When I was a doe-eyed 17-year old I was so excited by the prospect of my first opportunity to vote that I put my name on the electoral roll early just in case an election was called before my birthday for a date after my birthday. I was, apparently, only the second person ever to take advantage of the little known clause in the legislation at my local electoral office (for the record, it worked, I voted in a state election a mere 12 days after my 18th birthday).
25 and a half years later the gloss has well and truly worn off my excitement about voting. I still devour political news on TV and in print, watch every minute of election-night coverage and yes am following #ausvotes on twitter. But these days all this news-following is accompanied with more cynicism than anticipation.
I hate being one of those “all politicians are equally unethical and you can’t trust any of ’em” moaners but that’s where I’m at. We only have two major parties, one of whom will form government and both of which are currently being led by people who usurped their party’s respective leaderships in what can only be called slimy circumstances. Both have also apparently hired the same advertising agency and speech writers as ‘moving forward’ is clearly the buzz phrase of the 3-day old campaign. Its constant repetition is already a more annoying noise than the world cup’s vuvuzelas. I guess the parties assume that if they repeat it often enough we’ll all forget the pretty miserable way they have behaved in the past few months. And even if we don’t, who else are we gonna vote for (and in Australia we have compulsory voting so we have to vote for someone or pay a fine)?
But as this blog isn’t about politics I do have a reading-related point. Well actually a favour to ask. I need some recommendations.
What great political themed fiction should I read over the next 5 weeks?
Can you recommend a book that takes place during a political campaign?
Or perhaps one where a candidate gets brutally, horribly mutilated (I know it’s mean but it’s better I read about it than do it to my local member who will once again be elected from our very safe seat despite having morals that an alley cat would look down upon)?
Or can you suggest something that will rekindle my faith in the democratic process?
Looking forward to your suggestions.