On Saturday the State of QLD was forced to vote. Those of us who could vote, that is. My husband and a dear friend are among the non-citizen, non-voting population. I will come back to this.
Once upon a time, I was passionate about politics. I lived in the good ol’ US of A for 11 years where I was part of the non-citizen, non-voting population. In the US, where voting is an option, it made me blind angry that so many people would NOT exercise their right to vote. That so many people, who had to live under rules passed by the person elected, would be so crass as to not care who was elected, and furthermore would not even know what the different people stood for or even what political affiliation they had. I wondered how these people could walk around, ignorant to the fact there were people elected who actually got to say what they could and could not do with their lives, and they didn’t care.
Now, I get it. I get it, because since moving back to Australia at the end of 2007, where we arrived just in time to see K Rudd’s “landslide” (seriously, that should be a QLD drinking game this week) win over John Howard, I have become disillusioned.
I’m disillusioned with many things about the state of Australian politics. I think it is in the toilet. And I think things need to change.
How can we ask our children not to be bullies, when all they have to do is turn on the news to see our elected officials acting like the biggest bullies in the country, while sitting in parliament! The name calling, the talking over one another, the disrespect. It is not only disrespectful to each other, it is disrespectful to those of us who vote. To those of us they are supposed to represent and fight for. All they want to fight for is the top job, and undoubtedly the post-PM perks that come with said job. It is a waste of time, money and resources of an epic proportion. They slag each other, slander each other, it is honestly some of the most abhorrent behaviour I have seen. We would not tolerate it from friends, we would not tolerate it from teachers, we would certainly not tolerate it from our children, yet we tolerate it from our politicians!
And don’t even get me started on the wasted money by government officials.
I also have to wonder why voting is limited to citizens only. Perhaps there is some legitimate reason for this. But as far as I am concerned if you are a permanent resident, are entitled to government benefits, work and pay taxes in this country, you should sure as heck get the right to vote for the people who make the rules you have to live by. It made me so irate that in the US, I cared more about the political system than half the Americans I knew, yet I couldn’t legally voice my opinion via ballot.
No one party will ever satisfy the needs of every Australian. And unfortunately, at this point in time, I don’t feel like ANY party can satisfy the needs of ANY Australian. I feel like politicians are so disconnected they don’t even KNOW the needs of Australians. Why does it have to be about family OR small business? Why can’t both win? Why can there not be a party who will stand up and say, “I want the best for every person living in this country.”
I love this country, I love living in this country. Regardless of who runs my state, or who runs my country, that will not change. I voted today, and I didn’t throw my vote to the Greens, or to Mickey Mouse. I voted with my gut. I was out-voted. By a lot. Some would say a landslide (take a shot!).