Listening to the news from the east of all the political unrest and fighting makes me even gladder we live in Australia. We are so lucky to live in a country that allows us to have an opinion on everything. We don’t have to do what we are told and watch what we say.
Listen to us all whine and moan each time there is an election and we have to put aside some time on a weekend to go down to the local school and get our names marked off a roll. There are so many people in the world who truly appreciate this privilege and have to risk their lives to have their say and we act like the world is over even though our biggest risk while doing so is from the fundraising sausage sizzle at the gate.
Our leaders spend their time before an election telling us how good they are to us and doing all they can to convince the disbelieving masses with promises of money and better services. Yeah, I know, they are ‘non-core’ promises and therefore not real but at least they try to woo us with niceties and not threaten us with death if we try to have an opinion. Did you hear Gaddafi broadcasting to his people that anyone who stood against him would be hunted from door to door and destroyed? Can you ever imagine something like that happening here? We don’t have to risk our live to vote in an election where the outcome is already in favour of the person with the biggest weapons.
I could start a blog just listing all the things I hate about any current politician in Australia, making up whatever I like, and post a daily rant yet have no fear of the knock on the door or members of my family disappearing. I could make a sign and walk down the street shouting slogans and nothing would happen. In Libya there are people in the streets willing to risk their lives, standing unarmed against the military to change a system they hate and we moan because we are legally required to turn up to a voting place although we don’t even have to express an opinion.
No, I don’t like politicians and have no interest in politics but I have found the biggest moaners about having to vote are the ones who don’t really understand how lucky we are to have the opportunity to do it and don’t even think about the rest of the world. We all believe our leaders indulge in cronyism and do what they can to ensure their own comfort but here if you ever want to change anything all you have to do is actually get off your arse and have a shout about it. You won’t get shot, you won’t get tortured and you won’t disappear.
We may not like any of our elected members and we can whinge all we like but we should turn up to vote and take it seriously. Not because we like our politicians but because we should have our small say. I don’t care if you vote for the Pink Cars for Everyone party, just tell people what you think and appreciate that you have been given the opportunity. If we get to the point that voting is not compulsory, how far away will we be from it not being compulsory to ask who we want in charge at all?