Leading West Australian political leaders Julie Bishop, Scott Ludlam and Louise Pratt with representatives from the Make Poverty History coalition at the Curtin electorate forum. Photo: Jarrad Seng
On cold, dark winter nights like these I like nothing more than to just get home, curl up in front of the heater and watch mindless TV. Cue Big Bang Theory.
But what if the decision to rug up and brave the cold for just one night could help to end extreme poverty? Isn’t that worth donning a woolly hat for? I think electoral forum’s are worth it. They are a chance for you to influence the politicians who make decisions that will affect millions of people around the world.
What is an electoral forum?
It’s a public meeting in your local electorate where you can come and hear what your local politicians have to say about important issues, such as overseas aid, and ask the tough questions.
Make your vote count
Do you feel like your vote doesn’t count? That you’re forced to choose between policies and parties that you disagree with? Attending an electoral forum is a way to make your vote really count, because you can send a message to politicians about what they need to do to get it.
Why support aid?
I work for World Vision because I’m passionate about the fight to end poverty and injustice. I’m going to my local electoral forum because both major political parties have been wavering on their commitments to aid. Aid saves lives, and I want my local politicians to know that I don’t think we should try and balance our budget on the back of the world’s poor. In the last year alone, Australian aid has saved the lives of more than 200,000 people – many of them women and children – and improved the lives of many others, like Immaculate.
The key to a really successful forum, like the recent electoral forum in Perth is a great turn out. The more people that go along with genuine interest in holding our leaders to account, the more effective the forum will be. The world’s poorest people can’t make it to the forums, so they’re relying on us.
With all that they can achieve, I can’t think of a better reason to give up the Big Bang Theory, at least for one night.
Look for an electoral forum near you. If you go along, I’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments of this post!
Christine Hunt is World Vision’s Campaign Leader, Maternal and Child Health.