It’s Election time in Australia. The air is crisp, the leaves are falling from the trees, the news is filled with promises and digs from opposing sides, and most importantly, we have a long weekend (thank you Queen!).
In Australia it’s compulsory to vote when you turn 18, and I am someone who takes my right to vote very seriously. I look in to the various policies, I read articles, I watch a bit of QandA…and I do this because I am interested in the Australian political system, but also because as a History teacher, I realise how long the fight has been for people to have the right to vote. Women, Indigenous peoples, various ethnic groups have worked for suffrage and I figure the least I can do is turn up on the day as an educated voter. I think that’s also the flip side of having compulsory voting – a lot of people go in not knowing anything about who/what they’re voting for.
I know for me, I get a sense of pride and do a little chest pump walking through the gates of the local High School on Election day. I’ve even considered hosting an annual Election Day BBQ!
I know I have some American readers and I believe the right to vote is optional for you. So I wanted to put it out there for all my readers, no matter where you’re from – what do you think about Elections? Should voting be compulsory? Should we have the right to choose to vote?