I mentioned in a recent post about election forums I’ve helped organise with various migrant communities in Brisbane, Logan and Toowoomba. I’ve enjoyed being a (mostly) disinterested observer, seeing the different styles and angles the various candidates have taken at each event. I’ve been going to all of them as part of one of the jobs I am doing at the moment.
For the same reasons, I went along tonight to a talk given by UQ economist (and long-standing prolific blogger) John Quiggin, about the current economic situation and where things might go from here.
While the election forums were each interesting and useful in their own ways, none of them came close to attracting the level of interest or numbers of people wanting to come along, compared to the economics talk.
It seems people are much more interested in and their minds far more exercised by the state of our economy than they are by the state election, which is understandable in many respects, as the economic situation seems far more immediate and relevant to our overall future.
But while state governments have far less capacity than the federal level to influence macro-economic policy and direction, they can still have a significant impact – for better or worse – at the local level on some very crucial economic and other issues.
I know many people haven’t found the election campaign overly enthusing or engaging, but there is still an important choice to be made on the weekend. Even though it is commonly said that all political parties and politicians are broadly the same, there are key differences. Making your decision on who to vote for by default is taking a risk with the future.