As the dust settles

Yesterday NSW had an election. It was a landslide. that many others will no doubt talk of for many days to come.

Picking up on a post from Mary over at HAT, yes I think she might be right. From what I saw in the literature, there was a higher number of “baseline” accessible venues.

But I never left the house to vote.

I iVoted. At home. On my own laptop. More privately than I did more than once at a polling place.

Designed for people with vision impairment who use screen readers and various other disabilities – they broadened it out to allow travelling folks to feel included too.

The information on the iVote website read:

You can vote before Polling Day using iVote if:

  • your vision is so impaired, or you are otherwise so physically incapacitated or so illiterate, that you are unable to vote without assistance,
  • you are unable to vote without assistance or have difficulty voting at a polling place because you have a disability (within the meaning of the Anti-Discrimination Act 1977),
  • your real place of living is not within 20 kilometres, by the nearest practicable route, of a polling place; or
  • you will not be in New South Wales throughout the hours of polling on polling day

.

The process was painless enough for the fact it was hard to see the bigger Legislative Council in its entirety, and I had to do this sequentially as opposed to top and tailing it as I normally do.

Yes I would do it again. But my question is; is this going to simply be a work around so the various electoral commissions don’t need to improve the distances to and percentages of accessible venues. I hope not. But sadly I fear so

 

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meh

After every other election at whatever level I always felt quite relieved and perhaps exhilarated. Settled perhaps. Not this time.

It feels really odd. I know other countries have dealt with it, though I note that Gordon Brown had to resign to make it work for his party.

I’m sure it will be sorted but in the meantime — nothing is moving and it’s prevented a UN visitor.

I originally thought that we would end up going to the polls again quite quickly especially after one of the independents Rob Oakeshott originally floated the idea. I’m now not so sure that will happen if for no other reason than the independents won’t want to lose this power.

The longer it gets dragged out the more the apathy I fear

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one take on the polls today

In the words of one of the commentors:

This is probably the most succinct, accurate? and hilarious summary? of the campaign.

The apathy I heard and saw today while waiting after completing my own vote was heartbreaking and especially sad given the apparent closeness of the expected outcome. I would normally have expected a close election to fascinate more than bore. But still there were people more interested in finding out if they’d get fined for not voting because <insert excuse here> than in exercising a democratic right only afforded once every three or so years, despite their influence on our lives.

It certainly wasn’t an awe inspiring campaign but surely the closeness should engender interest? No?

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the cost of a vote

I perhaps should have warned folks not to get me started on election equity issues, but a good mate of mine added this to a comment on this post

Still distrubing to see so many polling booths inaccessable, though at least in the Marrickville LGA it’s better that it was at he last local government election.

Yes well — it might indeed be *better* but really that’s not saying much now is it? I know people from the last Federal election who had to get excused from their democratic right and responsibility to vote (it’s compulsory here in Australia) because they had assumed there would be at least one they could get into in their electorate( of say 20 polling centres), so it was too late to pre-poll or postal vote. Different electorate than the one refered to in the comment mind you.

As for me — I have to drive or be driven to cast my vote despite voting in an area where there are booths much closer than the one I will be forced to use.

How does even having to think this hard about how one is going to do what one is democratically entitled and legally required to do (quite apart from deciding who gets your vote), reflective of Australia signing the UN Convention on the Rights of People with a Disability 2 years ago.

Accessible buses are unreliable in this area on Saturday and a cab will cost me $20 from within the electorate to go vote even with my discount. How exactly is that fair? Almost less hassle to not bother voting and pay the fine that ensues. Very good for democracy. Not.

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it’s all in the dollars

In my view this is not the only way its hard to tell them apart.

Helpful reality check. Despite the vociferous debate between Joe Hockey and Wayne Swan about debt, stimulus, spending and who would be worse for the economy, AMP Capital’s Shane Oliver reckons there is little to differentiate the parties when it comes to the economic big picture. In a note out today, Oliver says: “The Federal election is unlikely to have a major impact on financial markets at an aggregate level. In fact, the historical record suggests little clear impact, with other factors proving more important. This may partly reflect the broad similarity in terms of macro economic policies between both sides of politics.”

Can you tell I’m bored yet? And its day 3 (officially) of the campaign.

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