Tuesday, August 27, 2013

If only we could vote for policies, not politicians and parties

Christian voters, like many other value-driven voter groupings, most likely progressively tear their hair out the longer an election campaign goes on.

With each day of wall-to-wall election coverage comes new policy bombs that blow up the settled belief that you know who to vote for.

The candidate or party whose policy on one issue sounded reasonable yesterday suddenly make statements on another issue today that you could never support.

The Christian who thought the Opposition might be worth a try may now  be dismayed by their insipid, ridiculous approach to gambling laws.

Other Christians concerned about compassion for refugees may have long ago jumped ship from the major parties for The Greens only to discover that party's dominant atheism and penchant for experimental social policy provides no warm welcome.

Christians with traditional views of marriage may be wondering why they now have less in common with Christian Kevin - who they may have voted for in 2007 - than atheist Julia.

And Christian parties are not necessarily clear sailing - to keep the boating metaphors coming - with Rise Up Australia strangely preferencing One Nation before other Christian parties in some states at least.

It's true, no vote is perfect, but our system does seem to sink our ability to champion policies and leave us settling for second best or hope for the best.

Imagine if we could vote people into a policy areas instead? For example, you could make sure Senator Nick Zenaphon was in charge off gambling law, give Family First a go at family initiatives, let The Greens loose on the environment but keep them away from business where the Liberals might do well. Labor could look after workforce issues and the Nationals could have regional Australia.

Mmm, it almost sounds like a hung parliament... Okay no system is perfect but at least we might get some decent policy debates!


  1. Did you know Nick Xenophon wants gay marriage? See www.australianmarriageequality.com/whereyourmpstands/states/SA/

  2. Which highlights the point, depending on your perspective, a candidate that may seem to represent you well in one area, lets you down in another. Which probably leads to a decision as to the most important policy area or value that will guide a person's vote.