Saturday, 26 August 2017 11:52

Making An Informed Vote Featured

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To make an informed vote at Local, State or Federal Government elections we need to consider carefully the policies and proposals made by different parties or independents. To do that we need detailed documentation of promises and how they will be achieved from everyone standing for election.

How often does this happen? Rarely!

The promises are made but the wording is loose! What the public thought was promised is not what the party intended.

The rhetoric employed to win over the public is now often the art of deception.

The aftermath is inevitably the need for public demonstrations and more recently petitions via social networking. Healthy activity in a democracy! But why do we need so much of it?

In most schools students learn nothing about how to make an informed vote. What is more they are discouraged from personal evaluations and opinions on pretty well anything. Data consumption being considered the prime ingredient of their education. Yet many students turning 18 while at school have the right to vote!

At Chiron we considered research and critical evaluation to be fundamental in learning. Students had come to Chiron because they rebelled against the traditional authoritarian schools. They wanted a learning environment where they could develop as self-responsible individuals.

So in 1971 when it was announced that the third moratorium march in Sydney against the Vietnam War would take place in June we asked the students at Chiron if they where considering joining the march. Some said yes, some no and some were unsure. So we decided to have a series of discussions about the moratorium at school. We invited representatives from the political parties to put their point of view and answer questions and guests to give open talks on wars in history, literature and art and the effects of war on community and environment.

We encouraged consideration of differing points of view.

They made up their own minds and respected each others decisions!

By contrast when senior students in other high schools began to take a stand by following the movement initiated by university students they were threatened with suspension or expulsion.

What are today's governments doing to enable young people to learn how to be self-responsible and make their own decisions? 

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