Strange as it may seem to you, dear, gentle Crikey reader, there are thousands – nay, millions – of Australians who are not obsessed by politics. Some – and I hate to say this to you – couldn’t care less about the federal election. Which means it’s a fatuous beat-up to bleat the way some people are bleating as the rolls close about disenfranchisement.
“The electoral roll will close at 8pm tonight for first-time and re-enrolling voters,” a media release from GetUp reads.
They estimate “this early closure will actively lock out hundreds of thousands” and say “John Howard is responsible for this disenfranchisement”.
The government isn’t responsible for the slack and lazy. And if people are disinterested in politics, why should they bother to enrol to vote? The system tacitly admits this. It’s compulsory to enrol to vote – but no one’s ever prosecuted for not putting their name on the roll.
Still, the whines go up – particularly from a group who believe Rik from The Young Ones offered a sophisticated political critique and are convinced it’s all a conspiracy designed to silence the voice of yoof. Thanks to the optimism of yoof, these people are convinced that their spotty, self-righteous peers could carry an election.
Mr Mumble meditates on that very subject today:
Members of any large-ish demographic you can think of – young people, middle-aged women, people over 55 – could sway the result if they all voted one way or the other. But they all split in some way – for example young people in Labor’s favour and old people in the Coalition’s favour. But if you measured any group at the moment, they would generally show a large jump in Labor support from the 2004 election.
This gives you a million possible beat-ups – eg, stock market yuppies/people with freckles/deadbeat dads hold the key!
Anyway, thanks to the public holiday for the Flinders Island Agricultural Show, the slack and lazy have another day to get on the roll.
And – thanks again – not even the grassy knoll set have tied the PM’s original slip on the subject that ignored this vital vacation with the fact that Flinders Island (cue the X-Files theme) is in the Coalition-held marginal of Bass.