A vegan sausage sizzle.

A vegan sausage sizzle. Drawing Luke Hockley.

A vegan sausage sizzle. Drawing Luke Hockley.

Dear Self,

Today is an exciting day.

I’m doing lots of good things today.

But one of the most exciting is that I get to vote in a by-election today.

I know!

I get that politics and voting have a bit of a bad rap in this country…but I feel so privileged that I get to exercise my right to vote without feeling afraid or intimidated.

Also, I am so proud of our mandatory voting laws.

This is something I really misunderstood for a long time. I didn’t get how a ‘democracy’ could ‘make people vote’? But, after thinking about this for years I realised that this law really protects us.

When you have every eligible adult voting it means that politicians have to appeal to everyone. So, (almost) every voice is considered, in some way, by someone in the election process. When you have voluntary voting then the game becomes more about two disturbing things…how can I rally the most extreme views in my support base, so they come out to vote…and how can I create enough confusion about my opponent so that their supporters or undecided voters choose to stay home rather than come out to vote…

That stuff is dirty and bad.

I’m not saying politics in Australia is all squeaky clean and above board…no…not at all. But I do think it is a bit more focused on the issues because of the mandatory voting laws and that is a good thing.

And voting is like going to a primary school fete, literally at a primary school! What’s not to love about a vegan friendly sausage sizzle and a $2 potted plant on a Saturday morning?



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