Monday, March 21, 2011

The Average Voter

I like politics. Like, really.

Ugh. Making statements like that make me feel like I'm at a kind of AA for the incurably pretentious. And while I don't mean it in a "I've memorised the names and personal details of all the members of Parliament in an attempt to better KNOW MY ENEMY for when I take my God-given place at the helm of my country, because I can totally run this shit better than Jules" way, it is true. I think politics is equal parts important and interesting, and if you can deal with the inevitable outpouring of bullshit, political conversations are often some of the best.

Because of this I love election times. I love the campaigns, I love Anthony Green, and I really, really love election night. Hosting my own "Don's Party" remains one of my greatest dreams. Honestly, sometimes I forget how much of a nerd I am. Then an election rolls around and I remember how excited filling in the the boxes under the line makes me. (For the record, it's embarrassing amounts of excited)

Which is why I was really depressed when I finally got around to casting my vote for the NSW State election today.

I probably shouldn't be surprised. After all, I'm half way around the globe, so the effect the election result will have on me is literally non-existent. I barely know who the candidates in my area are, let alone what they stand for, and state is my least favourite branch of government at the best of times.

Still, I wanted to have my say. I am lucky enough to come from a country where the elections are genuinely free and democratic, where I can casually destroy the character of candidates I don't like (I'm looking at you, Pauline) in conversation and not fear for my life, hell, where if I wanted badly enough I could form my own party and run for my life. There are people all over the world who are literally dying for those rights. And I don't even know when the election is on.

Aussies in Britain can vote from the 14th until the 24th, and I had every intention of going out last Monday and casting my vote. But then I just...didn't. Other things kept seeming more fun (which they were) and more important (which they weren't...probably). By Wednesday I'd clean forgot I even had to vote, and I only remembered yesterday because I didn't want to be fined. And this morning when I did finally make it over to Australia house and filled out the 311-odd boxes below the line, I did it with none of my usual flair.

Then I found out I wouldn't even be fined if I hadn't voted at all.

Then I felt bad.

It'd be easy to say the reason I'm not fired up about this election is because I'm so far away, but I don't really care all that much about UK politics either. It's pathetic how fast I've lost interest in something that used to captivate me so fully. And it's not mildly disturbing that my loss of interest has basically relocated me to the realms of the average voter.

I need to find myself a protest to attend.

1 comment:

  1. I miss you :( Even voting will be less exciting with you out of the country. Trust.

    Hope everything's going peaches :) Did you get my letter yet?