Rudd will mean, above all, that Australia will get out of Iraq, and get around to tackling global warming. Meanwhile, as a journalist suggested, it would be nice if John Howard were to be granted a comfortable retirement job in England, where he could receive a title of nobility from the queen, and spend his time watching cricket.

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.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Enrolled voter

I've just received an official confirmation that, for the first time in my life, I'm an enrolled voter in Australia. To enroll through the Internet, I was obliged to prove my identity. This was done, not through my birth certificate, nor even my passport, but thanks to the number on an expired driver's license. Really, Australia hasn't yet got its act together as far as the question of identity is concerned. This is really weird, because our new passports contain a computer chip, whereas a driver's license is just a piece of colored plastic. Maybe somebody will explain to me, one day, why Australia has this tradition of using driving licenses as identity documents. An even sounder proof of identity in Australia is a firearms license. The only problem is that the draconian legislation on firearms prevents about 99% of the population from obtaining such a license.

It'll be interesting to see if they let me vote through the Internet... which wouldn't surprise me. Now I have to scratch my head and decide for whom I'm going to vote. I'll be able to get some good guidance from the excellent animations by Peter Nicholson in The Australian.

Click the image to see a delightful spring racing event.