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Saturday, September 03, 2005

Civic duty in the USA: MIA

What is happening in the United States of America? In the year 2000, it was stunning to hear of the electoral disarray in Florida and the partiality of those responsible for the strange way of managing electoral law. Australia is one of the few countries in the world with a system of voting that is compulsory. The figure for those who fail to vote or who dishonour their vote by accident or design - known as an informal vote - is seldom more than 10% of those who are enrolled, compulsorily, to vote. Exceptions are made for those whose religious beliefs do not permit them to vote. This is why it is strange for Australians to see someone elected to the most powerful political office in the world who may have received the vote of only 30% of Americans.

We are stunned again by the lack of urgency and inability to cope with the situation in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. And this in a country which professes to be Christian and one nation under God. Pardon me! What is the US doing? What is the Bush Administration thinking - if it is thinking at all? Is there no ability to do unto others as you would have them do unto you? This is beyond comprehension.