Australia’s Orwellian Democracy

by on 14 July, 2013

War-is-peace4Around 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. 

Jason Kent

Free Our Right To Vote

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