Tomorrow is Election Day here in Australia. Since I’ll be in a photography workshop for most of tomorrow, I decided to get my civic duty done early and go to an early polling place. There was one in the mall near work, so I rocked on over at lunchtime. I don’t work and live in the same electorate, but when you’re voting early you can vote at any early voting centre.
Which explains why I found myself standing in line in the Kingsford-Smith electorate, staring at the sitting Labor member passing out How To Vote cards. The member for Kingsford-Smith? Peter Garrett, ex-frontman of Midnight Oil.
Seeing him made me so, so angry. I wanted to march right up and tell him what I thought, but that’s really not me. I thought that if he tried to give me a card I’d decline and let him know exactly why, but I must have had the look of an angry and disaffected ex-Labor voter because he gave a card to the people in front and behind me…but not me. I couldn’t even get him to make eye contact.
What would I have told him? I would have told him that I wasn’t voting Labor for one reason and one reason only: their asinine Internet filter. I would have said that Julia is alright—I quite like her actually—but Stephen Conroy is a bloody idiot and I cannot vote for any party who would put someone so incredibly clueless in charge of our technological future. I would have added that the idea of having ISPs required to maintain our browsing histories and give them up to the Government upon request reeked of Big Brother or Soviet Russia. And I would have pointed out that publishing the documents related to that initiative with large sections blocked out because it would have led to “unnecessary public debate” was an anathema to the principles of a democratic society.
Needless to say, I voted for the Greens. As much as I like Julia Gillard, I just couldn’t vote for a Government that basically wants stifle its own citizens.