There could be a number of reasons why someone may choose not to vote in a General Election. What Lyfeproof’s Blogger Joelle Brown would like to do is ensure that confusion is not one of them. Even if you do wish to vote and genuinely believe that every vote matters, the barrage of information thrown about in the campaigning season can be overwhelming.
Do not be intimidated!
The question is: How do I make sense of it all? Simple politics have some tips on how to ‘cut through the nonsense’; their three key tips are:
- Look for sources
- Look for facts
- Read between the lines
I have a few of my own….
Google Is Your Friend
First off you will need to sift through the political jargon – terms, systems and processes. If you don’t understand something don’t skip over it, the meaning could be important and even crucial to the policy. Running up to an election is when politicians act more like salesmen, they may say fancy things that sound good, but what does it really mean? Google define.
Although it is important to check your sources, you can utilise platforms such as social media, organisations like Simple Politics may summarise policies; they’ll decode it so you won’t have to! But as a general rule before you click share please do verify the validity, fake news and ‘click-bait’ is all the rage these days. The key is a little bit of research and self-education, you’ll feel a lot more confident if you do.
The heart of the matter
Assumptions aside it is almost impossible to accurately see someone’s agenda, nevertheless, try and feel out whether their ‘manifesto’ is genuine (I Google defined that word). Does it align with your values? Is it in keeping with their past actions? Try to imagine the impact if your chosen party were to win. What could your community benefit from and what are the changes you would like to see? Is it actually feasible? Be okay with compromise, .
That being said, there is a saying “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics”. Bear in mind that anyone can pick a sample of 10 people and say 90% of people said or thought, in the same vein anything taken out of context completely changes the meaning. Look at trends and patterns and not just numbers. Try not to fall head over heels into a moral panic. What you don’t want is to be emotionally manipulated only to find out the policy was not in any way practical and they will not be delivering what they promised. Smooth talk shouldn’t comfort you, persuasive speeches shouldn’t hook you, but well thought out plans and a good track record would make any voter swoon.
The Good Fight
Try and watch a political debate or two. Why? Because the MP’s (that’s jargon for members of parliament) have a chance to question and challenge their opponents, of course, they do have an agenda but it may help to expose holes in a seemingly perfect plan. In certain program formats, ordinary members of the public from all walks of life (like you and I) have a chance to raise their concerns and ask questions. This type of environment opens up a conversation and facilitates healthy debate. It forces politicians to clarify their intentions, lay out their plans and even own up to past failings. As prepared as one may be, it’s harder to hide your flaws when you’re put on the spot, now would be an appropriate time to sing ‘Under Pressure’.
Similarly, interviews can be quite helpful as the interviewer may often play devil’s advocate to give you a balanced view, this way you’re less likely to get sucked into a pretty picture. I would, however, advise against engaging in arguments about politics with the public. Don’t be bullied into going with the perceived majority and try not to force your views on others. As much as it’s communal it’s personal.
You have all the tools to make the best decision for you and hopefully the best decision for ‘us’.
Happy voting (whoever you vote for)!
Lyfeproof – Finding creative ways to get young people life ready. Particularly through mindset. Explaining things that help you move forward in life or prevent negative outcomes. Creating experiences and invite people to join. Sharing knowledge across sports, arts, sciences, financial literacy, employability mental health & wellbeing.
Our Vision: Imagine a world where people understand their brains enough to make better decisions, then imagine fully understanding money to never be at its mercy; now thread both with individual and collective purpose so that poverty and disadvantage can be overcome for generations to come.
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