All of my friends know how much I hate making decisions. I never want to make people feel bad if I don’t agree with their choice, and I’m always nervous about making the wrong decision if I’m out at a restaurant, or the movies! It’s especially hard when other people are also impacted by my decisions, or if there’s a group of us all trying to make one decision- we can never come to a conclusion!
I’m also sometimes crippled by this anxiety when there’s an election coming up- who is the best person to represent me… and everyone else in my electorate? It’s such a big decision to make! Sometimes, I wish could create my own candidate, like I can on the Passport to Democracy website but, unfortunately, in real life I have to vote for someone who actually exists. Thankfully, it’s not just me making the decision and I’m also very grateful that in Victoria (for the Lower House of state parliament – the Legislative Assembly, and in Australia – for the lower house of federal parliament – the House of Representatives) we have preferential voting!
Preferential voting means that I don’t just say “I’m voting for this person and this person only”, I actually get to say “This person is my preferred winner- but if she can’t win, then this person is my next preferred- and if he doesn’t win, then this person is my next preferred…” all the way to my least preferred option. It means that my voice will always count- even if it’s just making sure that my least favourite option doesn’t get my vote.
Sometimes I wish other decisions in my life, and those of my friends, could be made with preferential voting! It would make it easier to decide on lots of different things- what to eat for dinner, what TV show to watch, what game to play at recess, which footy game to go to on the weekend… and lots more!
Preferential voting is a bit complicated, but once you know how it works- it’s a great system! Your job today is to investigate how preferential voting works ( BTN has a great video to help you out!), and write an instructional piece about “How To Vote in Australia”. Try to make this instructional piece between 5-7 steps long- you can use the worksheet linked to this blog post to help you structure your piece.
Then, create a ballot paper (you can use THIS website or make one yourself) for a common dilemma you have in your family. It might be any of the ones I’ve talked about above, or something entirely different, like where to go on holiday! You’ll then hand out the ballots and run a preferential vote to help you actually make that choice!
Check out the attached ballot paper to see an example! Ballot Paper – Our Family Holiday
Let us know what your vote was about, who won and how many rounds you had to count to find out who the final winner was- write this data into the linked document so you can keep track.