Voting is compulsory in Australia – and the vast majority of us comply with this requirement. In 2019, almost 92% of enrolled Australians turned out to vote in the federal election.

But anyone sick of politicians and sick of waiting in lines might see election day as a chore, not a democratic thrill, especially in a campaign that has been going for nearly five weeks (are we there yet?).

Today, the Australian National University’s Intifar Chowdhury encourages us to look at the bigger picture. “The purpose of voting is not always conclusively to decide the outcome of an election. In fact, the odds of doing so are next to nothing,” she writes.

Even if you don’t live in a marginal or teal-threatened seat (or love what proportional representation does to your vote in the Senate), voting is your hard-won civic duty. “Just as little drops make a mighty ocean, your individual vote does contribute to a stronger democracy,” says Chowdhury.

And with just over a week to go until polling day, Michelle Grattan writes that the election is now Anthony Albanese’s to lose. Next week will see the release of some important economic data on unemployment and wages. These could play to either major party, but it is Labor that has the headwind leading into the final week of a long campaign.

On a side note, it’s day five of our 2022 donations campaign and we still need your help. If you haven’t donated yet, please give today – every little bit counts and we’re relying on our readers more than ever to give. And if you’ve already given, thank you!

Judith Ireland

Deputy Editor, Politics + Society

To Australians sick of the election: this is why voting is not a waste of your time

Intifar Chowdhury, Australian National University

Voting is not just about getting a sausage sandwich and avoiding a fine. There are many reasons - historical, political and personal - to vote on or before May 21.

Grattan on Friday: It’s Albanese’s to lose, as Morrison looks for some momentum

Michelle Grattan, University of Canberra

Despite Albanese’s campaign hiccups, at the end of this penultimate week, based on the objective evidence, the election appears to be Morrison’s to lose.

Friday essay: how the West discovered the Buddha

Philip C. Almond, The University of Queensland

From talk of a ‘poisonous doctrine’ to mistaken beliefs that he hailed from Africa, Western thinkers got Buddhism wrong for a long time.

Adult ADHD: What it is, how to treat it and why medicine ignored it for so long – podcast

Daniel Merino, The Conversation

Two ADHD researchers discuss advancements in the diagnosis and treatment of adult ADHD.

Anglican disunity on same-sex marriage threatens to tear the church apart

Muriel Porter

Sydney Diocese opposition to same-sex marriage is rejected by other diocese at the General Synod- a move that may see the church fracture.

‘Stop measuring black kids with a white stick’: how to make school assessments fairer for all

Carly Steele, Curtin University; Graeme Gower, Curtin University; Rhonda Oliver, Curtin University; Sender Dovchin, Curtin University

The languages and the methods of classroom assessments need to be expanded. Such changes will make assessment more inclusive and fairer for all, particularly First Nations students.

With surgery waitlists in crisis and a workforce close to collapse, why haven’t we had more campaign promises about health?

Henry Cutler, Macquarie University; Jeffrey Braithwaite, Macquarie University

There are solutions to long surgery wait lists and workforce shortages, if the major parties had the bravery to commit to reform.

What the next Australian government must do to save the Great Barrier Reef

Jodie L. Rummer, James Cook University; Scott F. Heron, James Cook University

Efforts to save the reef aren’t tackling the main cause: climate change. What we need from our next federal government is strong leadership to avert the climate crisis.

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