As much as I love the idea of holding public fora where voters can ask unscripted questions of their elected representatives. (“Our leaders need more Q & A in the real world”, The Australian, August 18), the Rooty Hill RSL forum was not a good model, as only undecided voters were allowed to participate.
The majority of Australians consistently vote according to their convictions. A minority, mainly the least engaged and informed, make up their minds, ad hoc, at the last minute. Due to the vagaries of our electoral system, these people have an undue influence on election outcomes, so the major parties must court them passionately, showering them with gifts and flattering them with endearments like “Middle Australia”, “the Real Australia”, or even “the Real World”.
The swinging voter is an over-represented minority and is no more “real” than any other segment of the electorate.