Ben Peek (benpeek) wrote,
Ben Peek

the shirt

elections will be rolling out soon and, in preparation for this, i went and got a shirt with the words don't vote made up.

as t-shirts go, it's quite the conversation starter, and i expect it to continue to be so. the guy who printed it spent ten minutes explaining to me what was wrong with the current political system, and how ex-prime ministers continue to get paid long after being voted out, and yet still earn hefty pay checks in consulting work. i knew all this, but i felt, momentarily, that i should correct him and say that, really, we don't have the power to vote out our prime minister, nor even select who leads the parties, but he was on quite the roll and, you know, the shirt wasn't made yet. once he finished, however, his wife proceeded to tell me how, in her mind, not one politician had ever gotten into the business for anything other than money.

now, honestly, i don't side with those opinions. politicians are a many varied beast, and they get involved for many reasons, and prime ministers should be kept from the gutter...

but either way, i still don't vote.

voting is mandatory in australia, but i haven't voted in years. this is not due to laziness or apathy, though i'm sure many will think so. but i work hard at not voting and, socially speaking, it's easier to enroll and give a blank vote than it is to not vote, and then say to people, 'i don't vote'. indeed, i suspect that i will receive a bunch of comments about how i should vote because, after all, people in less fortunate countries don't have the right, and how could i be so selfish?

well, before you say that, i think the people who can't vote should be able to vote. put me in their country and i'll wear a shirt that says it, just to be fair. but. i do not live in one of those countries--i live in australia, where the political climate is quite different, and everyone must vote.

simply put, i live in a country that faces the problems that come after ensuring everyone has the ability to vote. i live in the country that says it's a democracy, but which has a political system that ensures that, at the end of the day, only one of two parties will be in power, and that those parties look as if they were spawned from the same white, middle class, conservative gene pool.

and now, as all political statements must, i have a t-shirt proclaiming mine. still, it could be worse: i could have a shirt with che guevara's head on it.

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