CANBERRA (Rooters agency) – Australia is bracing for the possibility of a double disillusion election. More than a quarter century has passed since the country’s last such election.
Australia has two major parties, which take turns being the government. One of them is in office for one or a few terms, until its supporters become sufficiently disillusioned to switch their vote to the opposition, which then takes its turn in government. This usual procedure is known as a “single disillusion election,” or simply “election.”
A double disillusion election is now a possibility because the voting public seems to have fallen out of sync with the usual back-and-forth routine. It is indicating that it is unhappy with both sides: opinion polls asking who people would vote for if an election were held today are finding increasing pluralities for “none of the above.”
Prime Minister Ping still enjoys a high approval rating in polls, but this falls disastrously if the pollsters remind respondents which party Ping belongs to. Opposition Leader Pong has a dismal poll rating, but this rises considerably if the pollsters tell respondents that Pong is opposed to the government (possibly violating truth in polling laws when they do so).
Although the same terminology is not used in the United States, it also has double disillusion elections. In fact, some psephologists* believe that all US elections are double disillusion or even multi-disillusion. They point out that non-voters normally outnumber the votes of all the candidates in presidential and most other elections.
This does not happen in Australia, but in Australia voting is compulsory.
* Psephologists are people who study pebbles or stones. Voters’ attitudes can be gauged by the size of the stones they would like to throw at politicians.