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September 18, 2017 | by  | in Editorial | [ssba]

Editor’s Letter

Vote. Don’t vote. Fuck them all.

Is the (possibly) unhelpful sentiment I keep coming back to whenever I try to “engage” with or “get informed” about a system that is the legacy of shitty colonial violence/administration, and am left feeling exhausted from trying to understand. It’s difficult to know if my participation reinforces those foundations, or if meaningful change is possible by voting.

My sister asked me why I hadn’t voted — didn’t I notice the sharp increase of homelessness, especially in Manurewa, my home???! And I answered, honestly, I hadn’t.

Under the current government, I hadn’t noticed drastic changes in my daily life. It felt like business as usual.

And my sister, ever so lovingly (I could tell she wanted to yell, but didn’t) pointed out the privilege I had, to be ignorant of the urgency of such political effects. I have the luxury of disengaging with some issues; when the tears won’t stop, I step back, refuel, then return. Some don’t have the luxury of stepping back.

The general election is a nail biting race for some, a boring or exasperating bureaucratic requirement for others. But for others still, the immediate effects of who is in power is a frightening and urgent matter. People’s lives are (quite literally sometimes) on the line. I don’t know how effective the change I’ll be voting for will be or the philosophical significance of my political participation. I just know things can’t not change.


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