With all the recent talk about the Australian federal election it occurred to me that there is a big focus on “how to vote”, but not so much on “why to vote”. I’m curious what percentage of the population is actually interested in the election and actively thinks about why they vote. If you have a moment, please complete my 2 question survey below!
I have enough trouble sorting my own thoughts out, let alone everyone elses.
Although I’ve had a Facebook account for over 10 years, I avoided using it as much as possible, firstly because I couldn’t wrap my head around the number of interactions going on and secondly because I never really know what to say. I’ve always wanted to avoid stirring up trouble and rocking the boat. I have enough trouble sorting my own thoughts out, let alone everyone elses.
However, last year I took the plunge and started posting the odd thing.
In May I also created a Twitter account, which perhaps wasn’t the smartest thing to do. I’m now pretty much addicted to it.
But, be warned. I’m furious about so many social injustice and environmental issues, and my tweets reflect that.
I’ve got to the point where I think constantly about what is wrong with the world. I write stuff in essays, emails, business plans and the like, but never show anyone because my thoughts are just too big.
This mornings reading comes from Julian Burnside, a respected barrister. This article – http://www.julianburnside.com.au/how-the-world-decided-to-help-refugees/ makes so much sense about how we should close down Manus Island and Nauru. It costs US $650,000 per year, per refugee to keep them there. Large amounts of that figure go to the private companies that run the internment camps. Why do we do that? Because the current government has core principles of “minimising government” and “offshore detention”. Whilst I also would like less government, there is no point in minimising government if it costs us more, is in breach of our human rights obligations and is downright cruel.
Suppose you went on holiday overseas and ended up interned in a camp for 5+ years because you were in the wrong place at the wrong time. Now, imagine that happened to you because you were fleeing a war or something that might kill you or your family.
For those of you that have always voted Liberal Party of Australia, National Party Of Australia or one of those other right wing parties, please don’t just vote for them again because that is how you have always voted. Please do some reading about refugees, asylum seekers, global warming, the way the media operates, the cotton industry/Murray Darling Basin shennanigans, etc.
Many of these parties are no longer the parties they were 20-50 years ago. I urge you to rethink what your party of choice is, read widely about what they do and what the “other” side does.
We as a country need to stop thinking of our political parties the same way as we think of our sporting teams. These guys have real power over real people and they are hurting a hell of a lot of us.
If you do some reading and watch some videos of speeches from all sides of politics and still feel that you need to vote for the current government, then I thank you for doing so.
If you want to know how much this concerns me, I spend every day trying to decide if I can be a force for good on this planet or if I should remove myself from it to do my bit for climate change. The jury is still out as my best never seems to be good enough.