Early bird

Great shot. Not mine. Perth city last week. Photo © ABC.

Phew, quite humid today, but very pleasant. No rain.

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I voted today. Yes, eight days early. I had been thinking that it’s walking distance to Butler Primary School, which is the usual polling place, but I wasn’t looking forward to the walk, then shuffling along in a long line, then walking back again.

But when I checked the places where I could vote early, I found that there’s one right across the car park in the main street, right here. Easy walk. And when I went there, there was no queue at all, straight to a clerk’s position and bingo, it was all done in five minutes.

Even the voting is easy – this time Labor has the donkey vote in the bag. They have the number one spot (for John Quigley, the A-G) and they want us to number 1-2-3-4-5-6 straight down the form. That puts the Liberal candidate at number 3 but that’s better than an anti-vaxxer or a WAXIT (secessionist) or some other looney. So that’s good.

For my overseas readers, we have compulsory voting in Australia, and I’m all for it. Compulsory voting is not quite correct – it’s simply compulsory to attend, have your name ticked off the list and take your voting slips. What you do after that is up to you. If you want to leave them blank, or scribble all over them, or write some angry obscene words on them, you can. As long as you attend, get marked as such, and put your slips in the box, that’s compulsory voting. It’s not hard.

Anyway, even if that’s too much for you and you don’t attend, the fine is only $20.

Compulsory voting is important! Just look at the USA and the UK. In the USA, only about 46% of people bother to vote (I think that’s right). That means a government or president can be voted in by only 24% of the population and candidates or parties with big budgets can use their financial resources to effectively buy votes Also, and I find this incredible, almost unbelievable, state governments can pass “voter suppression” laws. These are laws that require people to have certain documents or fit certain legal requirements in order to vote. Guess who these laws are aimed at – yes, black people and unemployed or low income, low intelligence people. What a rotten country.

In the UK, they have “first past the post” voting, meaning the candidate with a simple majority of the votes wins. That means that if there are only five candidates, for example, the candidate who gets 20.1% of the votes wins, even though 79.9% of the voters didn’t want him or her. This is ridiculous. Britain is supposed to be one of the leading countries in the world, yet the iniquities and inequalities in the UK boggle my mind. Not to mention the blundering and bungling in this time of COVID19. Thousands of people have died because of Boris and the Tories’ ineptitude.

No, “compulsory” voting is the best system, least open to corruption. Long live.

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After I voted I went next door and booked myself an appointment for Saturday 17 April. What appointment? That’s the day of our high school reunion and since I’m going all dressed up, I’m having a complete makeup job. Yeah, knock ’em dead.

I also said I think I’d better do a trial, so I’m going to make another appointment for a week or two from now. The cost is $85, about what I expected. But when you think it only lasts one day before you wash it all off, phew…

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I’m certainly not going out much. Look at the lack of activity in the second part of the month. Saving money on fuel.

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