1,400 votes were lost in the Western Australian election, but democracy is no big deal according to some residents.
The link above is to a fascinating segment from The World Today. Apparently 1, 400 votes went missing during the recent election in Western Australia and this has thrown the result into question. What I found really interesting were the sound-bytes they got from West Australians themselves.
‘Businessman Dave’ voiced what you would expect to be the prevalent opinion: “[It’s} disgusting, not good. [It’s] very important that these issues should be corrected.”
But ‘mining-worker Liz’ took a rather different view. “Just leave it be. Don’t worry about them. Too much money to go and re-do it all again. . . [It’s] just a waste of money. . . and why should I have to vote again when I voted already. [This incident] doesn’t mean mine was lost”
And ‘mining company accounts manager Deb’ took a remarkably similar view, asking “why should I have to go through all that again, [having to] line up and vote when I don’t if it was mine that was lost, so why do it? . . . it’s a waste of taxpayer’s money.”
Obviously, this is sparse data to draw any broad conclusions from, but it does reveal a worryingly blase attitude about democracy. I’d be very interested to see statistical information on how many Australians hold similar attitudes.
The references by both Liz and Deb to the costs of correcting the election results as a reason not to do so is also telling. Perhaps the seemingly bipartisan agreement amongst Australian elites that ‘politics is the economy and the economy is politics’ is blinding people to their true interests as citizens.
There might be no better way to dull a population’s political instincts than by convincing them the bottom line is more important than their own voice…