For Argument’s Sake

I use my soapbox to store soap. I avoid standing on it. That’s not to say I don’t have opinions, this blog is full of my opinions but you’ll note I don’t exactly prod controversial issues like religion, politics, current affairs or my preference for osteopaths over physiotherapists. Usually I see the elephant in the room and then run down to the beach to dig a hole the size of my head. This isn’t only because I fear confrontation, often it’s because I don’t know enough on the subject to pass comment.

This time, the ‘elephant’ is our up and coming federal election. On the 7th of September, Australia votes. Topical issue. Tick. Now, my disclaimer. While I don’t think I’m going to say anything particularly contentious, I don’t know much about politics. I hear the word ‘politics’ and then it’s all blah blah blah blah. The problem is, I do care about Australia’s future which forces me to pay closer attention which, in turn, reinforces my hatred of politics.

Politics is advertising. Particularly at this stage of the game, when they are more interested in keeping up appearances than running the country. It’s all spiels and promises and ‘my promise is better than your promise’. Historically our governments have broken many and it begs you to wonder why they persist in calling them that. It only serves to bolster my distrust and cynicism. Unfortunately, if I were to ignore policy and vote as if this were a popularity contest, I’d vote for Obama. You can see my problem.

Politics is whinging. Parliamentary question time on the news is portrayed as a schoolyard-esque slanging match. “You don’t know what you’re talking about”; “Your policy is rubbish”; “Your mother was a lizard”. How old are they? Why are they booing and shouting? What’s wrong with a calm and reasoned discussion? And just because they’re called the Opposition doesn’t mean they have to oppose everything on principle. It would be really nice if occassionally they shared an opinion and saw a common goal for Australia.

It’s complicated. If the ‘right thing to do’ was obvious we wouldn’t have spent the last sixty odd years ping-ponging between the two major parties. Answers are not easy. Even a statement like, ‘it is wrong to kill people’, initially yields a unanimous ‘yes’. Then someone asks about capital punishment. Another questions abortion and euthanasia. Another speaks about war and killing for freedom. And opinion becomes divided. It’s complicated. They can’t just want for environmental change and lower carbon emissions without compromising on coal and mining. They can’t just ‘stop the boats’, by processing asylum seekers without compassion because it is inhumane to do without it. They can’t promise a surplus and low interest rates when those figures are based upon projected revenue and a stock market they can’t control.

Don’t they realise we’re not voting for spin, spiels or whinging. We want assurances over promises, wisdom over power, righteousness over popularity, transparency over red tape and action over words. We vote because it is complicated. We employ them with the hope that they’ll make tough informed choices, that they’ll be for long-term good rather than for short-term gratification.

Step up. Bring that.

That’s what I want to vote for.


6 thoughts on “For Argument’s Sake

  1. Oh, I hear you, Kate. It’s exactly the same over here. Isn’t it sad? It’s a ridiculous situation that politicians are the least suitable people for public office, but we can only elect those who put themselves forward for the job. If only politics was run by people who didn’t actually want to run it, and had no interest in power or money or greed or lining one another’s pockets or looking out for their friends, the world would be in a much happier place. Not to mention, of course, if there were more *women* in government. *FUME*

    • It does feel as though the wrong kind of people hold office. But then I suppose, if they were the right kind of people maybe they’d be worn down by the system and leave anyway. I’d like to see more women in government too. *FUME* indeed.

  2. I’m not so sure about more women in the government… The women I see in politics mostly are not much different from men. Besides, I really hate the idea that has been circulating around here that there should be 50/50 ratio of men/women in the parliament. This is crazy. And what if there’s a man who’s quite capable of doing something good and he doesn’t pass because he doesn’t squeeze into the 50%? Should we really become a country like the U.S., where someone may not enter the university not because they aren’t talented enough, but because their place was taken by the X needed percent of minorities – and doesn’t matter if their results are much worse?

    I’m not against feminism, I actually consider myself to be one but recently I have this feeling a lot of feminists here are not pro-women but rather, anti-men. And I don’t support that. I stand for equal rights for everyone – men, women, grown-ups, children, humans, animals… Plants? 🙂

    • Perhaps to say ‘equal number of male and female canidates’ is a better way of phrasing it. Fair call. I don’t think there should be a 50/50 split for the sake of it – the better canidate should be voted in, but I still believe a more balanced parliament is needed. Our last (and first) female Prime Minister in Australia proved that attitudes towards woman are still a long way short of equal. And actually, that’s the key. It’s about people being judged on their merits and not by their gender. It’s about gender becoming irrelevant. Equality. I hope we see that in our lifetime. 🙂

  3. Hi Kate,
    In regards to the forthcoming election, and our chances of survival, “We’ll all be rooned said Hanrahan, before the term is done”

    I read a poster many years ago (and I’ve probably got this wrong) which went roughly along the lines of “Aristotle’s greatest fear was to see a bad plan efficiently executed”.

    Rudd’s return to power and Abbott (almost) becoming PM would have sent poor ol’ Aristotle into total fearsome meltdown.

    I hate the thought of Abbott representing Australia on the international stage.

    Sure, we get the pollies we deserve, BUT do we really deserve THAT representation on the international front ?? NO !!! “Git ‘im orf”.

    And what really annoys me, apart from the continual tsunami of “one up man ship” , what really annoys me is their assumption that we are all stupid and actually believe everything they say. That’s what really annoys me (am I repeating myself?).

    Right now, I feel like my head’s been marinated in political snake oil.

    Where’s Tony Windsor when we need him???

    The one silver lining is that there’s a great supply of material for the political cartoonists.



    • Hi Mick, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to leave a comment. You’re right too, their assumption that we’re all stupid is really annoying! I’m not sure if that cycle will ever change *weeps*

      Thanks for your link. It’s good to see a plus side to all these shenanigans.

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