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We the people reserve the right to be cynical

Is compulsory voting part of the protection racket for  our elected representatives and should we change to a voluntary system?

Is compulsory voting part of the protection racket for our elected representatives and should we change to a voluntary system?

It would be very easy to dismiss all of our politicians as either incompetent or unethical.

The truth is that most of them get into politics for all the right reasons.

But somewhere along the way they get out of touch with the real world.

There’s a lot of reasons for that, from working in a bubble to having others look after an MP’s every need.

It’s a busy schedule, sure, but having someone in your office organise things like walking your dog or your next dinner date with your friends is not the way to keep some sort of a grip on reality.

Trust me, it happens a lot, and to as many decent MPs as it does to those with a God complex.

Unfortunately, what we end up with is a disconnection so vast it’s almost unexplainable.

But it’s not just politicians who have no idea what the average man or woman thinks these days.

Bureaucrats – many of them on substantial salaries – also display the symptoms of a group of people living in a parallel universe.

They can be arrogant, secretive and stubborn and in some cases even worse than politicians, who at least feel they are accountable to those who elected them – in theory at least.

Of course both these groups are working in tandem, so there’s just no chance of either of them having a clue about the real world of being without a job or if in one not having had a salary increase for years or paying through the nose for power and other essentials of modern life.

It is said that you get the politicians you deserve, but it was said by a very clever person who lived in a country where voting is optional.

In such a place you can opt in and out at election time and there are no fines for not voting.

Oh, yes, that would be us, one of the few democracies in the world where you must vote – or else.

Let’s be honest, many of us think that voting is a chore and a waste of time.

One in 10 of us goes in that voting booth and numbers the candidates one to five or whatever the number is, from the top all the way down to the bottom of the ballot paper.

In voluntary voting, only those who are passionate about an issue or a cause bother to get out and vote.

It’s why Trump or a Brexit cannot happen here; our out of touch politicians can thank their lucky stars – and compulsory voting.

And it’s why there aren’t too many signs things are changing in Canberra or Macquarie Street or even Queen Street.

I was reminded of that just this morning when I heard NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian blame a Liberal Party muppet show in Canberra for her wipeout in a byelection in Wagga Wagga.

Ms Berejiklian seems like a competent and decent politician, but if she believes what she said this morning, well, that’s not delusional, that’s from another planet.

What she should have said was: must do better on trains, schools and hospitals, especially for the western suburbs of Sydney, and reverse our billion dollar policy on knock down and rebuild stadiums

When politicians start admitting to being wrong, to taking responsibility, we will know there is hope things can change.

But until such time, we the people reserve the right to be a little cynical.

 

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