September 6, 2013

tomorrow are elections for Australia. We’re now in the midst of an advertisement blackout – sure most of us are sick of hearing it and campaigning (whether official or unofficial) has gone on for much too long. We all welcome the respite – sure there must have been a good reason then but in the age of social media does it have any real effect.

People complain of mandatory voting here but in my humble opinion it’s a good thing.  The right of suffrage does not exist or is a sham in other countries.  It’s one voice but at least it’s yours.  Sure, you can express yourself in Twitter – not that it can’t “influence” others but they don’t count that.

You may disagree with our “leaders” policies or might have cast your vote for a different candidate – at least you can’t say you weren’t consulted; and act like you didn’t vote or aren’t accountable for your own actions.  You can’t always “win” and must learn how to deal with others to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.  Sure, sometimes some people win more than others but is it a “real” issue if you reach your goal. I can’t say conclusively – it depends on the case and your values.

“Local maxima, global minima” is a phrase my supervisor once taught me.  It’s good that Australians are “forced” to think occasionally and to consider others in the process. What’s good for the goose, isn’t always good for the gander.  Granted, it’s not always easy but, in my mind, it’s worth it at least every few years.

Preferences can sometimes be tricky, but can be the decider in determining seats.  That’s why, they can be as valuable as your actual vote.