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There are a bunch of politicians across the country right now who have arguably mostly ignored you for the last four years, but are certainly focusing on you and those you influence now.

Yes you.

Read the mainstream papers or watch A Current Affair if you don’t believe me, they’ve dedicated plenty of resources to analysts, infographics and studies to demonstrate who’s going to give you what, and under which party’s government ”you will be better off”.

The voter buy-off approach always surprises and saddens me; firstly in that the political machine thinks that this method would even work in a modern country built on the hard-earned blocks of social democracy, and secondly, in that it does, in fact actually work. The proof is in the polls – they dictate all politician rhetoric, policy and behaviour, even when it comes to conflicted hot-button issues like wealth inequality, climate change and humanitarian suffering. The policies we get are ultimately the ones the majority of us want.

An uncomfortable truth you might say.

In conversation once I claimed that party “A” could offer me $1,000 cash and it wouldn’t influence my vote. My vote would still go to the party I thought would be better long term for the country and the world – a vote for public health, education, transport, renewable energy and equality.

The response floored me: “Well you’re a better man than I”. This from someone who’d enjoyed free schooling and medical services for themselves and their family, a university education and the endless opportunities that come with our (mostly)egalitarian society. And no it wasn’t Joe Hockey.

Whether this reflects my ample moral fibre or just middle class privilege is a matter for debate; either way I would like to think – or at least hope – that my decision would be the same in any situation, for better or worse.

May the best version of you win.

Derek Green,
Managing Editor, The Westsider

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