Politics is not something that most people get a big buzz out of.
In fact most people groan when you bring up anything that could be remotely associated with a political stance or point of view.
Statements like “I’m out, too political for me” or “it’s a whole lot of baloney and doesn’t affect me anyway” seem to be a commonality among many Aussies.
The reality is that it does affect you.
Every single day.
I must confess I have been prone to rolling my eyes when I read a rant from a facebook friend about an issue. Mostly because it is an opposing belief to mine, so I don’t want to hear it.
But sometimes they will make a point that does resonate with me. And, more often lately I am being drawn into the discussion. It must be an age thing??
When I think politics, the image that immediately springs to mind is of a bunch of 3rd grade kids dressed up in their Mum or Dad’s suits arguing in the playground about who has the best play lunch or who has the nicest lunch box.
If you have listened to ‘Question time’ lately you will know what I mean.
So it is understandable to feel jaded about politics and to think that it has nothing to do with you or your daily life.
But you would be wrong.
Why you should care.
Politics affects our lives in a multitude of levels that we barely even notice.
It is the GST that you pay on that grocery item, it is the money spent on infrastructure you use, and it is the tax you pay for the hard work you did this week.
Our freedoms of thought and speech are all thanks to politicians who make judgement about our lives every day.
We can thank our political forefathers for our right to voice an opinion, no matter how misguided, or anti-social it might be.
Take this blog post for example. I could face a gaol term for such an article in certain parts of the world.
Our increased living expenses and decreased job security are all part of the political processes that we, as a general rule, can’t be bothered talking about.
The apathy is palpable.
We all bitch from time to time, but are we willing to act?
Take a moment to think about an ‘issue’ that is burning you up, either right now or perhaps in recent times.
My bet is, it revolves around a social issue of some kind.
Perhaps it’s road rage, or cyclists? Who knows, perhaps you have a real issue with the closure of police stations. I certainly do.
Whatever your beef is, I am certain you will be able to track at least part of it back to political decisions made by someone, somewhere, on your behalf.
So, if a politician is out there making choices that affect your life, and making decisions on your behalf, shouldn’t you give a little bit more than half a shit about it?
Sure, life goes on, regardless of what you do. And, your opinion probably won’t matter to the helmet hair, power suit wearing career politicians.
But, it might.
It is not acceptable to just float along expecting to be granted the standard of living we are accustomed to without giving back in some way.
It is beholden upon us to ‘keep the politicians honest’ and we can’t do that if the only person who knows we have an axe to bare is the person we share a beer with every Sunday afternoon.
It is our future and the future of our children that remains in the balance.
So let’s stop being so apathetic towards our lives and the lives of our families and let’s get out there and start making a difference.
Write that letter to your local member, make that call to the radio station, let the broader community know you care what happens to them.
Perhaps, if we all take an interest in the policies that are being tabled and voice our concerns, or our approvals, our leaders will have a better understanding of what the people really need and want.
Then, perhaps, they will choose the greater good over their own self interests. We can only try.
Until next time