Voting with Disdain

/opinion/

Anyone living in Queensland, with an interest in politics and an undying love for an “underdog” story will be well aware of the recent state election results. But if you have been living under a rock (or in another state), let me fill you in on what has been called a “crushing” and “historic” defeat of the LNP state government.  

So let’s start with the obvious. As I sit here, according to the ABC, 75.6% of the primary vote has been counted and the results, thus far, are; Labor 43 seats, LNP 40 seats, independents and Katter three seats collectively and three seats are still undecided.  So Labor needs only one of the undecided seats to form a majority government and it is looking pretty promising.  If you don’t follow politics, looking at these figures alone it hardly seems like a “crushing” defeat, but considering that in the 2012 election Labor lost 44 seats leaving them with only seven seats in the 89 seat parliament, this result is pretty remarkable. 

Young Queensland Lefties everywhere are cheering, partially because we no longer have an LNP government and partially because it made voting before going to Laneway worthwhile. But, there are definitely some questions left unanswered. One in particular has been bothering me; how has a party that was so wildly unpopular it lost in a landslide defeat  regained power just one term later? 

There are a number of reasons why this may have occurred:
1.    Queenslanders are sick of Newman’s tyrant bullshit and him bringing in laws which encroach on civil liberties. 
2.    Queenslanders really didn’t want to sell or lease assets. 
3.    Queenslanders thought it was unfair when that father got arrested for giving his cancer ridden child medicinal marijuana, so like, you know, fuck you Newman.

"The trend that really seems to be emerging is that we respond positively to this simplistic bullshit".

I'm sure there are numerous other reasons why people didn’t vote for the LNP, but that is exactly it. Rather than voting FOR the ALP and their policies, the majority of Queenslanders voted AGAINST the LNP and their policies.  While this is a fundamentally flawed way to decide who to vote for, voters weren’t really given the choice to vote for well-formed policy. 

It seems at this election that Queensland ALP kind of adopted the LNP’s whole three word slogan thang, because literally all I heard from them in terms of policy throughout this whole campaign was “No Asset Sales” and “Save the Reef”.  While, in my opinion, these are far better ‘policies’ than “Earn or Learn” or “Stop the Boats”, it does speak to the incompetence of our politicians and, frankly, the laziness of us as voters. The trend that really seems to be emerging is that we respond positively to this simplistic bullshit. The major parties present to us no real policies and we vote for them anyway. Politicians need to step up their game, voters need to be more engaged and the media needs to play its role properly and keep this shit in check.