I am a single, childless woman under 30 who rents. Do you think I've ever been wooed by a major political party? Nope. Not once.
As a result my vote tends to be cast by mixing a general moral alignment with the decision about who I would least like to be my political leader.
One Nation/Family First/Kooky Independent candidates go towards the bottom, and the ALP, Greens and the party formerly known as the Democrats near the top. I number every bloody candidate on that bloody senate ballot just so I can decide who to put last. If that doesn't make you feel depressed about voting, I don't know what will. Oh, and I've never lived in a marginal seat so realistically, my vote has never made a difference.
I'm a bloomin' swinging voter, you would think that would mean something. Sure, I'm a lefty social worker and a member of my union so I can hardly expect any attention from the LNP, but wouldn't you think the ALP and the Greens would be 'all over this'? Promising me x dollars and x morally satisfying policies?? But seeing as I don't fall into a neat voting category no one bothers mentioning the issues I really care about (women, Indigenous Australians, supporting a vibrant non-profit community sector). Not even on Twitter. I have to go and find the answers.
Don't get me wrong, climate change, gay marriage and refugees are all issues I care about, but I am cynical about them as well. I'm cynical because I have yet to see any real leadership on these issues from either major party, and until I do they will not get my vote, they will only lose it.
So what are some of the other big ticket election issues/promises that I could be lured with? Education? Well, I don't have kids, nor am I studying. So that's a bust. Health? Well, I'm reasonably young, reasonably healthy and I have private health insurance. So as long as they keep the PBS going, I'm pretty happy. Paid parental leave? Well, I don't have children, I don't have a partner and I don't see kids in my life any time soon. Doh! The national broadband network? Yeah, that would be pretty awesome and I support it, but I live in a major city so it's less of an issue for me.
Seeing as I'm not being offered anything, I can only imagine what would be a nice election promise for a single childless woman who diligently pays her taxes as she establishes her career. Perhaps something that would make it easier for me to buy my first property? Or perhaps something to help me get better at managing my finances and debt?
Wouldn't that be awesome. Some kind of national program seeking to increase the financial literacy of women? Core blimey. That would get my vote.
You know what else would get my vote? A party leader who actually lead. As much as I loathed John Howard, and boy, you know I did, at least the bastard would make a decision and stick to it. A trait that ultimately saw him ousted from power, but at least he stood for something and was consistent about it.
While I continue to wait and hope for a leader I can have faith in, I'll just have to settle for voting against people instead of for them.
And people wonder why us young(ish) folk are apathetic about voting …..