Sophie | NZUSA Field Officer | Dunedin
I like to think that everyday I make choices that are a sort of indirect form of voting. I think about what I do and what I spend money on, and hope it is taking a stand for the kind of local and global community that I want to live in.
Conscious consuming; the idea that what you buy impacts others and the environment, therefore you can consume in a way that will reduce your negative impact. This philosophy underlines popularised movements such as recycling, reducing plastic consumption and buying fair trade. A lot of these widely recognised everyday things are common practice amongst young people.
I think we relate more to the actions we can see ourselves and our peers taking. We appreciate the feeling of direct and tangible impact, much more than the frustration felt when we grapple with policies targeted largely at older generations.
But where does conscious consuming fall short? Conscious consuming is not as capable of significant, rapid, and widespread structural change as actions of Government and legislation of Parliament. I want to reject that statement, but I think it’s true. Until our votes reflect this global citizen mentality, we will be working outside our institutional systems and not within them. It’s not enough by itself. Many of the issues facing NZ and the world require more deep rooted and permanent change, that which may only come from legislative action.
We have to vote so that we can see ourselves reflected more in party policy, and subsequently in political action. That’s why I’m voting.
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.