Will the real voters please stand up?

I read an interesting post by Carli at Tiny Savages (a lady who I can always count on provoking my thoughts and making me look at my assumptions), called Will ​the real politicians please stand up?  Carli talks about disillusionment with our political representatives, but what it brought up for me is my disillusionment with voting behaviours.

Two incredibly frustrating yet seemingly common voter behaviours in Australia are:​

Voting because that’s the way their family always voted

Deliberately voting incorrectly so your vote doesn’t count

​Both get under my skin because like it or not your vote is important, why would you not want to stop and think and vote for a party / independent that you believe is going to be the closest fit for your values.

Why not take the time to peer past the media and PR spin that clouds this issue? Why not reexamine whether tradition is in this case valuable or just easy?​

“Tradition becomes our security, and when the mind is secure it is in decay.”

Jiddu Krishnamurti

Why throw a vote? Do you consider yourself to be so unimportant that you passively let others choose your destiny? Or are you tragically unaware of what others went through to secure your right to vote?​

​Is it all too much effort?  Is it just too much time to take out of your life?  Annoying enough that you might waste a whole morning at the polling station as it is? You know our peaceful polling stations where the worst thing that happens to you is being harassed by people flapping how to vote cards in your face or maybe the person you’re waiting behind farts.  Is it just too much for our privileged selves?

While people in Kenya risk and lose their lives in order to vote,*
we baulk at research,  we whine about hitting a few keys and sifting
through information in the comfort of our home or office?​

​Sadly we’re a country who’ll queue for an iPhone or relentlessly bash the keys to secure concert tickets, but secure a thoughtful considered vote not so much.

Tell me I’m wrong, tell me you care about your vote? Or if you didn’t this year you’re going to?

*Yes in the article someone had a whine about waiting in line, I’d not be too happy hanging out in line there either it’s a just ​a little​ less cushy than we’re used to.


4 thoughts on “Will the real voters please stand up?

  1. I agree.I love that in Australia voting is compulsory…I can’t vote yet as I am not a citizen but I think that compulsory voting is a great idea.But I too wish that people actually thought about their vote and what they are voting for.I don’t know how to achieve this though. In the States the entire election process is totally ridiculous and definitely worse than what I have seen here.

    • Are you planning to get citizenship? It’s something that I find really interesting, when people get citizenship or dual citizenship.I have no solutions unfortunately apart from ranting about it and impressing upon my children that it’s their choice and one they should take seriously. The oldest is quite upset as she turns 18 ten days after the election and really wanted to vote.I used to idealise voting being non-compulsory as the solution but as I’ve gotten older I have realised that won’t solve the problem.

  2. Great post Lila! I’m a complete floozy when it comes to political parties. I vote according to their policies and what is most relevant to myself and my community at the time. I was very conscientious when I was in my twenties and voted based on party history. Then I went through a bit of inertia and just voted after looking through their policies on their websites. The last six years or so, I have regained a bit of mind control and done a bit of research….feels so much better on the day to know that you are using your power of one for good!

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