Opinion: Voters being let down by both sides

TWO grand finals play out today, but only one will still be able to change your life after Monday.

No election campaign is easy, but this one has been particularly difficult for Australian voters who today largely must choose between two parties they don't particularly like to form a government they won't particularly trust.

This is a mess of Labor's and the Coalition's own making.

Kevin Rudd's 11th-hour return to the Lodge cannot hope to undo the damage and disillusionment created by three years of leadership squabbles within the ALP.

On the Coalition's side, those same three years have been filled with a relentless negativity that made a mockery of the "gentler polity" Tony Abbott publicly wished for after the vicious 2010 campaign and has given those wanting to change governments nothing to inspire them.

So what to do when you reach the ballot box?

Good government is a sum of its parts and those parts are a matter of supply and demand.

So long as voters look at parties as teams to barrack for or against, or vote for party leaders over their local candidates, there is nothing to force the parties to improve those parts.

If electorates vote for who they believe will best represent them in Parliament, regardless of their party (or lack thereof), the parties will be forced to provide candidates genuinely able to give good representation.

More importantly, it will encourage good people to step forward, regardless of their own political affiliation (or lack thereof).

The only result of that can be a Parliament of good representatives and, from that, good governments; regardless of their political stripe.

Alex Easton is The Northern Star's deputy editor and digital producer and has covered every Federal election for the past 13 years.



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