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Last Updated: Thursday, 22 November 2007, 15:25 GMT
Australian voters' panel: Hugh White
AUSTRALIAN ELECTION
Hugh White
Name: Hugh White
Age: 47
Lives: Perth
Works: Restaurant owner

I am not going to vote. I find the preferential voting in Australia highly undemocratic.

When you vote, you are supposed to put the parties in order of preference, but if your number one doesn't get enough votes to form a government, their votes are given to another party without your consent.

That's one of the main reasons why I am not giving my vote to anyone.

Another major reason is the division between the federal government and the states. Most of the states in Australia are Labor and they don't see eye to eye with the federal government, which is a centre-right coalition.

The state of WA (Western Australia), where I live, is the biggest state and it produces most of Australia's wealth.

We need someone like Mrs Thatcher, a strong personality with powerful opinion
But only a small proportion of the taxes we pay to the federal government returns to WA. One of Kevin Rudd's promises is that more of that revenue will go back to the state of WA to build better infrastructure.

I used to vote Labor in the 1980s. But I was young and didn't have too much of a hold on politics. Now I realise that politics can make a huge difference to your life.

I never voted for Howard and by now I know that he told quite a few lies - one of them about the Tampa boat.

Kevin Rudd appears to be a very good person. He presents himself well and comes across as an honest, straight-forward man. But if you look deeper into his policies, he is not so straightforward. He is desperate to get into government and has made too many promises.

I don't like the way they operate. Labor are now putting lots of effort into their media campaign and now they are the strongest party.

They have an ad in which Rudd says 'I'll be here till the end', whereas Howard says 'I won't'. (It's a reference to Howard's intentions to resign from politics halfway through the term.)

I am very suspicious of both major parties, they are in it for their own end.

I'd like to see somebody different in Australian politics. Somebody with a strong personality and a powerful opinion, like Mrs Thatcher. We never had such a strong person and maybe it's a time a woman takes the leadership of this country.




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