Saturday, November 26, 2011

Voting voting voting

The nice thing about elections is that they never matter as much as people think they do. My newsfeed is abuzz with angst tonight, as my NZ friends on FB breakdown the results of the NZ parliament elections. 
But really, we (and by we I mean those of us in Australia, NZ, and any other Western democratic countries) are lucky to live in places we have the opportunity to vote. Where nobody is standing at the polling booth with gun in hand. Where we fear no prosecution or persecution based on our voting choices, and have complete freedom to exercise our preference as we please.
I know that this whole "it could be worse argument" can be fallacious, and I don't attempt to minimise the frustration of those whose party loses in their estimation of things. But really, the differences between the parties in NZ are slim. We are not talking about women's rights vs. being forced to wear the burqa. We are talking about policy differences on selling economic assets, addressing poverty, climate change, etc. The type of policy that can be changed by whoever gets into office anyway - it's not specific enough that they commit to their course of action. Yes, they have different perspectives. But overall the rights of the everyday citizen will remain the same. It comes down to difference of opinion, rather than differences in rights and privileges. And we should consider ourselves fortunate to be in that position.

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