“I’ve always voted for [Major Party]” is something fewer friends seem comfortable to say.
They like to pretend they’re potentially a swing voter because it makes them seem discerning but dig into their voting and they’re as fiercely tribal as the people they’re voting for.
I think many Australians confuse politics with sport. They either think the point is to barrack for the same team their parents did their entire lives or to wait for grand final day and pick the team they think is going to win so they can be on the winning side.
And then there’s some who should care much more about it, but who refuse to participate in it, scared away by how passionate and knowledgeable others seem to be. The bar is too high and they would rather not follow it than risk looking like an idiot.
But unlike a sports grand final, the outcome of previous elections have had a massive effect on how well we live, and the next election will too. The society we live in depends on each of us to care, to be informed, and to make an effort.
Don’t let a single oft-stated opinion go unchallenged. Don’t let a campaign lie get repeated. Spoil pub night. Ruin Mother’s Day. Ask your friends and relatives how they intend to vote but more importantly, ask them why. Don’t just show up for the democracy sausage and to avoid the fine.
Things can change, but not if we don’t.