Heather Roy

22 September 2017

This excellent cartoon by Rod Emmerson says it all. Apathy is the enemy of democracy so if you prize it, I see it as an important responsibility to have your say in choosing our next government. 18 to 24 years olds – that means you!

When I was campaigning I enjoyed most town hall meetings. Although heavily attended by supporters of the potential politicians on the stage there were always a few floating voters, and many had plenty to say for themselves. I remember one meeting where a young female (first time) candidate¬† was reduced to tears by pretty brutal questioning from an older man in the audience. She actually answered his questions quite well but he didn’t agree with her politics and keep on at her. After a few minutes, when it was obvious the MC wasn’t going to step in to ensure a fair debate, I stood up and asked the man if he had voted last election. He said “no – there was no-one worth voting for”. This is an easy out for those with a bit of experience – I replied that he therefore had no right to be critical of any political party policies and definitely none to be critical of those brave enough to have the courage of their convictions and stand for parliament. The crowd booed him and he sat quietly for the rest of the meeting.

Today is the last day to enrol to vote – if you value democracy, exercise your right to use it. If not, apathy will win the day. 18 – 24 year olds – this still means you!