Fairly boring subject for a fair percentage judging by the people I know. It was for me long before I reached voting age. Little has changed over the years other than moving from dispassionate observer to totally disillusioned conscientious objector.
When I hit 18 I was most irate to learn that voting is compulsory. I knew nothing about politics or its effects on my life despite working for the Federal Government at the time. My parents had never been very political. We didn’t discuss the state of the counrty over dinner but if they did raise the subject it was usually in disgust at the Government's actions. (These were the days of 20+ per cent home loan interest rates so that may have had an impact on their opinions.) At 18 I’d just started to enjoy myself spending money I had earned and had no wish to sink myself into the mire of political intrigue.
I went to the polling station purely to avoid the fine that first time. I remember going to the booth with my handfuls of paper wondering what the hell to do with them. I think I managed to use all the boxes to write something witty then stuffed them into their boxes under the watchful eye of an ASIO man with reflective glasses. I remember him sneering at me. Wanker.
I moved around a fair bit after that and never got around to letting the electoral office know where I was. The next time they caught up with me was around 10 years later when a jolly fat bloke came to the door and told me they didn’t have anyone registered as living here. He insisted on making me fill in my details under threat of the bailiff doing something to me. It’s a long time ago now so I don’t recall what exactly. I moved a few months later so it didn’t concern me too much. They seek him here, they seek him there.
Right now there are a few of you saying “how irresponsible” and the like. Maybe at first I just acted like a teenager and didnt care. As the years progressed though, I did take more interest in what my government was doing to me and found myself still unable to vote.
“If you don’t vote, don’t complain about the way the country is run.” Screw that. I like whinging and it’s not as simple as that anyway. If you don’t respect and trust any of the candidates what option do you have? Vote for the next best thing? You do? And you’re still able to do that even when the next best candidate disgusts you? If that’s how the parliament is elected, is it any wonder that we have these clowns currently running our lives.
I only have to turn on ABC to watch a few minutes of Parliament Time to remind myself what a waste of tax dollars the whole process is. These overgrown children jeering and shouting at each other over the stupidest things instead of dealing with the issues our country faces. They vote themselves pay rises while the little man gets a tax hike.
I will continue to conscientiously object until I find someone to believe in. I’m not holding my breath.