Welcome to The Conscience Vote.

Over the years, I’ve lost count of how many people I’ve heard say that they either don’t ‘get’ politics or don’t see why they should care, since the government does whatever it wants anyway. Those kind of sentiments are completely understandable – we don’t learn enough about our political system at school, and when we see politicians on the television, they are either loading up their speeches with jargon or apparently engaging in schoolyard name-calling in Question Time.

Because of this, many of us just throw up our hands in despair. We feel disempowered and that affects how we vote. Some plump for the same party each time, regardless of the policies. Some ‘protest vote’, preferencing minor parties as a way of punishing the major ones. And some just don’t vote at all.

I believe that every person’s vote is incredibly important – sometimes, a handful of ballots can make the difference as to who actually ends up winning a seat.

With all this in mind, I started writing random LiveJournal posts some years ago about all things political – how our Australian federal system works, what goes on in the chambers and what influences policy and law-making. I wanted to do what I could to make politics accessible to all of us. These posts have grown into a concerted effort to record, interpret and analyse everything from debates to policy announcements to polls, and so I finally decided to turn these observations into a dedicated politics blog. And so …

Welcome to The Conscience Vote.

I can’t promise to be completely objective – I rather suspect I’d have to be some kind of Zen saint to do that. What I can say is that no one gets a free pass here. Every policy, every party statement, every bill that I examine will get the same treatment.

I hope you’ll come along for the ride with me.

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