Last night I spent the evening at my boyfriends house, enjoying food and chats with him and his housemate.
One way or another the topic came up.
“Who do you support in this election?”
I blankly stared back as I replied, “In a twist of irony, despite my degree in political science, I don’t follow Australian Politics, and as such, I have zero idea about any of the parties and/or their policies.” (or something to that effect)
What followed was a surprising, enlightening and eye opening discussion around why I should care, how easy it is to identify some sense of association and what happens if I choose to turn a blind eye to it all.
In an effort to summarise the poignant points, I have paraphrased my learnings below:
- Donkey voting, blind voting and/or un-researched voting can result in electing parties (directly or indirectly through the preferential system) who go against the things that matter to me.
- Being mindful of the preferential system. Once you’ve decided to allocate your vote to someone, be mindful of who you’ve selected after them and where your vote could potentially be allocated. If you’re supporting smaller parties, it’s important to know that it is likely they won’t achieve a 50% support rating, and thus they will move to your second preference and allocate it there, and so on until a clear 50% is reached. So knowing the preferred system of allocation for your smaller party is a good place to start.
- Know what you stand for. If the environment is important to you – as it is to me – know who stands with those beliefs, and how your voting preferences can best support those policies via your voted preferences. Go to your local candidates webpage to view their preferred voting order.
I know it can get overwhelming with all the advertising materials, and all the potential policies people want to push on you as important. If you’re struggling to align with a party, think about the bigger issues each party stands for, and see which fits you best.
Links to their policies/beliefs below:
- Liberal – https://www.liberal.org.au/our-beliefs
- Labour – https://www.alp.org.au/policies
- Greens – https://greens.org.au/policies
- AJP – https://animaljusticeparty.org/policies/
There are many others available in certain areas, the above is just an initial snapshot.
Who you put on your ballot form, decides for the next 4 years which direction this country goes, what we care about as a nation and what we support and fund.
I’ve heard someone say that no-one really cares who’s in parliament until you’re in direct conflict with its policies. Don’t wait until it’s too late to do something, invest a few minutes of your time into discovering who’s about what before heading to the polls tomorrow.
For me, this planet matters. Her resources are finite, and time is running out. Though I may not live to see her demise, the idea that we are the last generation to live as comfortably as we do is frightening. If this is the pinnacle of human existence and we are responsible for a Frank Herbert style ending, I know I don’t want to be a part of the people who did nothing.
Your vote matters, more than you know.