Elena Kirillova

Amanda Lohrey might like to know that I do remember my first vote, a postal vote in the 1983 federal election (‘Right to Party’, July). My mother and I trudged through knee-deep snow to get to the Australian Embassy in Moscow. Our Russian friends were amused: did we not realise that the government decided who would be in power and if we thought our vote counted, it was because we had been so effectively brainwashed? The staff at the Australian Embassy were surprised to see us: why were we bothering? No one expected us to send a postal vote in from Moscow! It was just more paperwork for them. Our votes did count, in the then swinging NSW seat of Lowe. Bob Hawke became prime minister that year.

Elena Kirillova

Point Piper, NSW