Disenfranchised and disenchanted: a Kiwi on Australia’s strange election

Shorten and ScoMo
Shorten or SocMo, or is it ScoMo and Shorten, who can honestly say. (Photo: Liam Kidston/NewsCorp Getty Images)

Paul Davies, Guest writer – The Spinoff

Commentary

It’s Scomo versus Shorten as Australians go the polls today, ending an all-pervading campaign. New Zealander Paul Davies has been watching it from his sofa.

Billboards have been defaced, eggs thrown and vile old Facebook posts dug up. It’s difficult to ignore the plethora of election coverage that has bombarded us over recent weeks – even if you ignore the traditional media of TV, radio and print. Election campaigning pervades every bit of your online life, hounding you to try and convince you how to part with your hard earned ballot. Except for me, there’s a complication: I can’t vote.

Despite being a settled, taxpaying resident of Australia, married to an Australian citizen with an Australian citizen son, I’m not today afforded that most basic of democratic rights, the ability to determine the government that makes decisions on our behalf. Or perhaps that’s just it, they don’t make decisions for you, or many of the hard working people that live and contribute the very fabric of Australia – they only do that, for Australian citizens. For a country that loves to talk about getting a “fair go”, it all seems pretty unfair.

Of course the discriminatory approach to voting doesn’t stop political parties from using a non-discriminatory approach to campaigning. A video of the local Green candidate pops up in my Instagram feed, the Labour candidate is wrapped around the local bus stop, election ads follow my every move online – it’s like being invited to a barbie but not being allowed to eat. Even after you’ve paid into the communal account and brought snacks.

[Read the full Spinoff article].


Please note

The author of this article, Paul Davies, is eligible for citizenship via the Partner Visa. He incorrectly states the application fee is AUD $4,000, it is in fact AUD $7,160.

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