How do you feel about voting in the latest election? Are you enraged by the callous disregard shown by the [opposing] party? Or are you seriously sick of the mudslinging and emotional manipulation?
I am. When I watch the TV ads, both parties enrage me about the other. When Malcolm is on, Labour enrages me. When a Labour ad is on, the Liberals are a callous, xenophobic, elitist group. Of course like everyone my cognitive biases are strong, and I justify one party’s indiscretions over another.
Sick Of It
But mostly I’m sick of the US and UK style of mudslinging that prevales. Seriously there are two levers: Fear and Greed. If the opposing parties policies scare you, that’s exactly how you’re meant to feel. The advertiser is playing you. Like a fiddle
My concern is that everyone I’ve spoken to is voting based purely on the TV as their principle information source. On TV ads.
What To Do
But what to do? I mean, in a week we have to vote, right.
My resolve is to not watch the adverts:
What Are You Ideally Voting For?
I’ve literally written down the policies I’d like to see in play. Policies about STEM education, innovation, getting us from 60th in the world for broadband speeds, humane treatment of refugees. Policies about protecting natural resources, funding science, research and development. Policies about a social net for the working class, and fiscal responsibility attracting companies to hire people in Australia.
What Are The Party’s Really Promising?
Then I go online and read the policy manifestos of the three primary parties. Let’s face it, the Hunters and Shooters, or Sex Party are
- Not likely to get in, which is a waste of my vote; and
- Their policies are actually not very comprehensive at all anyway.
Then I vote according to the closest the party’s policy matches my ideals.
At the very least, I’ll read the actual promises made without the context of the emotional manipulation of consumer advertising.
How about you?