The polls are showing that a large number of people still haven’t made up their mind about how to vote. It is likely that whatever that number is, it would be even higher in the Senate. That means there are plenty of people who can have their decision influenced, if they are made aware of the importance of the Senate and the danger that it may be weakened at this election. If I can just find a way to get into the heads of 12 million voters over the next 36 hours, we should be OK.
By polling night, there will have been 42 nights since the election was announced. Counting back, I’ve done better than I thought in managing to have 11 nights at home in Brisbane. My little girl seems to have grown up a lot while I’ve been away – she now goes to bed early and gets up early (no doubt benefiting from not having my influence around, as I tend to do the opposite). It will be good to spend some time with her over the next few weeks.
In focusing on what I’ve been doing during the campaign, it’s easy to forget the many many other people who work so hard during the six weeks of the campaign. I have been lucky to have a fabulous group of people on my staff who in many ways have worked harder and under more pressure than I. Having been a party worker and staffer myself in the past, it is humbling to remember how much work so many people do behind the scenes (for all parties) whilst having to put such faith (and a bit of hope) that the party’s leader and main candidates in the public arena don’t do something that will stuff it all up and put all their efforts to waste.
One of the frustrating things about the adversarial attitude and rigid party line mentality of Australian politics is the enormous number of talented people and candidates who are left out of the process at the expense of people whose main talents seem to be to reinforcing and repeating the party line or in attacking and discrediting people from other parties.
Many of our candidates, but also some from other parties, are clearly people who have great ideas, open minds and fresh attitudes but such things play little part in how politics is practiced or how it is assessed by the media. Not only are such attributes not valued, they are often actively discouraged. It is hard to know how to break this down, but until we do, our democracy will continuing to function at about 30% of its potential.