Comments are mine; not the party I am a member of.
I don't like commenting on how other countries run themselves as I feel we only get a limited amount of information. I'm open to being told how my views are misinformed; but because I don't live in the US I would ask that people don't take my comments as US bashing (they're not) and respond to them using facts not opinions; e.g. websites with the information not just name calling. I am open to being educated.
1. Are you registered to vote? Explain why you are or are not registered to vote?
Voting is compulsory in Australia from the age of 18. I have friends that argue that enrolling to vote is an option but I have yet to find evidential data on this. So; Yes. I'm enrolled because I have too, but also because i think you cannot complain about the results of the process if you have not been a part. Its also too important a thing not to vote.
2. Did you vote early (if your state offers this) or are you voting on election day?
I'll be voting on election day; which is also my Hen's night.
3. Do you truly believe your vote counts or are you not convinced that “every vote counts”?Yes, every vote counts. Especially in a country like America, you cannot get true change until the people have a true voice. I don't think that optional voting gives a true indication of what the people in the US really think. I read somewhere that if the Black American population voted more that the US would already have its first black President, less civil rights violations and better funding for education and health rather than one of the poorest (financially) health and education systems (according to people like Bryson, Moore, and many of the more prominent sociologists).
4. Did you make up your mind about what candidates to vote for a while back or within the last two weeks?
I belong to a political party, so I know who I will be voting for. I support the Australian Democrats (completely different from the ones in US) for their policies on education, health (especially in the areas of stem cell research and mental health), women, indigenous Australians, the aged, the environment, refugees and the war. I do not support the GST; which is why I voted against the Liberal party and was hurt when one of our senators crossed the floor.
Sadly the GST furore has hurt the party deeply with a large number of people blaming the Democrats for what happened but continue to vote for the major party that implemented them. I am also aware of many cases where the Democrats have laid the ground work for a project to have it taken over by another party and given more publicity.
Voting Democrat makes sense as they are also one of the only minor parties on the left not in the hip pocket of a major party, (Labor and Greens; Liberal, Nationals and Fundamentalists First). They are also truly separate from religious influence (Think Liberals think white protestant; Labor was strongly Catholic at one point; I won't insult people over the Fundies.)
5. Compared to your parents’ views, are you voting the same as or different from them? Are you more liberal or conservative than them?
I vote differently from my parents (One is Labor, one is Nationals.) My influence comes from my father who taught me the importance of Unions and a party that gives the workers a voice; something I also feel that the Democrats do. As I grew older I realised that environmental concerns were also something I felt passionate about; so I became more politically active on these issues and then sort-of drifted into representative positions (student council, board member on various charities, etc.) I guess my left leaning attitudes make me a small l liberal.