If you don’t vote, you have no right to argue the outcome.

Politics is hard.

 

It’s where you see the rights and the lefts.

The steal for the poor, and the get rich from theft.

The straight and narrows, and the bents.

The commanding ladies, and the charming gents.

 

Yes, there will be those who love the system.

Yes, there will be those who abuse the system.

Yes, there will be those who loathe the system.

 

But unless you care enough to vote, nothing else is going to change the system.

 

I believe it should be a mandatory requirement for everyone of legal age to vote for any council/governmental that applies to him or her.

 

To withhold this act is to withhold this magnificent movement in NZ politics that is ‘democracy.

 

The act to freely choose is long engrained in the process of democracy. I know that not every conceivable choice known to humankind will be available whence cometh the hour of voting (no, I’m afraid the legalities of unicorns will remain out of bounds), but there is enough breadth of choice within each election to warrant you giving a damn.

 

Just pay attention.

 

Look at what daily structures affect your life.

Look at who makes these decisions.

Look at the outcomes.

 

And ask yourself if you’re still okay with staying blind to it all.

Ask yourself if you’re okay with not giving a damn.

 

The Hamilton City Council is once again asking its citizens to give these damns a number.

A recognition.

A vote.

 

I live in China, and I see what happens when the citizens are not allowed a voice on a daily basis.

 

Don’t allow yourself to back down from the privilege you have been given.

 

Don’t allow yourself to think others will choose for you.

 

For if we have no numbers to count, the combines mistakes we make along the way will be the only number we have left.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Selective vision.

Coming back to China means once again coming to grips with the filth of humanity.

Not filth like the construction dust, the traffic, the air quality, the out of control population, the rotting food, the abuse of animals, the corruption, the deceit.

I was riding the subway, one of my first adventures out from my new workplace, Kede. I sat against a seat, while shoes of all shapes, sizes, and outrageous decorations would walk in and out of my view. On the subway you try not to make eye contact, try not to move, try not to exist. Public spaces are where you practice becoming invisible, so you and everyone else can continue on their merry way without added distractions.

As the train closed its doors to another countless stop, a peculiar sound resonated within the carriage. A string instrument of unknown origin was whining its melody. I knew instantly it was a makeshift instrument used by elders of low socio economic status, because I had seen these in my previous city, Shijiazhuang. Normally, a couple walk together, one blind, one seeing. The blind is selling her/his sense of sound to those who are willing to pay for the aural interruption. In Shijiazhuang you had the option of crossing the street, or at least taking a wide berth, to prevent yourself from feeling more guilty.

Not on a subway.

Their feet shuffled so close to mine. A moccasin styled shoe, the sole frayed from endless shuffling, entered my vision. It barely left the ground, searching for a free space ahead to lay itself down before the other would surpass it and surge like a broken wave towards the next carriage. A weary old hand trailed the last of them, hand (and heart) empty of change.

I didn’t look up to them.

The train moved on.

The train closed its doors again. Somebody started singing. Small feet arched onto their toes entered my vision first.

I looked up to them.

A girl, barely out of primary school, is being lead out in front by her (presumed) grand mother. The girl’s back is arched beyond repair, her soulless eyes glazed towards an unspectacular roof. Her support is her grand mother behind, pushing the girl with one half of her body, the other holding a beaten up tin can. Their mechanical shuffle is out of time to their music.

I looked back down.

The girl’s socks are mismatched.

Their feet shuffle away.

The can remained empty.

I am a 22 year old white female.

I wear Doc Martens and diamonds.

I use Apple and Samsung.

I abuse alcohol and the English language.

I am well read.

I am well fed.

I am well in bed (jokes, but the rhyme was too good to pass).

But I am the filth of humanity.

For I always look back down.

E.