Today in Australia it’s the federal election. As it’s a beautiful, sunny, winter’s day, I decided to walk to the polling booth. During my stroll there and back, several thoughts occurred to me that have prompted today’s ramblings …
Firstly I should never undervalue the fact that I can make the short walk to the polling booth in safety, without fear of violence erupting on the street corner, without being harassed by armed police or militia along the way.
Secondly, I am literate and can read through the copious amounts of political flyers handed to me at the door of the polling station. I don’t have to use my fingerprint against a photo to show my preference — or feel that I have to vote for a certain candidate in case my finger print is traced. I am free to choose.
It’s that freedom of choice that I don’t take for granted — even though I may not be that impressed with most of the candidates!
The polling booth was at my local neighbourhood government-run primary school. I couldn’t help but notice the well-kept grounds, adequate play areas and well-equipped buildings. OK, before you shout me down about the state of some of the schools in the not-so-nice parts of the country, let me just say that I do appreciate there are problems in this country and that there are people who are genuinely suffering, but on the whole we are a very rich, well-resourced nation. We also have benefits available from the government that are practically non-existent in most of the rest of the world.
I listened with amusement to some of my fellow voters as we waited in line. Most vocalised their inherent distrust of all politicians and their belief that they are all bad no matter which party they represent. At least they have the freedom to speak their minds!
So now we wait to see who wins, then we can blame that person and political party for all that’s wrong with the world, before we do it all again in three years time — you gotta love democracy!