Friday, 20 February 2009

...enemy of the municipal association


From Victorian Electoral Commission (VEC) records it appears that you failed to vote at the above [Glen Eira Local Council] election. Voting is compulsary under Section 40 of the Local Government Act 1989. Consequently, you must provide a response to this notice.

Option 1 - I failed to vote at the above election (Tick!)
(Please provide your detailed explanation on the back of this notice to support your response)

So, did I respond with...?

a) Dear VEC, I failed to vote because my dear old mum has been doing poorly and had a fall the night before the election started. She lives in the South Sandwich Islands and its a real bitch to get a boat there this time of year, due to the late summer gale-forced winds peculiar to that longitude of the roaring forties. Anyways I didn't leave the house but I stayed up all night worrying about it and slept in... for four days because my doctor keeps prescribing me these horrible, trippy sleeping pills and... gnaH! Aggh..wassa? Spidersss.... haalpp...!

  • I am a renter, not a ratepayer. I have lived in Glen Eira Ward for little over 1 year and do not expect to be here long. I have not the time or reason to get my head around local issues and candidates. My vote would have therefore been a donkey vote, which may have tainted the the results of the election. I thought it best for a true reflection of voter concerns if I did not vote.
  • I have been on the electoral role for 15 years and I have never been issued an infringement (that I am aware of) despite never having voted in a Council election. Has the VEC had a change in policy? Please advise.
  • Poor voter turnout reflects a lack of interest and confidence in this tier of government. Serious reform to the voting system is needed. Failure to reform would indicate the VEC's satisfaction with the exorbitant revenues generated by public apathy.
c) The reason I failed to vote is because after briefly flicking through the daily wad of electoral rubbish the candidates had been rudely dumping in my letterbox (and consequently my recycling bin), I came to the realisation that none of the candidates deserved my endorsement. Speaking from personal experience having worked for a few wannabe local councillers, I generally find them all to be despicable megolamaniacs who would likely sell their own mothers for a whiff of power, and I am deeply troubled when I contempalate the prospect of any one of them having control over the pricing of the Municipal parking meters of Glen Eira. Sure they may appear different, being either bloated, blue-bloods who resemble real estate agents or scrawny, wrinkly hippies in cardigans, but the information presented to me shows that they are apparently all the same when it comes to policy. They all claimed to stand for lower rates, law and order, local small businesses and the environment. I don't know why they needed seperate flyers, I mean they could have saved money and trees by just printing up one and then all signing their names at the bottom.

d) It's a fair cop. Who do I make the cheque out to?


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At 20 February 2009 at 12:06 , Blogger Kath Lockett said...

Please tell us you choose options b and c....

At 23 February 2009 at 11:27 , Blogger The Man at the Pub said...

Yep. It was one of those.

At 28 November 2009 at 17:16 , Anonymous Kenski said...

I just got an Apparent failure to vote notice also. I'm looking to return a similar response. Did you hear back from them and did you eventually pay the fine? I'd say it was option b?

At 29 November 2009 at 21:37 , Blogger The Man at the Pub said...

Thanks Kenski. The odd thing is that I have never voted in local council elections and I have never received the failure to vote notice and a fine.

In hindsight this post is erroneous. I actually responded with b and c. It was considered an "unacceptable explanantion" and I was fined. I think it was about $70 bucks, and I was fantasising about fighting it, but my wife probably did the sensible thing and paid it one day without me knowing.

I will vote in the future, but I can protest with a donkey vote (I think you just mark the boxes 1-2-3-4...etc, or is it leaving them blank that is a donkey vote? I forget). Anyway, local councils have more lawyers than you can afford so I just wouldn't pay the fine until the start threatening you with legal action. You may find the won't pursue it if you wait long enough.

Good luck!

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