Federal election 2022: how to make sure your vote reflects your values
From climate change to live export, there are big ethical issues at stake this election.
With Australia going to the polls on Saturday, many of us have been reflecting on how to vote for the change we want to see in the world.
Our Nourish community are collectively passionate about planet-positive living and compassion to our animal friends and, with that in mind, we’ve scouted out some of the best resources to help you discover how best to align your vote with your values.
Voting for our Earth
Voteearthnow.com is a non-partisan nonprofit organisation providing insights on which parties and candidates have the strongest climate policies and track records.
Recognising that Australia is currently dead last in the world for action on climate change, the initiative was set up by a medical doctor and dad of two young daughters who – like so many of us – is deeply worried about what kind of future is on the horizon if we don’t act decisively this decade to avert climate and ecological breakdown.
The website helps guide voters based on nine criteria applied to the candidates, such as their stance on emissions targets, wildlife protection, and leading a just transition away from fossil fuels. The parliamentary candidates are broken down by electorate, and the senate candidates are broken down by state, making it easy to see who’s running in your area and how they compare.
Voting for animal protection
Australia has been ranked G (the lowest possible ranking) for government accountability on animal welfare in the World Animal Protection Index. This is despite the fact that over 90 percent of Australians are concerned about farm animal welfare and believe policy reform is needed.
Enter the Australian Alliance for Animals. This newly formed charity has been hard at work researching the positions of the parties and candidates on four issues that could make a huge difference to animals. These are: live export, a new body to oversee animal welfare, taking animal welfare out of the agriculture portfolio, and creating a new national animal welfare fund.
The results can be seen in their national scorecard and 20 electorate-specific scorecards, outlining where the parties and candidates stand.
Alliance for Animals national scorecard – available together with electorate-specific scorecard and detailed findings via allianceforanimals.org.au/federal-election-2022
A number of parties and independent candidates have also signed up to Vegan Australia’s Pledge for Animals indicating support for ten key animal and planet-friendly policies.
It’s also worth being aware that the only two parties that have election pledges to end factory farming are the Animal Justice Party and the Greens.
Finding your compass
The ABC’s Vote Compass is another useful app that lets you see where the major parties stand in relation to 30 topical issues this election, including a wide range of social justice topics, foreign affairs, and more (although animal protection is not covered).
If you already have a party of choice, you can find their ‘how to vote’ recommendations for both houses by searching online ahead of time. This is also a great way to check in advance if you agree with their suggested order of preferences, so you’re ready on election day.
And remember: in order for your votes to be counted, you have to number every box on the ballot paper for the House of Representatives, and at least six boxes above the line on the Senate ballot paper.
We are collectively facing unprecedented challenges this decade, but there’s still time to reset our path and secure a healthy, kind and flourishing future for animals, people, and planet. Let’s vote for that future!