Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hang your head in embarrassment

We've just had three weeks in the UK, where they're holding a referendum on a change to the voting system.

The proposition is to change the first-past-the-post vote with a system roughly like our preferences system.

Over my morning coffee I came across this feature in the UK Daily Telegraph, a fair summing up of the standard of politics, and politicians, we labour under in NSW:

"At a drunken party in his parliamentary office, the Police Minister, naked but for a pair of “very brief” underpants, climbed on top of a female MP and pretended to have sex with her. The Health Minister, who was 53, used his office to entertain his 26-year-old mistress. The Ports Minister visited porn sites on his official computer.

The Regional Development Minister – known to the local tabloids as “Sir Lunchalot” – charged taxpayers for a holiday to Dubai and Italy. The Education Minister promised to “stand by” her husband after he was arrested buying ecstasy. Several ministers were implicated in a corruption scandal involving a female town planner who approved illegal high-rise buildings in return for sexual favours and designer handbags. And the Aboriginal Affairs Minister? Well, he is doing 14 years after his conviction on multiple counts of child sex abuse.

Supporters of the Alternative Vote at next month’s referendum argue, in the words of the Yes To AV campaign, that it will lead to “more honest politics”, “rebuilding” lost bonds of accountability and trust between MPs and their voters. The antics over the past four years in the Australian state of New South Wales – one of only two places in the developed world to use the exact form of AV proposed in the United Kingdom – do not, frankly, support this claim."

Could the reason we have compulsory voting be that no-one, except possibly their families, would bother to vote for them?

You can read the Telegraph feature here.