To me, being able to vote is something I treat as a privilege. Now a “privilege” could seem highly farfetched, but why you may ask ?
Now, it’s not only because of the amazing baked goods on offer by the polling booth or the electoral tradition of a sausage in bread. For those overseas readers, this has become that much of a tradition here in Australia, to eat a sausage on election day, we actually dedicated websites to show where the best sausage sizzle is on a voting day. True fact ! http://www.electionsausagesizzle.com.au/
But it’s the fact that my one little vote can mean the difference in either someone who I like or dislike is elected to represent me. Seats of parliament have been won and lost on a handful of votes, senators have been elected on preference deals, it all adds up at the end of the day.
Now voting in Australia is compulsory and yet a democratic society and it’s a self-register once you turn 18, so you have to make the effort to enrol. But sadly 6% of the total population aren’t enrolled to vote, which I think is a shame.
In many countries around the world, you do not have the ability to vote for leaders, speaking out against the government can land you in prison. I am lucky that in my country, I can call the prime minister an arse hat without a threat on my life or my family. Why wouldn’t you have the choice to vote ?
I did ask the question on my own Facebook page “What does voting mean to you?” I got some great responses from my friends which even I didn’t think about. Here is just a sample,
- It never interested me, although I know it should
- It’s all very confusing
- If Australia is in debt and so is the rest of the world… Then who’s isn’t?
- Wishing I had a third, non-extreme party to vote for
- Being able to have a choice in voting for what is right for me and our future
The way I look at it is where you are today in your life, your vote may feel like it doesn’t matter, yes, it not have an effect on your day to day world, but it could for your future.
Think of the national disability insurance scheme we have here in Australia, you may be 100% today and don’t need any government services, but what if something happened tomorrow. You may want children, start a business or look after an elderly member of your family who needs health care. These and many other things could change your viewpoint.
When I vote, I am not only voting for me but the members of my family, my friends, my local community, now and into the future.
When it comes to an election, make sure you have your say but without enrolling and showing up on the day, you’re not making it count. If that is here in Australia or in your country.
Don’t forget to value your privilege … and your democratic sausage too.
Comment below and let me know… “What does voting mean to you ?”