Hindmarsh, South Australia, is the federal electorate I lived in prior to Mersin and where my electoral address is. It is for the candidates from Hindmarsh (and the Australian Senate) that I will be voting this weekend. What? Isn’t the Australian election is on the following weekend (the 9th)? Ah, but I’m sending a postal vote.
Yesterday I received my postal voting form from the Australian Embassy in Ankara. This weekend I will send the completed postal vote form back to Ankara to ensure my vote is counted in the most important Federal election for many years. The current Australian government has lied and misled the Australian public and downgraded the institution of government for long enough. A few examples:
*Lying to the Australian public by providing a false reason to send Australian off to an unnecessary war on the other side of the world.
*Politicising the Australian Public Service far more than any government previously.
*Kowtowing to the current US government at the expense of Australian autonomy, Iraq and the free trade agreement being two examples.
*Not holding their parliamentary members accountable for their actions.
*Throwing money everywhere during this election campaign instead of providing good policy.
I don’t know yet who I will be putting first on the ballot but I do know that it won’t be the candidate representing the current conservative Liberal/National coalition government. The incumbent Liberal member, Christine Gallus, is retiring so instead, Simon BIRMINGHAM, the Liberal candidate hoping to replace Gallus, will be fighting the loonies from One Nation and Family First for last place on my slip.
In the 1996 federal election, my first election after gaining the right to vote (by turning 18 in 1995), I actually voted for the Liberal candidate as I was sick of the then long-term Labor government. How times have changed. Since 1996 I don’t recall voting for either of the major parties and I don’t think I will this time although I want Labor to win by default, as they are the only conceivable alternative for government and they have focused on policies and not abusing their opposition.
I am probably more interested in this election than any other election previously. It is difficult to follow the action properly from Turkey but I am still reasonably informed, at least on the national level. A few websites I have been following the election are Crikey, Back Pages and John Quiggin. The latter two links are left-leaning blogs. This is the first Australian election where blogs (weblogs – web diaries like mine) are an issue, albeit not a major one. For future elections the blogging influence can only get larger.
This is also the first federal election for Family First, a God-bothering party closely associated with the Assembly of God church. This party was established in South Australia and ran in the previous state election. Read this and this for some thought-provoking commentary on Family First.
As there is little information on the Internet regarding the Hindmarsh candidates could anyone provide a summary for me? I would like to be informed at least a little about the candidates before I exercise my right to vote.
UPDATE [30/09/2004]: Some more links:
*A long, detailed and interesting opinion piece on why the media has presented the current government with a free ride: The shape of the argument