polls yet. We are not due for an election for another eighteen months. Whether the minority government can hold on that long is another question.
It has managed so far, more by good luck than good management. The "independents" keep it there. There is nothing very "independent" about the "independents". At least some of them seem to be more concerned with preserving their own jobs than anything else. They know that, barring electoral miracles, they will not be returned at the next election.
I have no doubt that, for the electorates, electing them seemed a good idea at the time. Here was someone who was prepared to be "independent"? We do not need to vote for one of the major parties? Well, we will give you a chance.
Part of the problem with this however is that those elected did not look (or refused to look) at the voting patterns in their electorates. It would have told them more about what their electorate wanted if they did not win. After all, it was preferences that got them there. Some would say they had a duty to consider those.
Preferential voting is supposed to be "fairer". It is supposed to give electors a chance to say, "If I cannot have "A" candidate then I would like "B" candidate. The "first past the post" vote says "A and nothing but A". Right.
There is another problem of course. Our electoral system has "compulsory preferential voting". In order to make your first vote count then you must mark all the other boxes in order of preference. So if you happen to be pro-Wibble you can mark that with a one but if there is also an anti-Wibble candidate you need to mark your preference to that too in among the pro-and-anti-Wibble candidate, the extreme-anti-Wibble, the not-so-extreme-Wibble etc.
It is all very confusing. Many people vote on personalities rather than policies. Someone "sounds nice" or sells themselves more effectively. Elections are not about selling policies but about selling personalities. Parties rely on past history or myths to gain support. The fine print of their policies is not read. If it is read then it is not understood. The policies may only stay in place long enough to gain power. Once there government is not accountable - at least until the next election and power allows you to manipulate policy anyway.
Elections, even our elections, can be manipulated - and they do get manipulated. Politics is about power, not about people. It is a very dirty business.
Yes, I am more than a little jaded this morning but, should you be reading this do tell me - is preferential voting preferable, or would you prefer first past the post?