19 March 2024

The vote is in and Australian democracy comes out in front

| Chris Johnson
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Storm clouds over Parliament House

Parliament House, a symbol of Australia’s healthy democracy. Photo: Michelle Kroll.

Vladimir Putin has claimed a landslide victory for a fifth term as Russian president.

The world was holding its collective breath while it waited for the outcome from the allocated three days of voting across the massive nation.

Well, no, it wasn’t.

Russian election officials say Putin won 87 per cent of the vote, facing off against three other candidates (who were all sanctioned by the Kremlin anyway).

Some of those ‘candidates’ even praised the dictator-president during what can only be described as nothing less than a farce.

Actual Putin critic Alexei Navalny is dead and protests, of course, amounted to nothing.

There were reports of pro-Putin thugs door-knocking, complete with ballot boxes and armed soldiers.

Eighty or so arrests were made, and at least one election official was reportedly killed during the whole tragic fiasco.

And such is democracy, Russian style.

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It’s a ‘democracy’ Putin says that is better than what is practised in the West.

In accepting his victory, he made a point of singling out the United States and how its recent elections have gone down.

He talked of buying votes in America.

The US can no longer hold itself up to the world as a paragon of peaceful democracy.

The 6 January 2021 attacks on the Capitol Building by hordes of violent goons who couldn’t bring themselves to accept that their man had lost the presidency put paid to that.

Colorado’s Supreme Court found Donald Trump guilty of insurrection for encouraging thousands of his gathered supporters to take back his presidency by whatever means they could, yet he is still able to run for office once more and, by all counts, has a decent chance of winning.

A treasonous former president allowed to be president again? Why wouldn’t Putin take the opportunity for another dig at Washington?

The Putin ‘win’ and his willingness to remind the world that American democracy is a sad state of affairs has served to give some perspective to the brand of democracy Australia supports.

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Political debate has become increasingly heated in this country and divisions are currently more stark than have often been the case.

The anonymous cloak of social media has helped to fuel vitriolic commentary, personal abuse and other cowardly behaviour.

Corruption exists for sure (hello, PwC), abuse of the system is alive and well (sports rorts, anyone?), and illegal conduct (Robodebt) is sadly ingrained in many of our political players and systems.

There is no shortage of heavy-handedness and bullying behaviour in Australian politics.

Some party faithful – of all parties – will go to extreme lengths to ensure their side wins.

But come election time, there are no guns forcing people to vote and to vote in a particular way (people can even choose not to vote at all if they’re prepared to cop a fine … or come up with a good excuse).

There are no certain outcomes. There’s no turning a blind eye to attempts to corrupt officials.

No one fears being killed for standing up to an incumbent.

An incumbent refusing to leave office when an election result says they should is unheard of here.

Encouraging people to seize power by whatever violent means possible remains nothing more than the domain of the lunatic fringe.

Transitions of power are peaceful in this country, however painful or humiliating for the loser.

The integrity of the electoral system is a source of pride. The Australian Electoral Commission ensures that is the case.

Voters understand and appreciate the value of their franchise – and so do those who seek their support.

Australia’s style of democracy is far better than anything practised in Russia, the US, and much of the world.

Thanks should go to Vladimir Putin for reminding us of that.

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Stephen Saunders7:40 am 20 Mar 24

Sure, they haven’t sent me to the gulag, for Contempt of Albanese. Or Dutton.

But I am inclined to restrain the democracy victory-laps, when I consider the rising inequality, chronically divisive schooling, historic productivity and per capita fails, struggling infrastructure and environment, collapsing household incomes and real wages, all-time rental crisis and housing un-affordability.

Ah democracy.

Where our leaders talk the talk but then only listen to what the U.N’s Agenda 2030 tells them to do. Or where people who can’t or who don’t want to read or think have an equal say on serious matters that require reading and thinking. Or where relativism is somehow, miraculously transformed into an absolute, and then you and not the magician are the shyster for having noticed. Or where the biggest democracy lovers of all – the globalists – are but poorly disguised technocrats, come to suck your blood with a very undemocratic model of living, using things like climate change hysteria and COVID science as their whip.

Yes, that democracy.

But there goes me conspiracy theorising again, even though anyone can confirm all I’ve said with just a little reading and thinking.

@Vasily M
Actually, democracy is what allows people to voice their conspiracy theories on fora like this, where the only “repercussion” is dissenting opinions.

As for your ‘undemocratic model of living’? You a long with like-minded voters had your say, on climate change etc., at the ballot box in May 2022 and came up short. THAT’S democracy.

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