Today marks my eighth day as a political activist, and I’ve learned a lot:
1. Australia is even worse shape than I thought when I finally got off my middle class, middle-aged, moderate butt and protested against inadequate and unfair representation in government.
2. Being a political activist is hard work! No wonder I’ve avoided it all this time. But I’m still here. I’m still talking and listening. I’m still an ordinary Aussie who loves this country with a fierce passion that burns in my chest as I write these words. If I’m getting anything wrong, please, for the love of Australia, tell me so! We need to get this right, people. The alternative is too horrible to contemplate, yet exists as a chilling example in many countries around the world. Think, read, ask!
3. The (in my opinion) antiquated and damaging terms “left-wing” and “right-wing” (listed here in alphabetical order) are still spoken with vehemence, even hatred, by people who seemingly haven’t noticed that they barely apply to the two major parties we have a choice off at the polling booth, because both parties are smart enough to have made serious concessions over the history of Australia…until now.
4. “Fourth estate” means the press, usually intended as a label for mainstream media (oh, they’re “MSM” on Twitter…didn’t even know that when I marched) and this estate is dying…perhaps dead. I hope not. I said in my first post that we no longer need them; a deliberately inflammatory remark intended to provoke conversation. But I genuinely hope this estate has as least a few decades left in it yet…perhaps just some maintenance is needed.
5. Political online “trolls” are much funnier than those I usually encounter:-) I say funny because they often use humor to get their point across, not even realizing that they’re supporting their opponents, offer no facts to support their argument (not so far, anyway; I live in hope) and will wither and die if you keep asking them polite questions. Seriously, guys (and gals); using “sheep” “lemmings” and “Nazis” (that particular meme featuring a pic of the Nazi party after they came into power) as an argument against protest? You do know that sheep blindly follow a leader, right? No sheep would suggest, “Hey, maybe we’re going the wrong way?” Okay, granted; Nazis are not a laughing matter. That hateful word is also the accepted nickname for a political party that was democratically elected by about the same majority as this current government, then went berserk because no one opposed them. So, again; how does that apply to MarchInMarch? Not sure why they compare us to lemmings. The only thing I know about those creatures is that they don’t blindly follow their leader; that myth was busted ages ago…though my husband very much enjoyed that game:-)
6. Many of those who marched seem to (strongly; they were the loud, abusive marchers, I presume) think that simply ousting this government and replacing it with a Labor representative will solve all our problems (some supported and/or instigated by Labor). That scares me. If most Aussies think Labor is the answer to our problems, I’m not sure they’re paying attention at all. We need better representation, and we need it yesterday. Oh, I’m still unaffiliated, and still looking for a candidate worthy of my vote.
7. Many, possibly most (scary thought), Aussies think that “majority vote” equals a majority of the population. Of course, it can, but I’m not nearly old enough to recall the last time an Australian political party was elected by most Aussies. Anyone know? Just curious. Of course, therein lies the rub for voters; democracy, by it’s very nature, means that those in power will almost certainly not represent most voters. But I’m still a huge fan, Democracy; love your work, despite being labelled a “traitor” and “islamofascist” by a particularly comical troll…not sure they understand either Islam or Fascism it they think the two go together. Anyway, even I’m not optimistic enough to believe that every Australian will achieve fair representation in a democracy where the second and third largest parties combined because they couldn’t otherwise win. But I wouldn’t have bothered protesting if I don’t wholeheartedly believe that we can achieve better representation than we have now.
8. This country is in worse shape than I thought.