Thursday, October 04, 2007

The wonderful Right to vote.

Australia will go to the polls shortly to elect a new government at the federal level. It hasn't been called yet (the Prime Minister gets to decide timing) but it's due not later than 3 years after the first sitting of this current Parliament. (S28). It'll probably be mid to late November.

When I look at the rest of the world, especially places like Burma, Zimbabwe, North Korea, I really appreciate how precious that right is.

We are one of the few societies that made it through the 20th century as a free country choosing it's governments by popular democratic means. The list is indeed short. Not many more than Australia, Canada, NZ, the USA, Switzerland. Britain doesn't even make that list because elections were suspended for 'the duration' of WW2.

We, our friends and allies, as a bloc, saw off the Fascist challenge (Germany, Japan) in WW2. Outlasted and 'called' the communist challenge that was the cold war. Unfortunately, as one foe is bested, it seems another threat emerges (or maybe multiple threats?).

What unfortunately is different this time is that there seem those who like the idea of adopting the style of those societies in fighting those new threats. Who seem to advocate limiting the rights and freedoms that make us different (and better, happier, and freer) to 'them'.

I don't agree with that. We fought and won against our earlier foes by embracing and building on those freedoms, declaring that those differences was what was worth fighting for. In the final analysis, it's what we stand for that makes the struggle worthwhile.

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