Voting is a right, use it. Protect that vote, fight any attempts to make it “easier” by kicking you off the rolls.
Enroll to vote, make sure you are in the right electorate, know your candidates and when you vote, vote properly.
Watch out for postal votes which return envelopes are addressed to a political party.
Watch out for aged-care facilities in which party hacks collect votes on behalf of residents, especially when ballots are filled-in in pencil.
Watch out for anyone voting on behalf of the aged or non-English speakers.
Come election time, make sure your less-than-mobile, non-Liberal-National party loved ones have access to a polling place, consider it quality time together – take them pre-poll voting then take them for a coffee.
The following links are for the state and federal electoral commissions, you can easily check you are enrolled and enrolled properly at these sites:
Australian Electoral Commissions
- Australian Electoral Commission
- New South Wales
- Northern Territory
- South Australia
- Western Australia
- Australian Capital Territory
Here is why voting is important:
It doesn’t matter who you vote for, a politician always wins.
If you vote for the lesser of two evils, you are still voting for evil.
Don’t blame me, I didn’t vote, voting just encourages them.
The only way to defeat the major parties is by not voting, for anyone.
This is just a selection of sayings people have invented to discourage you from voting and turning their own ignorance into a virtue.
As Emma Goldman may or may not have said: If voting changed anything, they’d make it illegal.
Guess what – they won’t make it illegal, not yet, they will just sit back and wait while you voluntarily give up your right to vote.
Voting does change things, that is why Right-wing governments all over the world are pushing to disenfranchise voters, that is why the move is on in Australia to have voluntary voting and voter photo ID.
Voter photo IDs laws punish the young, who may not have got around to getting their driver’s licence and the poor who may not have licences or passports. Also, photo ID requirements don’t prevent voter fraud, they just prevent voter impersonation.
The Right want to create a scandal about voter fraud which will result in only the Right voting – and vote they will, they never see their vote as a burden.
Besides, all the voter restrictions – IDs, literacy tests, restricted hours, voting tax – will not affect any party or organisation that wants to commit voter fraud, they will have to resources to circumvent any restriction. All moves to eliminate voter fraud entrenches fraud and eliminates legitimate voters.
Voter fraud is not a problem in Australia, and any reasoned attempts to convince the Right there is no problem is met with “conspiracy theory!”, they will tell you the left relies on fraudulent votes, which tells you they are creating a solution to a problem which doesn’t exist, the fact they say the left relies on it, is clear they are targeting left-wing voters for disenfranchisement.
While we are talking about fraud, do we really think any party that has lost a Premier, a couple of ministers and a few more MPs at the NSW ICAC (that’s, Independent Commission Against Corruption) really cares about eliminating fraud?
The Right-wing openly brag that the more people they can prevent from voting the more their vote goes up. People who already feel powerless will feel their vote doesn’t make a difference, and stay at home on election day.
If you don’t vote, you increase the power of the voters who do vote to choose government.
Do not believe anyone who tells you that they want voluntary voting to make your life easier, to relieve you of that burden of once every three years going to your local polling booth and putting a piece of paper in a cardboard box…
These are the people who want you to work until you are 70 because age pensions are less important than their gold passes. Do you really think these people want to make your life easier?
Voluntary voting favours the Right Wing, repeating that for all the Lefties who say voting should not be compulsory: Voluntary voting favours the Right Wing.
One study found that in the 1996 election in Australia, compulsory voting reduced the vote share of the victorious right-wing Liberal Party/National Party coalition by five points. Another study looked at the interwar period (1918-1941), when Australia first embraced compulsory voting, and found that the policy benefited the left-wing Labor Party by about seven to nine points.
What if it were illegal NOT to vote? – The Washington Post
The difference when there is voluntary voting is almost 10% (M. Mackerrasa, I. McAllister) in favour of the Right. Imagine how difficult it would be for the Left to win any election stating 10% down, now try to tell me that voluntary / compulsory voting is all about making your life easier.
If the Right can encourage people to not use their voting rights they can go a long way to ensuring permanent Liberal governments – well, except for when Murdoch wants to show he is in charge and flips the government, to send a wake up call to the Right to not take his support for granted.
Voluntary voting is on the IPA wishlist, if there is anything that should be a great big red flag that this isn’t going to benefit ordinary people, you haven’t been paying attention to the IPA.
When you say what’s the point in voting, a politician always wins, you are making the case for voluntary voting. Meanwhile, those in power want to take away your rights, permanently, they are motivated to vote (or restrict your voting) because they know exactly how powerful it can be. That is why they Right are doing all they can to make it more difficult for you to excise that right to vote.
For those who say that voting is a burden – Nelson Mandela went to prison for almost thirty year, hard labour, to get the vote. Women suffragettes died in the fight to get the vote. African-Americans in the United States were lynched daring to register to vote. These are burdens, voting is not.
One more thing: when you voluntarily give up your rights – whether it is the implied right to free speech, association, or voting – because you see it as a burden, you are making it easier for governments to take away my rights, and having my rights taken away makes me sad : (
Maybe what Emma Goldman should have said: If voting changed anything, the Right would make it voluntary.
Because much of the feedback to Part 1 was along the lines of “that’s good and all, but how about some practical solutions”, these will come in part 3, 4, etc. Future posts will cover Civil Dis/Obedience; Educate, Agitate, Organise; Don’t Get Mad, Get Organised; Get Your Hands Dirty, Keep Your Conscience Clean; Silencing The Opposition; Go To The Mattresses, Go To The Barricades; Hold The Media To Account; Appeasing Bullies Never Works; Good People Don’t Always Do Good Things; Stop Funding Those Who Enslave You; Wake Up! And Smell The Fascism; “Be Nice” Is Censorship; It’s My Party And I’ll Cry If I Want To