The 2015 Queensland State Election will begin on Saturday morning, Queensland time. No, I'm not being funny, it's just that writing "local time" doesn't seem helpful. Anyway...
I feel passionately about my right to vote, even if it is a legal requirement of all Australian citizens that they vote, I still feel very strongly about exercising my democratic right. This isn't because little over 100 years ago Australian women were not allowed to vote, and it's not because I'm a mum and want to ensure Australia is a place Jimmy can lead a fulfilling life. I am passionate about my right to vote because it gives me a say in how my country runs. I only have one vote, one vote per ballot paper per election*.
Of course, when I say "one vote", I still exercise my optional preferential vote. This means I get as many votes as there are election candidates, I just have to number them in order of preference from 1 (for my first choice) to n (the number of candidates). My vote still only counts once, but I get to choose where it goes if my first choice doesn't get enough votes to win their seat.
As Michael and I are living overseas** we will not be fined for not voting - which happens. We can request a postal vote. Which we did. Only, our ballot papers are yet to arrive. And the ballot papers have to be back at the electoral office within 10 days of the election day, or they don't count.
So Queenslanders, please make sure that you vote. It's your voice in the political world. It's our best means of communicating to politicians that we either like or don't like what they have done. if you're a Queenslander, anywhere in Australia, and you haven't organised a postal vote and you don't expect to be in Queensland on Saturday, please head to the Electoral Commission Queensland for information on pre-polling***.
And if you don't vote, you have no right to complain about what the government does.
For those of you who don't know what elections in Queensland are like, this is a fun run down of what it is like.
Make sure that you vote! I'm going to be mightily annoyed if my ballot papers don't arrive in time, so please make sure that your vote counts.
*In Australia there are two houses at the Federal level, and in Queensland there is only the lower house - no Senate. For more details on Federal politics go here, and for Queensland, go here.
**As Jimmy is a fair few years too young to even enroll for the electoral roll, I can't really include him in this statement.
***I just checked and pre-polling closed on Thursday 29/1/15...
Update 2/2/2015: Our ballot papers haven't arrived. I am a little annoyed that I didn't get to vote, but I am reasonably happy with the election outcome (so far).