“People shouldn’t be afraid of their government. Governments should be afraid of their people.”
~ Alan Moore, V for Vendetta
“I am a firm believer in the people. If given the truth, they can be depended upon to meet any national crisis. The great point is to bring them the real facts, and beer.”
~ Abraham Lincoln
There was an election in my home state yesterday.
People turned out in droves to vote.
The schools and kindergartens and churches that became polling booths for the day were resplendent with bunting, placards and hordes of helpers handing out promotional material for their respective candidates.
There were sausage sizzles and cake stalls.
But mostly, it was the people of Queensland, having their say.
Having their say about policies, and the kind of community they want to live in, work in, and raise their families.
Having their say about services, education, health care, business, social justice and the environment.
I don’t mind how people vote. I just care that they do.
That’s the power and the privilege of living in a democracy. We, as the people, can be heard. We can have a voice through our local member, or our political party. We can have influence over how our community, state, or country will be governed.
And if we don’t like the job that the elected government is doing, we can turf them out and give someone else a go.
But living in a democracy we can even go further than that. We can join or support a political party, or help with a campaign, or write letters, or even nominate ourselves and get out there and represent our beliefs and values as a candidate. We can meet with our local representative or political party to discuss our problems and concerns.
If you live in a democracy your voice and your vote really does count. It’s worth having your say. It’s not a perfect system, but it is made stronger and more honest through participation.
When so many people in the world are stilled denied a right to their own voice, it’s even more reason for those of us in democratic countries to use our own.
Make your voice count. Choose to use it. Vote.