Words and Art by: Callum Johnson
If this year’s federal election has shown us anything, young voters can have a drastic impact on the political landscape. But how do you figure out who to vote for to begin with? Adrift in a sea of old men in suits, it’s all too easy to lose yourself amidst the myriad of political parties, the differences between which can seem like little more than shades of grey (or caucasian, more accurately) to the uninformed.
Maybe you simply follow your parents’ political leaning, comforted by the fact that they are actual adults after all, and their opinions therefore have to be sensible ones. Right? Or did you pick a side long ago and have stuck with it ever since, even as it changes leadership year in and year out? Perhaps you’ve got friends that live and breathe politics, friends that can give you the inside scoop on the logistics of branch-stacking at a moment’s notice, and can most certainly point you in the right direction for voting season. Maybe you are that friend, having spent the time to diligently comb over all the parties and allot your vote carefully, instead of playing a quick round of sudoku at the ballot box before your democracy snag. It’s possible that you just don’t see what all the hubbub is about, as nothing really seems to change anyway — so you pick the parties with the silliest names, or better still, draw a big fat penis over your ballot card to really stick it to The Man. Or maybe you just forgot (again).
Should you wish to change your tactic, I’d recommend checking out the ABC-commissioned ‘Vote Compass’ to begin. Created by Vox Pops Labs, ‘Vote Compass’ is a 10-minute survey that helps indicate how closely your political sentiments align with the parties out there, which can be a great place to start if you’re feeling overwhelmed. That being said, it is notoriously difficult to quantify political ideologies to a sliding scale, so it’s best tempered with your own research (and no, that doesn’t include the crackpot, far-right articles Grandad keeps telling you to read). At the end of the day, even a donkey vote counts; but with how easy it is to do a little research online, I’d implore you to spend a couple minutes doing so before the next election, and make yourself a tangible part of the conversation.