Or simplistic? Well, mix and match. You’ll work it out! :D
1. Vote based on policy
This is easy: the party with the best policies wins. It’s also time-consuming: you’ll have to read them all!
2. Vote based on party
Not so keen on reading policies? Just catch the vibe of what each party stands for. That’s not so easy though, even if you can cut through the mess of spin and advertising. And parties also change their tune over time, so don’t just vote with your parents, Gen Y!
3. Vote based on local candidates
This can actually make politics creative and fun. Meet your local representatives in person and vote for the one you trust. This can be a great option for people who believe in local communities, including Christian anarchists.
4. Vote based on your political compass
This is a useful way of working out your own basic approach to political questions before you start. Figure out where you stand in terms of social and economic change, then arrange your vote around the best fit.
5. Donkey vote or informal vote
These are two different things. As far as I’m concerned, a donkey vote is a big fat non-option. It’s not a real protest and it’s not opting out — it’s just a vote with no thought behind it (‘donkey’). Is an informal vote any better? It doesn’t count in any way, so it’s just a lost vote — and informal ‘protest’ votes made up less than %2 of election votes in 2001. That’s not ‘making a difference’! If you’re really miffed about the system, then why not own it: either cop the vote and think about it, or boycott it altogether and take the consequences. It’s the same deal for the Christians amongst us: our driving motivation is Do Good rather than Do No Harm, which will mean either deliberately opting in or deliberately opting out. (And you can still be an anarchist either way!) Is an informal vote
6. Vote to tilt the system
I’ve been intrigued with this idea, which is to look beyond party and policy to the system itself. If you think Labor and Liberal have gone wrong and wish there was a change of scene, you could vote for the Greens instead, which will send a message to the Big Two that they’re bowling at the wrong wicket. Will it work? Well, I’m seriously considering it! Guy Pearse goes into more detail in The Monthly (you can find it here but subscription needed at time of posting).
I’d love to hear what you’re planning this year!
Arthur Davis is an Aussie living in Tanzania, writing at meetjesusatuni.com.