In some countries, democracy is a sham because a totalitarian regime controls election outcomes. In Australia, it’s a sham because the two options that are (realistically) available don’t seem to have any actual policies. You know, the things that politicians are meant to have? With the same Greek/Latin etymology? Yeah, those.
Instead of hearing some decent ideas about how they might run the country, we get name-calling. Having a female prime minister just makes it worse because it’s reduced to:
Abbott: “Girls smell.”
Gillard: “No, boys smell.”
This isn’t politics, it’s reality TV, fuelled by the media that certainly at least partially orchestrated Rudd’s demise. Whose members the politicians know by name. It’s poll watching and worm watching and adjustments based on these. A popularity contest. It’s all about dog-whistles and wooing voters.
How did we get here? I think reality TV does have to do with it. (If only we could vote Tony Abbott off the island, or at least one of the Ste(ph/v)e(n)s (Conroy or Fielding, either one.) I think the collapse of the Australian Democrats has something to do with it to. (Natasha Stott Despoja, come back, I beg you!)
I hate our preferential voting system. It’s downright depressing that my vote must go to an MP who will form a majority for one of the two clowns who can possibly become the Prime Minister. All I can take comfort in is the Senate. I will be voting below the line, that’s all I can say.