This year is actually my first time voting, I was still a young 17 year old the last time the election came round. One thing I’ve made sure to do in the last few months is learn about most parties’ policies, decide what is good or bad about them, how they would affect me, become educated about the upcoming referendums, and not just blindly follow a party without being able to justify why I vote for them. I feel like too many people aren’t fully educated on who they support, it’s your duty to make educated decisions and inputs on where this country should head, this is why we have democracy and a vote every three years. So yeah, I don’t really have much to say, but go and make an effort to educate yourself on who you’re supporting, be critical of your own party, don’t just blindly support them. I don’t even fully agree with my party sometimes, but the things I do agree with outweigh what I think of other parties. It’s ok to not be 100% on who you vote for either.
Politics schmolitics. I. Just. Don’t. Get. It. And maybe this is because I have no urgency to do so – unless ofcourse, I’m running to be on the student board and even that is a stretch with my overly confident poses. Politics for me are a bunch of adults ridiculing each other at the same time trying to convince the country why they are the best choice to run it. Look at Winston Peters for example. And maybe I’m looking at this the wrong way, but what I see is that there are a lot of issues they say they support, but are swept under the rug and the trust there is broken. However, what I do know is that voting regardless of my views is important. A contradictory approach I know, but hey, at least you can say you tried regardless of the outcome.
Political parties come to power and they leave it, the country swings left then swings right again. Any given election is little more than a nudge blue or red on an otherwise uninterrupted march in some direction or other. Every so often, however, an election comes along with something that makes a real difference. Referenda are rare opportunities. While the referendum on end of life choice is looking pretty strong, the poll numbers on recreational marijuana are not looking good. If you want to be able to smoke a cheeky spliff, or you’re tired of seeing brown people being locked up because they do, then it is more important than ever that our usually low-voting age bracket actually turn up at the polls. Because you know who does? Boomers. And if you’ve had enough of them steering us into oblivion then you have to show up. It’s not a big ask. Go and vote.
This year is the first time I’ve sat down and decided to get clued up on the election, how it works, who’s running, what do they stand for, the usual rhetoric. And now it’s up to me to decide who I’ll vote for. It’s my first time voting, and it’s a pretty daunting thought because everyone has something I like and something I don’t. The important thing is to take into consideration all aspects of every candidate and party. Don’t just vote left because NowThis told you to on your Facebook feed and don’t only vote right because you somehow think you’re an expert economist. The important thing is to keep an open mind; opinions are there to be changed. You shouldn’t feel obliged to vote for anyone. Democracy is about freedom of choice, not about backing a team out of blind loyalty, so be inquisitive and ask questions of your leaders.