Month: August 2010

Poll Position

In China there are elections, but all the candidates are from the same party. In Afghanistan, voters face physical intimidation and bribery before they even get to the polls, and corruption and electoral fraud once their votes are cast. In Fiji the military leader cancels and postpones elections according to his own will. In Australia last weekend, voters were asked to attend a polling station of their choice, at the time of their choice, select the candidate of their choice, and cast their ballot for the federal election. Unfortunately, the mere privilege of having free elections appears lost on many voters as they are forced to give up half an hour of their Saturday to perform this duty once every 3 years or so. The contempt which is shown towards our electoral process only serves to highlight a self-centredness we rarely acknowledge. “Let’s get this shit over with”, one wife said to her husband as they walked in through the school gates. Disgruntled constituents arrived to see moderately lengthy queues, scrunched up their faces and …