I donkey voted today, and I feel a bit dirty about it. I didn’t do it out of a lack of respect for the voting system, nor because I thought it would be funny or smart. I did it because for me personally, it was the most honest decision I could make, the one that sat most comfortably with me.
A friend of mine called me out on this, saying that by donkey voting I give up my right to whinge about politics, but I strongly believe the opposite is true. I didn’t donkey vote out of complacency or laziness. If I was either of those things I wouldn’t have dragged myself out of bed while suffering a fairly substantial hangover, fight for a car park at the local state school, wait in the absentee voter’s queue for an hour and a half while ratty little kids tried to sell me over iced cupcakes, cans of home brand soft drink, and overcooked sausages in home brand bread. Hold the home brand BBQ sauce, thanks! If it were simply a matter of laziness, I would have taken two more Nurofen, rolled over and gone back to sleeping off my headache.
If anything , the fact that I feel so unrepresented by the various parties should entitle me to complain even more loudly. I pay personal and company tax, I pay rates, fuel excise, GST, customs duties, fire service levies, superannuation tax, fringe benefit tax, and probably a whole lot more I don’t even know about. And yet, none of that guarantee me fair representation in government.
I take my voting seriously. I suspect I’m one of the more informed members of the electorate. I research the parties, read up on their platforms, I find out who they’re giving their preferences to. I do this for every local, state and federal election. I come from a very pro Liberal background, the daughter of small business owners who’ve been self employed for about 40 years. I am a small business owner myself. For me to give my vote to the LNP would be as easy as breathing.
But I am also a lesbian who wants to be able to marry my partner if I choose to, and I care about the environment, and want to see more money spent on education and health, and less on police helicopters. I am anti organised religion, and certainly anti any religion based groups having any say at all in terms of policy.
I am economically conservative, but socially progressive. And I want to vote for a party who believes the same. Unfortunately, that isn’t an option. You have to be either one or the other when it comes to voting. Which is weird, because anyone I talk to seems to love the idea of an economically conservative, socially progressive government. It, um, makes sense. It certainly seems to be far more representative of the community I live in.
Anyway, it doesn’t matter, because it’s not an option. I donkey voted because I didn’t feel any party deserved my vote. Major policy agendas on both sides of politics turned my stomach and I felt ill supporting either.
And yes, I know there are alternatives, but in the electorate I vote in the alternative is Family First. Errr…thanks, but no thanks. I’d rather lick the rim of Bob Katter’s hat after a night line dancing at a Lee Kernigan concert.
So, today I voted for a donkey. It seemed somehow better than voting for a muppet who doesn’t understand me.