There are better and wiser options than voting for either of the two major parties in the coming Election, writes Joe Lenzo.
IN AUSTRALIA, we like to delude ourselves into believing that we are a democracy but, unfortunately, we are not. We are actually a “democratic dictatorship”, free to vote occasionally to elect the next political dictatorship. This is leading us into the path of declining democratic processes and into, ultimately, an alt-right wing authoritarian dictatorship much like where the USA is headed.
Most people are really unhappy with the Government but cannot articulate why. This leads to electing “wacko” leaders like Donald Trump in retaliation, hoping for change. It is important to list five to ten reasons for your discontent with the Government and use that analysis to determine your vote.
Unfortunately, this means you have to do some research on the candidates and their platforms. Keep in mind that the current Government will not change its spots no matter what it promises, so you must weigh this. And if you vote for a specific individual, you are voting for that political party, not the person since they almost never “cross the floor”.
As Thomas Jefferson once said:
“The government you elect is the government you deserve.”
Vote intellectually, not emotionally. Case in point: a good acquaintance of mine decided to run as an Independent and we were quite energetic in our initial discussions about it. I jumped on this with vigour but once she surrounded herself with her “experts”, my out-of-the-box contributions and thoughts were no longer of any value. This was a silver bullet to my ego and pride. Now, I could badmouth her but do not. I still tell people to vote for her because I think she is the best candidate.
Rorts and corruption are not prevailing in either major party, nor are abuses of women and branch stacking. Even more undemocratic are the policies where the national executives select the candidate, not the local branches. And let us not forget the factional infighting within the two major parties — no wonder nothing ever gets done.
As for the Greens as an alternate, unfortunately, they get a really bad rap and are blamed for things outside their control. Keep in mind that they have no power to pass legislation and therefore can only be held to account for “influencing”. And we should thank them for that. Imagine where we would be on environmental issues without them.
But the Coalition continues to brand them as the bad guys and use them in their scare campaigns. They are not perfect and, unfortunately, will sometimes not settle for a glass half full, putting the skids on some programs which may not be 100% of their goal. These half-full glasses could provide the stepping stones to better results — talk about shooting yourself in the foot.
In these cases, they seem to think that an empty glass is better than half a glass even if dying of thrust. Making the Greens a stronger vote in Parliament would not be the worst idea you could have. I suggest you look at their platform and what they stand for and what issues they have championed and what legislation they have tried to introduce on their website.
Now for the Independents. The best bang for your buck. Not beholden to anyone other than who elects them. Few, if any, take money from corporate mafia, special interest groups, religious cults, billionaires and the rest of the top 3%. The lobbyists that roam the halls of power unescorted seldom bother Independents being as Independents have a mind of their own and do not answer to big money — they answer to those who voted for them.
They are not subject to factional infighting as they do not belong to a party and never “vote the party line”. It is interesting that some Coalition candidates no longer put the “Liberal label” on their advertising and have adopted a colour similar to Independents.
Vote below the line in senate elections. Do not waste your vote by voting above the line as you lose control of it due to the way preferences are allocated from there. Only by voting below the line can you ensure your votes will go where you want them. If you vote below the line, you are saying that you are a brave individualist who refuses to kowtow to the demands of party apparatchiks.
You must vote for 12 below the line, but I suggest more as your vote is extinguished if the 12 go to the wayside. By all means, make sure that the wackos and the two major parties do not get a vote. This will do a lot to stop people from getting elected who will perpetuate our democratic dictatorship.
Fraser Anning, for example, got into Parliament with 0.00% of the vote. Just 19 people voted for him in the 2016 Election. Nineteen. He was elected because people voted above the line and assumed the party would do the best thing for them in allocating their preferences.
Carefully consider how you vote for Parliament and where your preferences go. Put Liberals, Nationals and Labor last on the ballet. Well, maybe ahead of the wacko parties.
We must break the back of the two-party democratic dictatorship that we live under now.
Joe Lenzo is a former corporate executive from the U.S.
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