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.”
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.