With Election Day in sight, there was a palpable sense of relief at an inner west Sydney early voting booth where I had volunteered over the past few weeks. It feels like a long campaign.
The impact of the first ever three-week pre-poll has been a regularly occurring conversation. One view is that it is bad for “democracy”, and having the national population vote on the same day brings with it an equalising effect. Another view is that early voters may not take into account the latest policy announcement or budget statement — or even candidate disendorsement, of which there have been quite a few.
It is a challenge for all parties to find and organise volunteers to staff booths for three weeks. But is having party volunteers on hand for three weeks to explain policies and preferences a bad thing for democracy? I don’t think so.