I was driving to work on Friday morning and listening to the radio. The news came on and announced that two laws had just passed. The first increased the maximum campaign donation from $1000 to $12,000 and the second, and most insidious, was that ID would now be required to vote in Queensland, Australia.
The pretense for Voter ID laws is that it will stop voter fraud. It sounds reasonable enough. It’s true that if people are required to show their ID when voting that it will reduce, or near eliminate, instances of voter fraud.
But voter fraud isn’t a problem, nor is it the reason that the Liberal Party in Australia – or the Republican Party in the US, for perspective – seek to implement this legislation.
The politicians who push this legislation know the numbers. The overwhelming number of people who have no ID vote for the Labor party – or in the US, vote for the Democratic party. It is the lower income earners, the unemployed, the non English-speaking and the minorities. They are the people with the least power, the ones most easily stepped on without repercussions.
Yes, if you have no ID and you want to take part in the democratic process it is possible to obtain an ID, but from a statistical point of view, the lawmakers who enact this legislation know that voter ID laws will reduce a segment of the population that will vote against them.
It will disenfranchise voters and infringe on the democracy, all under the guise of protecting the democracy from a statistically insignificant, and almost non-existent and wholly contrived, voter fraud problem.
Then there’s the not insignificant problem of increasing the campaign donations. If politicians, or political parties, can receive $12,000, instead of $1000 from a voter, they’re more likely to focus their efforts on catering towards those with more wealth – those who can afford to give more than $1000.
These two pieces of legislation work in synergy against the Labor party in Australia. They do not strengthen the democracy, they strengthen the Liberal party.