Was chatting with some of my new (since #MarchInMarch), activist Twitter friends…oh, if you want followers, just care about something, vociferously and indefinitely. The (I’m guessing Liberal?) trolls have become very quiet lately, despite the conversation continuing about whether or not this current government is the worst in Australia’s history. So we had time to discuss how every word out of the abusive voters (?) mouths supports our cause and inspires us. I’ve mentioned a few choice “insults” I’ve been called: traitor (still my favorite), ferals (also inspiring; reminded me that those who aren’t protesting have become domesticated), Nazi, sheep, Islamofascist. Others have been inspired by “bleeding heart greenie”, “loony left”, “penguin kissing tree hugging chook lovin’ greenie” (thanks, @iDGiam, for that one), “fascist union commies (FUC)”…the list goes on. None of these count as an argument of course. Not one of the bigots who stalk those of us speaking out against this excuse for a government have offered a single, logical argument to dissuade me from continuing to protest for better representation from our apparently universally corrupt and uncaring ruling class.
But I digress, again. This delightfully rewarding conversation suddenly brought it to my attention that I’m now (by association) part of the “loony left”. How did this happen? I’ve stood with radical conservationists, and I’ll do so again, if necessary. But the only thing we really have in common is a love for this country and this planet. As a moderate, I worship balance. We need the “haves”; who else will take care of the “have nots”? Though I risk losing some of new left-wing friends, I wholeheartedly believe in capitalism. But I also believe it’s like any other stimulant; pleasant, even beneficial in small amounts, but ultimately destructive in large doses…as we’re witnessing. And, despite earning a wage since I was thirteen, I’ve never been a member of a union, partly because the very idea smacks too much of Socialism for me. So I’m unlikely to, say…vote for the Australian Greens, because their pendulum swings a little far left for me. And, though I study candidates before making a decision, I always hedge my bet by voting for different parties in the Senate and House of Representatives, just in case my vote ends up supporting…well, we’re living my worst nightmare, so I was right to be worried.
I’ve thus far avoided telling anyone (and I mean anyone; though we discuss politics, my husband and I never ask) who I’ve voted for in the past. Partly because it’s my right, as an Australian voter, also because there are few things in this world that are ours alone, but mainly because I honestly don’t mind how you vote, so long as you do so thoughtfully. Every other time in my thirty years as a voter, I copped it sweet if my candidate didn’t win. Last September, for the first time, I voted Greens for both houses. I’ve not voted either Labor or Coalition since John Howard turned away that first boatload of asylum seekers. I’m not a “bleeding heart”. I’ve lived in a (former) detention centre, so I’ll wager I know more about this subject than any of my attackers. In fact detention centres (let’s just stop the lies and call them “prisons”) have improved from the red-back infested concrete jungles that I remember from my childhood. My family was there for six weeks, because we couldn’t afford anything better. Despite having this intimate knowledge of their current plight, I cannot imagine the strain asylum seekers are under; imprisoned for months, maybe years, without trial and without apparent hope.That’s why I would never let my name be associated with a political party that approves of mistreating the world’s most pitiable reminders of the consequences of unrestrained bigotry.
All this (sparked by an amusing chat) has made me realize that our current situation is even worse than I thought. It seems that every new day under this government brings a fresh horror. But, worst of all, these bastards have turned me into a Greenie! So be it. The fact that someone who worships balance in politics has swung as far left as they’re prepared to go (but then, who knows, maybe I’ll be forced even further left and vote for the Animal Justice Party next time) is proof enough that we are up shit creek and need a bloody big paddle. We are a country, but we’re a world, too. If you still cannot comprehend that, then you haven’t stepped outside your door for a very long time, and I’d rather stand with the penguin kissers than you.
And in case you’ve been voting without thinking about it, here are some interesting facts about what happened to that vote: http://results.aec.gov.au/17496/Website/HouseStateFirstPrefsByParty-17496-NAT.htm