Saturday, September 13, 2008

Half-assed democracy

And so I have done my civic duty.

I put my mother in the car and drove to the local primary school, had my name checked off and voted. I looked around for the ballot box and a helpful... helper directed me to a brown, non-descript cardboard box; with blue pen written on it. Here I could dump my oh, so valuable democratic vote.

A cardboard box that looked like it had been scavanged from the local supermarket. And blue pen. Stuffed to the gunnels with other people's democratic votes.

I didn't see any other boxes - cardboard or otherwise - and I have to wonder whether it was to be recycled. The only 'officials' I saw were marking off the names and when I looked at the lists, there were precious few signed off for the Ward.

In other government elections, both State and Federal, there are more people with badges proclaiming officialdom, tall white ballot boxes with someone standing guard.

Not so today. That box was disappointing to see. The lack of officialdom disappointing too, even as the people handing out their candidates 'how to' forms were as enthusiastic as ever.

Voting is compulsory here, but the ballot box presented to us today would, in no way, take all the votes. I can only hope that honesty and fair play are adhered to. From what I saw, there's too much opportunity for the incumbent to... influence the count - and it is his ward.

I guess we'll have to wait and see...

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