"Voting to get a little closer to what you’d like doesn’t mean you have to give up on the dream."


Sabina | Student | Wellington


When I was younger than 10 I figured out I’d be able to vote in 2013 and very impatiently waited. The date for that election was then set the day before my 18th birthday and I felt robbed.

In the intervening years I’ve become more cynical.

When I look at our world it is sometimes very hard to believe the very small opportunities I have to participate in democracy, or even if the way it’s structured, can actually facilitate ‘real change’ and, given the way things are, that can feel somewhat depressing.

No matter what happens after the election I will still have to participate in an economy that is built on exploiting others for profit. The politicians this election cycle who have spread xenophobic rhetoric and claimed that human rights abuses are practical are going to get seats in parliament. Whoever I put my party vote to they will probably end up in coalition with people who say things I think are outright wrong.

Despite all this, I am still going to participate. I’m going to vote on September 23rd because, while it’s very easy to say not enough ever changes to even bother, all those statistics - 48,000 homeless, suicide rates, one in five children living in poverty - these are real people, not just numbers. If we put our votes towards the next government being one that will make even a small dent in those numbers then that’s actual lives getting better now, not just in some distant future where we overhaul everything.

Voting to get a little closer to what you’d like doesn’t mean you have to give up on the dream, and the point of democracy is that you alone aren’t going to be thinking of a solution that works for everyone anyway.


Disclaimer: This blog is a platform for students to voice their views and opinions to encourage healthy and non-abusive discussion.  The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect those of the New Zealand Union of Students' Associations.

Author: Jessica Reeves