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Tue, Nov. 2nd, 2004, 07:24 am
A question for my American friends

Why do you have your elections on a Tuesday? It must make it harder for people who work to get to the voting booth. We have our elections on a Saturday and get a much higher voter turnout, then again, voting is compulsory down here.

Mon, Nov. 1st, 2004 01:58 pm (UTC)

Election Day is held on a Tuesday for historical reasons (it's the first Tuesday after the first Monday in the month of November, i.e. falls between Nov 2 and Nov 8).

I agree with you there. Elections are stupid in the US because:
  • They're held on a Tuesday (which may or may not be a public holiday).
  • It's not compulsory to vote.

Mon, Nov. 1st, 2004 01:59 pm (UTC)

(In case you couldn't tell I already asked this question.) ;>

Mon, Nov. 1st, 2004 03:02 pm (UTC)

What use is it if it's compulsory to vote?
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Mon, Nov. 1st, 2004 03:20 pm (UTC)

That's just why I'm asking. If someone really doesn't want to vote, they can cast an invalid vote; and forcing people to show up isn't gonna do much good, either. The proper thing to do would be to educate people on why voting is important - a privilege, if you will, that people in other countries can't enjoy, and that shouldn't be wasted, not a chore.
(Deleted comment)

Tue, Nov. 2nd, 2004 01:21 am (UTC)

I would like to go on record as saying that I disagree with my conspiracy-minded raccoon, whom I love very much. I believe the vote itself and the count were fairly conducted and the result is representative of the will of people (except possibly in the Senate, but even there I believe the count was fairly conduct). Several factors contributed to this (to my mind) disappointing result. The Labor Party conducted a luck-lustre campaign in spite of their new leader and the Liberals' scare-mongering over interest rates cut deep in the electorate. It will be interesting to see how the Liberal Party excuses itself at the next election, by which time interest rates will have inevitably risen and proven the lie to the Liberals' campaign. Unfortunately, politicians on both sides can safely gamble on the short memory of voters. I also respectfully disagree with his assessment that Australia is predominantly working class. I believe the majority of Australians do not identify themselves as such, and the traditional union-based Labor Party is becoming increasingly irrelevant to the electorate. Simon Crean did a great service for the Labor Party when he bravely forced the unions to loosen their stranglehold on the party. The Labor Party federally still has some work to do to reinvent themselves in the minds of the electorate, but their prospects are good. After all, every State and Territory has a Labor Government so it's clear the ALP is not a spent political force.

Tue, Nov. 2nd, 2004 01:25 am (UTC)

I was also disappointed with the result the Australian Greens got. (None of this is a reflection on the American Greens, which I know nothing about, and who admittedly look a little flakey on their website.) Family First's dishonest and suspiciously well-financed scare campaign obviously did hurt them but conservative commentators are very foolish to be so quick to write off (Greens leader) Bob Brown. My hopes of the electorate seeing them as a balance of power party to replace the disgraced Democrats seem to have been dashed for the time being, but I still believe the Greens are the best force for good we have in this imperfect country. I may not agree with everything the Greens stand for, but I make no apology in doing what I believe is in the best interest of this country.

Mon, Nov. 1st, 2004 02:35 pm (UTC)

Yeah, I see Whyrl gave you the historical reasons. As you could probably tell, I have plenty of 'issues' with how things are run over here.

I will say at least though, that everyone in my office today, including the managers, were all making plans to take up each other's slack, based on who would need to leave when, in order to get to go vote.

Tue, Nov. 2nd, 2004 10:07 am (UTC)

Consider that it took teams of Republican and Democrat lawyers weeks to work out a 20+ page document delimiting the presidential debate format. It might actually be easier to inconvenience millions of Americans during a workday than try to change election day.