Over the last few years there have been a number of state and federal elections here in Australia and in the United States of America.
Whether someone moved a lever on a machine in Milwaukee or pencilled a paper in Perth, the fact that the ballot in both of these cities was secret means that as soon as the levers snapped upright again or the paper was pushed into the cardboard ballot box – their choice became none of my business.
If I had tried to get into the curtained booth or the cardboard cubicle with them I would have been detained by the authorities and brought before a magistrate – and fined or jailed for attempting to interfere with a voter.
I would have been free up until they entered the polling place to try to convince them to vote for whomever I supported. Or against whomever I hated. There might have been restrictions on how this could be done within a designated radius of the polling place but outside of that I could have swamped their social media with memes and smarmy shared videos all I wanted. I could have made a right social pest of myself.
I was also apparently free afterwards to applaud or boo their choice through those same social media channels – dependant upon several things:
a. Whether my side won or lost.
b. Whether I could find out who they voted for.
c. Whether anyone gave a damn.
I am a firm supporter of the free, private, election system and the legal protections that keep it so. I also accept that there will be politicking of an amateur nature before the vote by anyone who can push a mobile phone button. But I am getting butt-sick of the aftermarket catcalling that tries to restructure an election or refight a lost battle.
In simple, if crude, terms – who you voted for is none of my goddamn business, and who I voted for, none of yours. This sentiment is even more valid if you try to make me cry political crocodile tears for another nation’s electoral choices.
Western Australia’s got enough of our own crocodiles to occupy us for the forseeable future.