How Seniors grapple with complications of Governing.

Almost There

Almost There

Each evening, and with the demeanour of a black coated undertaker giving a quote for a juicy burial, we get to see our top AEC ( Australian Electioneering Commissioner) scrutineer on the telly, giving us solemnly the latest count on the last Federal Election. This commissioner is without bias and sworn to total independency as far as his political views are concerned. He is neutral. It is why he is very serious in his delivery of the latest numbers. He is so careful and weighs up the words carefully. If he was any more careful he would just cough slightly or wipe his chin adroitly. He looks as if he practised his art in front of his wife, or, in the case of no wife, in front of the mirror.

Now, faced with a battery of cameras he is without doubt having his moment of fame. Not, that he shows any enjoyment. Remember, joy could easily be seen as being biased. It would be surprising if he did not hold a political view. I would bet he is a conservative. How could anyone not become a scrutineer without also devoid of a free spirit? As our chief scrutineer intones the latest figures, the camera takes us to the room where a whole army of scrutineers are counting the voting papers. Row after row of tables covered with both green coloured and white sheets of papers. It is a very complicated affair, and for those not British born, too esoteric too even come close to comprehending. A bit like cricket really. Far too many numbers and variables.

The vote, and that includes all votes apparently, can go elsewhere in a process called ‘giving preferences.’ In a two horse race, ( I just learned this phrase recently) any vote to another party ends up mainly with either the Conservatives (Liberal National Party) or Labor. Labor without the ‘u’ in it! Another mystery. Yet, I remember many years ago back around 1977 or so, when I became an Australian national citizen, things appeared fairly simple. The ceremony for Nationalisation was held at the Sydney Town-Hall. We were given the choice to swear by oath our allegiance to Australia either on the bible or alternatively to the English Queen. I hope I have this right. I remember that it was a difficult choice, as I believe in neither.

Even so, it was a mass ceremony with hundreds of European migrants. No good being surly, and in any case, a cup-o-tea with Arnett’s biscuits, compliments of the salvos followed. I duly went on the stage and was giving a certificate of Australian Nationality. This certificate is in a box somewhere together with my high school diplomas, birth/marriage certificates and other washed up flotsam of time gone by. It is funny, that till this day I am still reluctant to accept so much that seems incomprehensible. This finding of so much that remains incomprehensible is an attitude of the curmudgeon. An obsession with the finicky. Just because I became Australian doesn’t seem to include me in the welcoming psyche of just acceptance on how things can be different in different cultures.

Going back to the voting. I read up about the Westminster system and the Adversarial part of it. I will make greater effort in understanding that the senate voting does not coincide with voting for the lower house except with a double dissolution of both houses. I will try and understand that some senators run for a six year period but others just three years. Further more, I will desist trying to come to grips with the preferential system of voting. I will desists asking; but why? I will resist, writing letters to the ABC, on why I think a multi party system would avoid all those preferential votes going anywhere accept there where the voter voted for.

I want to be a true believer, an Australian.

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21 Responses to “How Seniors grapple with complications of Governing.”

  1. shoreacres Says:

    This is so complicated, I don’t know how anyone understands it. Of course, I can’t get my mind around cricket, either, so there’s that. (Does the phrase “sticky wicket” come from cricket?)

    Do you really think that conservatives and a free spirit are opposed? You seem to suggest that. I’m not sure I’d say so, but of course I’d start by stipulating that conservative doesn’t necessarily mean priggish, puritanical, or pompous. That kind of clears the field, doesn’t it? 🙂

    Over here, the results come in at atmosphere that more closely mimics a sporting event: commentators lined up, balloons, people placing side bets, and so on. There’s a great deal of hype, and every network tries to steal viewers from the others, so it can become very interesting, indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. gerard oosterman Says:

    I don’t really think that the conservatives and free spirit are per-se opposed, but I prefer the progressive side of things. The verb ‘conserve’ generally means to keep, to save, to prevent from decay. In the political sense it harks back to the Tories of the 1830s and Conservatives generally are staunchly opposed to change.

    In cricket terms there are ‘going out for a duck’ and going in when going out, yet going out when going in. I have never understood it. In any case, I generally run away from anything round that rolls towards me.

    Yes, in the US, the voting seems to go together with lots of balloons and flag waving.

    I get scared though when I see so much jubilance around Trump! I so wished for Bernie to have gotten there. How about you, Linda?

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yvonne Says:

    This seems to be a year for political awareness, what with Brexit, the USA election circus and our very own little cliff-hanger. What will you write about when the final result is dolefully announced by that jolly fellow? I’ll miss him on the ABC, as I munch my morning muesli.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. auntyuta Says:

    My roots are German. Having just been for a few weeks in Berlin, my birth town, I very much felt to be very Australian. I must say, coming back to Australia was a home coming for me.
    I find the vote counting reflects adequately the growing displeasure in the community with the two party system with both parties tending to drift too far to the right. For stability we need to be able to reach towards center right and center left. The vote counting is quite interesting and probably will go on for some time to come including some absentee votes from the Australian Embassy in Berlin!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. gerard oosterman Says:

    Yes, I know what you mean Uta. I feel happy in whatever bed I find myself. The older I get, the more I appreciate the peace and quiet of the familiar. As for feeling Australian, I am sometimes at a loss. A bit like un ‘Person sans Frontières.’

    With a multi party system we would always have a coalition of parties that would have to work together. No single party could dominate.

    Liked by 1 person

    • berlioz1935 Says:

      Proportional representation would be the answer. Our preferential
      voting system is designed to take away the vote of people who do not vote for the two main parties.


      • gerard oosterman Says:

        Yes, the vote doesn’t always go as intended. It is the very opposite of ‘a free vote’. The two party system is much busier with fighting each other than to legislate new laws or implement changes.
        Notice there is a plebiscite ( $150 million) for SSM, yet no plebiscite on going to wars or spending billions on submarines?

        Liked by 1 person

  6. lifecameos Says:

    NZ’s MMP would show what the voters really wanted – though without the compulsory voting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Some say without compulsory voting the young would stay away from voting in droves. Look what happened in the UK with Brexit?
      We seem to get things done against the will of the majority. The majority in Australia want SSM approved, yet the government now wants to spend 150 million on a plebiscite. Yet, no plebiscite on going to war again in Syria or giving tax breaks to top companies..

      Liked by 1 person

      • lifecameos Says:

        Apparently our turnout for the flag referendum at 67% was typical for national elections, and a lot of our young are not keen on turning out. Our MMP seems cumbersome, but it still works better than our previous “first past the post system”.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. hilarycustancegreen Says:

    All Greek to me!

    Liked by 2 people

  8. leggypeggy Says:

    I’d love to see our pollies work together.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. rodhart (@roderick_hart) Says:

    I wouldn’t waste too much time on the voting system for the UK parliament at Westminster – the result would have been known days ago.

    And the Brexit vote was clear by 5 in the morning of the day after voting.

    (I do not mean to praise the UK by mistake here!)

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Curt Mekemson Says:

    I’d think that all of the political mess ups were really funny if they weren’t so darn serious, Gerard. I really fear all of the polarization that is taking place in the US and around the world. If ever there was a time we needed to work together, it’s now. But it just isn’t happening. –Curt

    Liked by 1 person

    • gerard oosterman Says:

      Yes, Curt. The US is seething with discontent. I wish they would do away with all those weapons. Apparently, some states allow assault weapons to be carried around. This is normal! I could not imagine going to Aldi to buy some spinach and coming across a nice lady perusing the carrot division carrying an assault weapon. Is this normal?


      • Curt Mekemson Says:

        Slightly exaggerated, Gerard, although it does happen, and some states have passed laws (almost always with Republican legislatures) that allow people to wander around in public with assault rifles. The vast majority of Americans want to see gun control, but the power of the National Rifle Association has enabled the organization to block such laws. I understand now that a major battle is going on within the organization between the more moderate people who support some types of controls and the reactionaries who don’t. There may be hope. –Curt


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