Voting in Australian elections is compulsory for those of us over 18 years of age.We are compelled to vote in federal, state and local elections but are our voices heard.
The above photo shows a small group of citizens representing groups such as the Protectors of Public Lands Victoria and the Green Wedges Coalition. They recently gathered on the steps of the Victorian Parliament to protest a planning amendment seeking an extension to Melbourne’s urban growth boundary. On 22nd June they held a protest to SAY NO TO VC67 PLANNING AMENDMENT – STOP URBAN SPRAWL, GREEN WEDGES DESTRUCTION AND HIGH RISE ON TRAM/BUS ROUTES.
The need to protest increases as attempts to get our elected representatives to take notice and attend to our legitimate concerns about the environment and the livability of our cities gets harder. Will the newly imposed Prime Minister Julia Gillard listen to our voices as we press her to tax the rich to provide for the poor? Will she heed our calls to go ahead with the Henry Tax reform recommendation and increase the taxes of the miners?
The federal election will be August or September but the question remains why should we vote? What difference will it make if you do so. More than 1.4 million Australians are not enrolled to vote, most of these are young people. The young vote was very important to the election of the Rudd Labor Government in the 2007 poll and there is a strong campaign on now to capture these recalcitrants.
For many years I voted informally and only recently joined the ranks of the committed in an attempt to get rid of the tired Howard government . But once again i am sinking into despair over the state of parliamentary politics and will merely take the ballot paper and cover it with words clearly expressing my discontent.