I had an interesting Twitter conversation with my friend @dangerousmere recently about politics and it got me thinking.
Usually in Australia, speaking about sex, politics and religion is considered taboo. There’s a fine line where people tend to keep such thoughts to themselves preferring less volatile subjects for fear of creating conflict and tension. As a result, sports seems to be the preferred topic of conversation. It’s usually “safer” in the sense that you can prevent talking about the real issues that get people talking, discussing, debating.
However, my Greek background means that these topics are all fair game. (Ok, maybe except the sex which there is still a stigma) but religion and politics? Well, let’s just say, they’re two things that in our household, we let rip.
Of course, this makes for some interesting table conversations that turn out to massive arguments but usually, when the table is laden with delicious foods, tensions are usually forgotten as quick as they start up.
We’re a fiery lot but we still love each other despite our politics.
You see, one of the things we understand is that we need to have these differences and we need to talk, discuss, debate and question each other. It’s not about appeasing to each other, keeping quiet, hiding, pretending. It’s not about “winning an argument at all costs” either.
It’s simply about hearty debate but it seems that people prefer to “let sleeping dogs lie” and maybe that’s not a tactic anymore to be able to fight against what we are seeing in politics today where there is:
- Silencing of debate
- Proliferation of fake news
- Dumbing of the masses [don’t educate, entertain] think Katie Hopkins and Big Brother debacle
- Lack of future vision policies
- Media owned by Murdoch
Regardless, when growing up I would say that I wasn’t THAT much interested in politics. However, I do remember the characters of Australian politics based on what was happening at the time of my childhood.
I remember Gough’s speech in front of the old Parliament House simply because I remember the black and white television we had and how our family just seemed to have…stopped…to listen what he said. I had no idea what was going on because I was about 5 or 6 at the time. I just remember the reaction of all the grown ups around me. Gough was a legend to many migrants.
I remember John Howard’s policy on gun control after the Port Arthur massacre – something I agreed with (but didn’t agree with his introduction of GST) and his destruction of Medicare.
I remember the debacle of Andrew Hewson and whether chocolate cake should have GST placed on it and as he couldn’t explain GST, he lost the election on it – only to be later placed in by John Howard.
I remember Abbott – oh, how I try to forget.
Meredith mentioned “anger” when it comes to politics and I thought to myself that it’s an interesting concept. I don’t know if it’s a situation that we’re currently living through OR just a factor of my age because the older I get, the more vocal I become with the illogical, inconsistent, unfair, ego driven characters in politics today. I get angry seeing all forms of debate being shut down in this country when the questions become too hard that politicians don’t want to answer or be accountable for.
I get angry when I debate shut down with regards to treatment of women, people with disabilities, ethnic race and minorities, the environment, climate change, and so much more.
I get angry when politicians spin dot point messages their speech writers have given them.
I get angry that rather than investing in being able to EDUCATE the public, they entertain them, lull them into a sense of false of security.
I get angry with the “she’ll be right attitude”.
Most of all, I get angry that I can’t do anything myself – make a difference myself.
So all I can do now is to simply educate myself, ask questions, be vocal – become “POLITICALLY ENGAGED” and use my vote.
Here’s a couple of YouTube videos I did recently on some political books worth reading.