The lead in our pencil by Phillip Adams
Phillip Adam’s opinionative article informs the readers of “The Weekend Australian” about the upcoming Australian elections in September, 2013, pleading for them to have a somewhat positive outlook on compulsory voting.
He also uses many different techniques in the article in order to make it convincing and effective. In the first sentence he uses an analogy “What have the Romans ever done for us?...” to refer to the accomplishments of politics rather than focusing on the negative aspects. Adams uses irony when recalling that teenagers think that “our democracy is a waste of time – only to reluctantly concede that Australia wasn't such a bad place”. The effect of this is to state that teenagers don't have enough hindsight to see what really is important. He also uses contrast when comparing Western democracies to those in the “US Republican Party” by saying “You'll recall the US...” in order to emphasise that it's better to have compulsory voting as the majority of the Australian public will end up with the leader they deserve. Also, he uses key images in order to make the strong point that it's paramount that people are allowed to have a voice he says this in the 3rd section in the top right corner starting with “For all our complaints...”. The title The lead in our pencil (a well-known saying) is a pun used to describe the article in a fun and down to earth way and to remind his audience that voting is a privilege. Alliteration (“fissures, factions, fractures”) is another technique used in this article to catch the attention of the audience.
The structure that Adams uses is very common; he begins in the past tense talking about the Romans in order to connect to his middle age audience who is aware of the skit. Then the present (teenagers who currently don't want to vote) and then in the last sentence he mentions the future.
The writer's tone was very cynical and honest as he...