[Linux-aus] Why Didn't You Vote?

Chris Smart mail at christophersmart.com
Tue Jan 27 16:25:45 EST 2009

2009/1/27 James Purser <james at jamespurser.com.au>

> This article does raise a valid point even though it seems to contain a
> kernel of snark:
> http://www.itwire.com/content/view/22871/1141/
> Why do we get low voter turnouts when we obviously have a much larger
> membership? If you didn't vote, I would like to hear why, no blame
> attached, just would be interesting to see the reasons.

"Out of everyone who participated in Linux.Conf.Au, out of every Linux user
group in the country, out of every person who is on the membership list of
Linux Australia, only another 43 people could muster the enthusiasm to
express a preference."

The elections are held at LCA - how many eligible LA members attended LCA
2009? It was held at lunch time - who was out eating and drinking instead?
Who wants to sit through an entire general meeting just to vote? (Maybe if
voting was online you'd get more people.) Perhaps there's not enough contact
with or visibility of the board during the year to make people aware of the
issues and make them feel like they really should vote. Dunno.

I guess the main reason is apathy. Many members probably do not consider it
important enough to bother voting.
For me, I'm happy with the current board and happy for whoever wins the
votes to become president, vice president, treasurer, etc. I'm also happy to
defer and let others who really have an opinion vote on my behalf.

Rest assured if I wasn't happy with the board I'd be campaigning a lot
harder and you'd probably see a greater turnout. When things are good (and
voting's not compulsory) this is what you see.

"Nevertheless, can President Stewart Smith genuinely assert to government
and educators and corporations that he represents the interests of Linux
users throughout the country when only a tiny number of them were
sufficiently motivated to vote?"

He sure can. That's how democracy works in the U.K, the U.S and NZ (and
possibly every other Democratic country other than Australia).
Voting in Australia is compulsory but it's not the only way Democracy works.

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