No, I Am Not Going To Tell You Who To Vote For.
Over the past month or so, I have found myself in the midst of many a political chat. Whether it be over dinner with friends, at work, or even on dates. In the lead up to the federal election this Saturday, the conversation generated by my peers about who they are voting for has been one that I often, accidentally, enter with a very opinionated point of view. People also often ask me who I am voting for, and sometimes even for a run down on the major parties, because they know I studied politics at university and show a keen interest in the matter. However, I have come to learn, that no one can tell someone how to vote. Despite this, I do believe that the candidate you vote for, who represents a party or set of political ideals and policies, is and should be a direct reflection of your beliefs and values as an individual.
I strongly believe that every vote counts - often the candidate you have numbered sixth on your ballot will dictate who exactly your vote ends up supporting on election night. This year, Australia has seen the highest enrolment of young voters ever, at 97% of eligible voters under 30 signing up to participate in democracy! A big pat on the back to us. Our generation has the power to really make a difference in this election, especially in inner-city seats. However, despite the high level of enrolment, the vast number of conversations I have had with friends has highlighted that a majority of people still don't know exactly how voting works (in terms of preference deals and the preferential voting system), and furthermore, aren't 100% convinced that they are voting for candidates that actually support their views.
My advice is this: instead of voting for whoever your parents vote for, or who you believe you 'should' vote for, or even voting for the leader you hate the least (they will likely change anyway with our current track record) vote for the candidate in your seat that is running for the party that best reflects and represents your views. How do you find out who that is you ask? There are a number of different online quizzes that take no more than five to ten minutes, such as this one by the ABC that will generate your very own political ideological chart. Trust me, you might be surprised by the results.
And if you are thinking 'I really don't care' about any of this at all? You clearly do a little because you read this entire post. Let's get voting people.