Culture

Why We’re Going Dark

The government’s marriage equality survey has been designed to fail, but that doesn’t mean we have to let it.

That’s why Junkee has joined with Australia’s leading youth publishers, including Vice, Pedestrian.TV, Broadsheet and FBi Radio, to black out our websites this evening.

For three hours tonight, we’re removing all advertising and putting a pause on our social channels, so we can encourage every young Australian to vote.

How The Postal Survey Is Stacked Against Young People

Tony Abbott’s plebiscite on marriage equality was never about allowing same-sex couples to marry. It was only ever about delaying the inevitable.

That worked for almost two years, (and two prime ministers), until Malcolm Turnbull couldn’t resist the pressure any more. So then we got the plebiscite’s crap sidekick — the postal survey.

The postal survey is even worse than a standard plebiscite. It’s a Very Bad Idea.

It’s non-binding, which means that even if the Yes side wins, there’s no guarantee Parliament will actually pass same-sex marriage legislation. It’s being run by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, not the electoral commission that is actually set up to run national votes. It’s going to cost $122 million. It’s stretching out a process that is already incredibly hurtful to LGBTIQ+ Australians. It’s legally unnecessary and a trashing of parliamentary democracy.

On top of all that, the postal survey is massively stacked against the Yes vote.

Young people — the people who are most likely to vote for marriage equality — are also the people least likely to participate in the postal survey. This is because they move house a lot and won’t receive their ballots, or because they’re overseas and haven’t been told how to vote yet.

But the main reason it’s stacked against young people is that a lot of young people just aren’t enrolled to vote. It’s estimated that around 500,000 Aussies aged under 39 aren’t on the electoral roll.

The government knows all this, and is going ahead with the plan anyway. The good news is, there’s an easy fix.

What Do I Need To Do?

Go here, and spend two minutes enrolling to vote. If you think you’re already enrolled to vote, double check all of your details are up to date here.

There’s one more thing you need to do: TELL PEOPLE.

If you have a friend, sibling or shitty cousin who you think probably hasn’t enrolled yet, contact them now. Do whatever it takes — text them, tweet them, guilt them, send them this article. Just do whatever you can to make sure that they’re in a position to vote Yes when the time comes.

It may not mean much to you or your friends, but there are hundreds of thousands of Australians who are depending on you to do the right thing.

We’re doing what we can, but we need your help.

Rob Stott is the Managing Editor of Junkee Media. Follow him at @Rob_Stott.