Surely online is more agile than postal and Malcolm was once passionate about Agile.
But then he was passionate about lots of things once.
So let’s spell it out
Older voters (>50s) are much more likely to use Postal voting. Younger voters (<30s) are much less likely to return postal voting papers. Some estimates place the response rate of Younger voters below 30%.
Online voting will get a much stronger response from a younger demographic and much weaker response from the older demographic many of whom may not use the Internet.
Imagine the outcry about disenfranchisement if there had been an online vote.
You can just imagine the Christian right defending a postal vote by saying, “Just tell the lazy young buggers to take the letter to the letterbox and post it.”
“Yeah well, just get your grandkids to show you how to use the Internet and do an online vote. It’s not that hard.”
But here’s the rub.
The older demographic is far more likely to vote No, the younger demographic is far more likely to Yes.
That’s why the government of old white men decided to use the technology that was developed in 1840 the UK to decide on Marriage Quality in Australia.
And now the man who was credited by Tony Abbott with “virtually inventing the Internet in this country” has passed up a chance to use it to advance the democratic and social process in Australia and stick with the old tried-and-true methods.
Particularly ones that are likely to produce results that his mates who keep him more or less cemented in the prime ministership want.