Friday, May 05, 2006

Demorcratic Right to Vote. Why don't people do it then?

I love living in Britain, honestly I do. And when I tell this to Britains they usually ask me why I left Australia in the first place. There are loads of reasons why I love being in Britain, but what really astounds me about it here is people's complete apathy towards their democratic right to vote. In Australia it is compulsory, with heavy fines if you don't even vote in the local elections. This means that parties are much more in your face, going door to door, having print, tv and radio ads, letting you know of their policies. I never really appreciated this when I was at home, because it was the norm. And with this norm you found that many Australians don't care at all about the political situation. It is almost impossible to have a debate about issues at home, cause no one seems to care. It's not on the news (where a 30min broadcase will be made of 15 mins of sport, 5 mins of weather, and 8 mins of sensationalist news (Yes, cause we REALLY need to know which house in Bondi is not throwing out their garbage) and politics will make up about 2 mins of the total 30 mins news bulletin. When I went home, it really surprised me to hear people say things like "someone asked me about what I thought about the governments cuts in hospitals, and I just said 'I dunno, don't really care. I mean why should I know anything about it, I'm only a nurse'". But in Britain, politics is so much more in the news than it is at home. So what I don't understand, is when so many people here have no problems debating political issues, political parties, and generally have an opinion about everything, why does only 36% of the population turn out to vote. Why? It completely astounds me that 36% of the population are choosing which government will rule 100% of the population. Why also, just before voting day are there no ads anywhere telling people about the parties policies? Maybe if people knew what they could be voting for then maybe they'd turn out. I understand that people think that it's not democratic to make voting compulsory, but I'm going to hold my hand up and say that it should be. I guess I'm just disapointed.

Ok, end of political rant. It's not a great rant anyway.

P.S. The funniest thing I've read about last night's election was on Nick Robinson's newlog. This is halarious. Nick Robinson : fastest naked to dressed political interviewer in the west!

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