Sunday, 11 August 2013


Putting a vote into the ballet box

WORDS | Lucia Stein

I think that we can all relate to Jon Oliver’s segment on The Daily Show. Election campaigns seem to awaken a kind of dread that reminds one of finals. We go into a sort of shutdown mode where social networks and television are the enemy. Yet, despite continued efforts to stay out of the political scene, somewhere, somehow we are drawn into the debate.
“They’re here.”

No matter where you go or what you do, election talk will be on the agenda. It affects our everyday life. Just take the recent government decision to cut university funding. The person who is elected this year will play a part in deciding how you live your life or at least, pay off your university debts. So if you can’t beat them, join them.

Your vote counts.

It’s a cliché for a reason. It may seem like the last thing you want to do on a Saturday but your vote could ultimately decide who Australia’s next PM is. It’s important especially because the decisions that are made now can impact your employment, your ability to buy a house, your access to healthcare and anything else that doesn’t seem so important now but will mean everything in a couple years.

“The hopeless candidates…
The commercials…
 The stupid, stupid questions…”

Yes, you may be thinking that we are forced to choose the best from a bad bunch but sometimes voting isn’t about electing the best person in but keeping the worst party out. As cynical as that may be, it’s important to recognize that while we may just want to shut off our television screens and delete our Facebook account for the duration of the election, we are playing a part in democracy.

Good ol’ democracy. It’s what generations before us fought for. We’re apart of it and voting helps us play a part in ‘keeping the bastards honest’. It may be the longest election campaign in Australian history but it’s our vote that will help decide who represents us on the global stage. Hidden beneath the spin and the overused ‘Aussie’ colloquial language is an event that will decide our place in history.

So let’s change how people see us. Let’s not be Generation Y vote but generation Y not?

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