17 May 2022

Please don't tell me how you're voting this election, it's best I don't know

| Zoya Patel
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The 2022 federal election will be held Saturday 21 May.

The 2022 federal election will be held Saturday 21 May. Photo: AEC Images.

Like many Canberrans entering the final weeks of a federal election campaign, my sanity is hanging by a thread (though some of you would argue that’s the case for me in a regular week).

Every time I turn on the radio, there’s a journalist talking about how “Canberra” is so far removed from the reality of everyday Australians. What are we then? Imaginary Australians?

There are corflutes lining every major road, and the debate is getting hot with a senate seat in actual contention for what feels like the first time in a long while.

But while the politically engaged among us may relish the opportunity to dive into election madness, I still feel burnt from last time (I really didn’t see the Liberal win coming in 2019) and that, combined with the exhaustion and disengagement from two years of COVID, means I’m not particularly resilient when it comes to disappointment.

More importantly, I don’t have the energy to play nice with people who are intent on maintaining a status quo that in my opinion has been nothing short of a disaster over the past three years, for another go around.

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To keep things pleasant, I’d rather not know how my friends, colleagues and networks are voting.

In fact, the more I think about it, the more I wonder if it’s impolite to even ask people about their political preferences at all.

The fact is, if we’re on different ends of the political spectrum, I don’t actually have that much to discuss with you when it comes to politics. I don’t think debating issues that we already have set views on is to anyone’s benefit. Maybe that means I have a rigid, inflexible mind but, like most people, I also clearly believe my views are correct – so I’m ok with that.

I have moved past the enthusiasm and energy of my youth, when I thought that a different opinion to mine represented an opportunity to change someone’s mind on issues that were important to me. These days, I recognise political difference and choose to either ignore it in the interest of friendship or quietly exit the relationship.

Many people will say this is a judgmental approach. “Political differences don’t mean people are wrong or bad,” they might say. “It’s not personal, people are entitled to their beliefs”.

That’s true but I’m also entitled to dislike their beliefs and to take it personally, because it actually is personal. Conservative economic policies have a measurable impact on my life, and the lives of the people I love who are struggling to find affordable housing, to get by on low incomes with the rising cost of living, and who find themselves trying to survive on welfare payments that aren’t designed to actually support their welfare.

READ ALSO Katy v Zed, a field of diverse candidates and a big question over our second Senate seat

Political apathy on climate change has had a measurable impact on my life, and the future lives of the people I care about (especially those who haven’t been born yet), as we face extreme weather events, and the likelihood that the Australia we love won’t exist in the same way in 50 years time.

And when I extrapolate out to conservative social policies that privilege the privileged and take aim at diversity, my disdain starts to escalate and edge towards the unkind.

So, in the interest of conserving my sanity and avoiding destroying the casual relationships I have with people who I don’t know the political leanings of, I’m staying silent on the election (except here on Riotact, obviously). There’s a reason our votes are conducted in private, and I’m happy to extend that privacy to outside the polling booth.

If we can make it through the coming week and a bit without any destroyed relationships at the hands of political difference, that’s a solid outcome in my books – pending the actual election result.

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Please vote labor as they will increase my dole

SigmaOctantis4:41 am 13 May 22

You’re getting a bit better at writing articles, only 36 personal pronouns this time.

I’m only voting so I don’t get fined. Those that are seeking re-election are just toffs on huge salaries and those seeking first time election just want to be one of the toffs. None of them give a flying rat’s about you, me. Snouts in the trough, forget about the serfs

Imagine having such a lack of self awareness that you don’t even want to consider or debate that your opinions might be incorrect.

How can you ever learn and grow if you’re unwilling to even consider other opinions or points of view.

Capital Retro3:02 pm 12 May 22

That’s a big LOL coming from you, chewy14.

Chewy, I think you make a good point. If anyone feels that others should be willing to listen to their perspective, then it stands to reason that said person should likewise be willing to listen and to entertain different points of view.

Capital Retro,
The irony of you of all people making that statement is hilarious.

Even when presented with direct evidence that your position on an issue is wrong, you still make the same statements the next time an article on the issue is printed.

You and Zoya are two peas in a pod.

Zoya, if want to keep things pleasant by asking people not to tell you how they are voting, why are you pushing your own political agenda?

Good manners (google it) and mutual respect is shown by not asking about another person’s politics or religion, or excluding those with different opinions. Diversity means difference – in attitudes, as well as religion, ethnicity, gender etc. Those who do not accept diversity are bigots and unworthy of living in a democracy that values tolerance. Back in the 1500s people with different religious/political and even science views were labeled heretics, persecuted and burnt alive before cheering crowds. In 2022 bigotry and intolerance still festers within those convinced of their own infallibility and rightousness.

Fairly strong words there Action.
My view is that people should accept that others have different belief structures etc. It doesn’t mean that we have to agree with the other person’s belief structures.

The problem I have with terms like bigotry is that the word in itself is inflammatory and suggests a one-way belief system. IE If you don’t agree with me, you are a bigot (or a hater).

Differences don’t need to be confrontational.

Capital Retro10:52 am 12 May 22

No need to use a megaphone Zoya – we all know how you are going to vote.

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