Posts Tagged ‘Voting’


I will be the first one to admit that I am not a fan of politics, so it may seem strange that I am writing about it. Last week, here in Australia we had our federal election for a new prime minister. I noticed that there are some similarities between Australia and the US when it comes to the election, but there are also some big differences.

parliament house

America and Australia have a House of Representatives, and a Senate. In both countries the number of representatives for the house, is determined by each state’s population. In the US, it is a 2 year term, and in Oz, it is 3 years.


In the American Senate, there are two senators from each state, which puts the total at 100. With the Australian senate, each of the six states (yes, you read that right, there are only six states in Oz.) elects 12 Senators, and the two territories only have two.  This puts it at a grand total of 76.  Both countries’ senators serve a six-year term.



Like America, Oz has two major parties that insist that they can run the country the best. There is the Labor party which is like the Democrats in the US, and the Liberal/National Coalition, which thinks like the Republicans.


In America, all voters know that Election Day is either the first or second Tuesday in November. Not so in Oz. The government can set any day it wants as voting day, as long as it is always a Saturday.  After they set a date, if they decided that they want to change it, they can, and have.  That happened with this last election.


One good thing about this sort of thinking, is the lack of political ads.  I think it’s rather funny that Aussies will complain about the amount of political ads they hear on the TV and radio. In Oz, they only spend about $90 million, but in America, the figure is well over 3 Billion. Yes, here there were some ads on TV, but nothing like having to sit through the ads back in the States. I will admit that at some times, I did have to endure three to four political commercials right in a row this past month. To be honest, they didn’t even phase me. I do remember seeing up to ten political ads right in a row when I was in the States. I know this number for a fact, because I counted them. These did phase me.


Seeing how politicians are the ones trying to get elected, the majority of the ads are negative.  For once I would like to see an ad for a laundry detergent that can get mud out of clothes. Maybe that would help to stop all the mudslinging.

people voting

One thing that Oz has over America voting-wise, is that voting is compulsory for every Australian citizen aged 18 years or older. If you don’t vote, you get fined. It’s no wonder that the Aussies have at least a 95% voter turnout, where America is lucky to get over 50%.

President Andrew Johnson


When you go to the polls in America, there are basically two ways to vote. You can just vote for a chosen party, or you can vote for a certain candidate. When the results come back, everyone is stuck with whoever won for the length of their term, unless they get impeached, which is a huge deal, and takes a lot of time and taxpayers money.  Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton are the only American Presidents to ever be impeached.


In Oz, when you are voting for the Prime Minister you vote for a party.  You do know which candidate will become the Prime Minister when their party wins, but you still vote for which party you want. The reason I put it that way is because the Aussie government can change their Prime Minister any time they feel like it. Without getting the approval from the Australian voters no less.

Jimmy Carter and Family 1976

That would be like you going to vote for Jimmy Carter because you like the fact that he is a Democrat, a family man with what you consider good religious morals, and he’s home at night.


He becomes President, then before his term is up, the Democrats decided to kick him out, and replace him with Bill Clinton. Yes, both men are Democrats, but Jimmy did not earn the nick-name “Slick Willy,” if you get my drift.

kev & julia

In 2007 Kevin Rudd became Prime Minister of Australia, and Julia Gillard was his deputy leader.


Soon Kevin’s popularity began to take a nosedive.


So a few months before the next election, they put Julia in the top position.  They had the election, and Julia won the new term.

kevin-rudd laughing

Her popularity, like Kevin’s, also began go south, so three years and three days after Kevin was ousted from being the Prime Minister, the government put him back into his old job.

julia-gillard sad

Julia had a hard lesson in karma.


Fast forward to the election that was just held.  Kevin Rudd (Labor/Democrat) ran against Tony Abbot (Liberal – National coalition / Republican), and lost 54 to 88 seats. Guess the government didn’t remember why they kicked Kevin out in the first place. But the people sure did. It seems that Australians, like the rest of the world, are ready for some change. We’ll see how long Tony keeps his word. He is a politician after all.


Like I said before, I am not a fan of politics.  Politicians are the same no matter what country they are from. They only tell you what you want to hear, are professional liars, and only look out for number one. I do vote, but I really think when it boils down,  it really doesn’t make a difference who you vote for.


Even if your guy wins, we all lose.


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