(Queen Victoria, outside her building in George Street, Sydney)
Attention Returning Divisional Officer:
Thank you for the letters dated January 7, 2014 and February 10, 2014. Thank you also for giving me this further opportunity to explain my reasons for not voting in the Federal Election last September 7, 2013.
I do apologise for not supplying you with them sooner. I returned from overseas on January 31, 2014 and have been somewhat overwhelmed with matters that have languished during my 4 ½ month time out of Australia, a time that involved both family and work.
In my earlier fax to you, I outlined my grave concerns over the plight of asylum seekers, the continuation of live animal export, the perennial military aggression overseas at the behest of the United States of America, and the lack of leadership in the ‘greatest moral challenge of our time,’ Climate Change.
It occurred to me last September that neither of the major parties, likely to assume a leadership role in the representative democracy of Australia at that time, would be representing me and I was no longer prepared to observe silently these inhumane practices.
Neither of the two candidates in the electorate of Hunter (Mr Joel FitzGibbon MP or Mr Michael Johnson) offered me any confidence that they could or would address my concerns. In fact whilst in government and with regard to Live Animal Export, Mr FitzGibbon had said to me that it was a profitable industry and would continue. I communicated with him that just because something is profitable does not make it right, and that live animal export ought to be halted immediately and permanently.
With regards to climate change and the coal industry that lays siege to my part of the world, my candidates were as one and as united as you would ever see any members of the same party let alone opposing candidates. With both of them and with coal, it will remain business as usual notwithstanding the evidence of dire consequences locally, nationally and globally.
Observing the recent Australian Labour Party’s support of the Liberal National Party’s outrageous plans for asylum seekers, it is clear neither major part shares my belief in the right for all people to seek asylum when they believe they need asylum. The LNP’s new and savage plan to discourage and put peoples’ lives at risk will not be done in my name.
I no longer have confidence in my useful role in Australia’s representative democracy. In my view as it stands today and as it stood last September, Australian-style representative democracy has become irrelevant, in fact no more than just a quirky distraction, somewhat akin to ‘cake and circuses,’ distributed in a bid to prevent us revolting.
In my view, those elected politicians democratically representing us in Canberra do not represent me but rather the interests of Big Business whether they be Big Coal, Big Agriculture, Big Border Security you name it...
I refuse to play this game and I refuse to give my consent to the continued diminishing of hard-earned and hard-fought rights that we somehow did muster over the decades in our national community.
$$$ It is cruel to deny asylum to asylum seekers, and it is cruel to deliberately set out to demonise such stricken folk who have no choice but to leave their lands however and whenever any opportunity presents.
$$$ It is cruel to export animals whilst they are still alive and not able to be protected by our reasonably sound animal welfare laws because they are no longer in our jurisdiction.
$$$ It is cruel to wage wars for corporate interests under the misleading flag of liberation-for-all. It is cruel to deploy drones to terrorise foreign communities again under that misleading flag of liberation-for-all.
$$$ It is cruel to ignore our responsibilities to the rest of the world in reducing our carbon consumption. It is cruel not to commit to an immediate programme to ensure that we do shake our coal addiction.
There were no candidates in my electorate who had the mettle to represent me therefore I was in no position to give my consent to any of them standing for election to represent me in the important business of running Australia ... hence, my informed refusal to vote.
Thank you once again for giving me an opportunity to set out my reasons for not voting, and thank you also for considering them.
conscientious voting objector
(also published on 'Scone Blog')